The National Student Leadership Conference provides an immersive pre-college experience that prepares students for life beyond middle and high school, allowing them to study in university classrooms, learn to navigate a campus, and experience living with roommates. Students are able to explore a career concentration they are interested in before going to college and declaring a major. Each NSLC program also contains a leadership curriculum designed to teach skills that can apply to all areas of life.

We encourage all 6th-12th grade students who demonstrate academic excellence and leadership ability to apply to our summer programs.

For high school programs, students must be between the ages of 14-18 and have completed at least one year of high school. Students may attend NSLC through the summer following high school graduation.

For middle school programs, students must be at least 11 years of age and currently enrolled in 6th, 7th, or 8th grade.

Click here to get started! NSLC applications are completed online and require a deposit with a credit or debit card. If you would like to place your deposit with a check, please email info@nslcleaders.org.

While we have suggested seasonal deadlines, NSLC will continue to accept applications if space is available in a program or on a program’s waitlist. The online enrollment application will display all current availability.

Students are selected for NSLC in a variety of ways. Teachers, counselors, and NSLC alumni nominate students from across the United States and around the world each year. Students may also be selected from one of several national talent identification surveys, including the College Board Student Search Service and the ACT EOS.

NSLC students will stay in supervised dormitory housing and will be assigned keys or cards for access to the building and their room. During the day, programs are broken up into smaller groups with a dedicated Team Advisor that accompanies the students throughout their program activities. Team Advisors double as Resident Advisors and reside on the same floors as students for overnight supervision. All NSLC locations also have an Administrative team that lives on site.

NSLC is a truly unique experience that stays with you long after the program ends. NSLC allows you to explore a future career path before you get to college, helping you make more informed decisions about where you’ll go and what opportunities you want to pursue. All programs also contain leadership workshops that strengthen your natural talents no matter what career path you ultimately choose. Students come to our programs from all over the world, meaning you’ll leave with a new network of friends who share your interests and goals. Plus, NSLC is a great extracurricular activity to list on college applications, and you’ll be able to draw on the academic experiences you have at our program when it comes time for your admission essays and interviews.

Yes, and you should! Click here to complete an Alumni Request Form through our office.

Yes! NSLC and American University have partnered to offer a 1-credit college course for students across all programs and locations. AU’s faculty-taught courses are completed online and tailored to complement each NSLC program. Students will connect to AU’s online learning platform and complete their coursework at hours that suit their own schedules. College credit is not built into your on-campus experience and involves a time commitment outside the dates of your program. Enrollment in college credit is optional and requires a separate tuition payment. For more information, click here or visit american.edu/nslc. You can also read more in our FAQs section below.

You can easily adjust your enrollment to another open session through your student account. Click here to login.

Current 8th-grade students (as of the 2023-2024 school year) are eligible for our middle school programs only. Students must be currently enrolled in 9th-12th grades to qualify for our high school sessions.

Payments & Refunds

Tuition covers housing and on-campus meals, plus course materials, academic expenses, trips, tours, activities, and off-campus event transportation. Travel costs to and from the program itself are not included, and students are individually responsible for expenses such as spending money for souvenirs, laundry, and off-campus meals.

Yes! Students demonstrating financial need, academic merit, and school or community involvement are encouraged to apply for a Summer Program Scholarship to offset their summer tuition costs. Click here to learn about the process.

Yes! All enrollments submitted prior to May 1, 2024, will be automatically placed on a convenient monthly payment schedule. After your program deposit, any remaining tuition costs will be divided into equal payments automatically charged to the credit card you used to sign up.

Want to remove autopay or adjust your payment dates? Contact us to easily make the changes that work best for you. Final payments are due no later than 30 days before the session begins.

Cancellation requests may be submitted through the Manage Registration section of your online student portal.

30-Day Grace Period Cancellation Fee

Enrollments submitted before April 1, 2024, have 30 days to cancel without penalty.

After 30 days, or if enrolling after April 1, please see the table below.

$0 (full refund)
Cancel Date Cancellation Fee
By April 1, 2024 $350 (6-9 day programs)
$500 (18-day programs)
April 2 – May 1, 2024 $1000 (6-9 day programs)
$1500 (18-day programs)
May 2, 2024 or after 100% of tuition paid*

*The NSLC will not charge additional payments. Payment plans will automatically end at the time of cancellation.

Adding an affordable Student Protection Plan protects your tuition payments in unexpected circumstances that prevent you from attending your program. We highly recommend adding this trip insurance to your enrollments. Plan restrictions apply, and plan fees are non-refundable. Please click here to review the Student Protection Plan in full.

No, NSLC tuition is not eligible for 529 payments.


Once a program has reached capacity, you will see a Waitlisted status appear next to the dates on our application. If you would like to join the waitlist, please complete the enrollment process and place a deposit to add your name. Once a cancellation is received, we will offer the newly opened space to the next student on the list. Your deposit is fully refundable if you do not move into the program or choose to remove your name.

We will send you an email as soon as a space becomes available in your session. You are also able to check your current waitlist status at any time in your student profile.

We allow students to remain on the waitlist all the way until a program begins in case there is a short-notice cancellation. With that said, we recommend setting a personal deadline for when you’ll need to hear back from us so you can solidify your summer plans. If you haven’t received an email by that time, you can remove your name from the list and receive a refund of your deposit.

Before the Program

Plan to arrive on the first listed day of your program. Check out the Travel section of your student profile for specific details! Registration typically opens around 10:00 AM.

Plan to arrive on the first listed day of your program and depart on the final listed day of your program.

For students traveling from out of state, airport shuttles will be available for an additional fee within specific time frames on arrival and departure days. Check out the Travel section of your student profile for location-specific details before booking your flights.

Students in the International Diplomacy program will arrive and depart from different universities depending on their session dates. Please see your student profile for more details.

Airport shuttles are available within specific time frames on arrival and departure days. Make sure to check your student profile before booking your flights if you are interested in this service.

To sign up for the shuttle, you will need to enter your finalized flight itinerary in the Travel section of your profile and pay the reservation fees with a credit or debit card. On arrival day, our staff will be waiting in the baggage claim area (wearing bright red NSLC Staff t-shirts) with a list of all student arrivals – so we will know exactly when to start looking for you! We’ll help you grab your luggage and take you to the shuttle, and you’ll head straight to campus to get checked in.

On departure day, you will be assigned a shuttle based on your flight’s departure time and dropped off at your correct terminal. Our staff members are not able to accompany you through security, but we are a phone call away if you need any assistance.

Yes! A detailed packing list is available in your student profile that outlines everything you will need.

During the Program

Yes! Our dining services are able to accommodate any dietary allergies or restrictions you may have. Make sure that your dietary preferences are complete in your student profile so we can share the information with the university before you arrive. You can also always reach out to us with questions!

You’ll receive your finalized schedule the day you arrive on campus for the program. Until then, please take a look at the sample schedules available across our program pages.


Summer Scholarship applications, including recommendation letters, must be fully submitted by 11:59 PM CST, Friday, March 15, 2024. No applications will be accepted after this time.

See more about our deadline and important dates here.

We highly encourage you to complete this process online, though paper applications are available for students without reliable internet access. To request a paper application, please email summerscholarships@nslcleaders.org or call 312-322-9999.

All applicants must be actively enrolled in a Summer 2024 program before starting their scholarship application. Other requirements include essays, a teacher recommendation, a transcript, and extracurricular information. Review all scholarship components here.

Our system will automatically freeze your monthly payment plan once you have completed the first page of your online scholarship application.

Remember that our scholarship awards will not cover the full cost of your program. You may want to consider making smaller payments as you wait for award notifications to be sent out in April. You can make these payments manually through your student account or call us to set up a new monthly payment plan.

If you do not receive a scholarship and choose to cancel, or if your award is not large enough to enable you to attend, your payments made this year are fully refundable.

All scholarship applicants will be notified of awards by 8:00 PM CST, Friday, April 5, 2024. Award notifications are sent to the email addresses listed on your student account.

In the event you do not receive a scholarship award, or if the award is not large enough to enable you to attend the program, you will be able to cancel your 2024 enrollment and get a refund of all payments made this year.

College Credit

Yes! AU Credit is offered to all NSLC participants regardless of program, dates, or locations. Students may enroll only in the AU course associated with their specific NSLC program. Course descriptions will be available soon.

No, the AU College Credit option is a separate online course completed outside the dates of your NSLC program.

Tuition for the AU college credit option is $965 — roughly 50% off the normal AU undergraduate per-credit cost.

Completing the AU college credit option will allow you to demonstrate that you’ve taken initiative beyond what is normally expected from high school students! On your college applications, you will be able to list your course and mark that the class earned college credit (beyond AP and IB.)

Yes, but as with AP credits, each institution has its own policies with regard to accepting outside academic credit. Students are advised to contact universities to which they are interested in attending to inquire as to its policies.

Yes! The Common App includes a section for students to list any college credit classes (other than AP and IB) that they have taken.

College credit tuition is refundable through June 5, 2024. If a student cancels registration after June 5th or leaves while a program is in session, no refund is available. To cancel your college credit course prior to June 5, 2024, please email info@nslcleaders.org. To cancel your course after June 5, a written request will need to be sent to collegecredit@american.edu.

Email collegecredit@american.edu or visit www.american.edu/nslc. More FAQs are also available in the College Credit section of your NSLC student profile.

Summer Jobs

Applicants with F-1 visas are eligible to apply, but ultimately their sponsoring university needs to approve in order to be confirmed for their employment. We recommend applicants contact the international services office at their school as soon as possible to discuss this option.

Applications are reviewed by our team as they are received. We encourage you to submit your application before March 1 for the best chance of consideration. Summer 2024 submissions will close by June 1.

Please start your application under your first choice of location. You will be given the opportunity to mark additional locations that you would like to be considered for.

If you’d like to apply to multiple positions, please be sure to fill out an individual application for each job title. Please be sure to let us know in the space provided that you are applying for multiple positions.

If you are not seeing a particular position or location, we have likely finished hiring in those areas for the season. Please submit an application for your next choice!

Due to the volume of applications we receive each year, not all applicants will receive a response to their submission.

While you are welcome to apply, we encourage you to have at least one year of higher education completed before submitting your application.

Yes! A majority of our summer staff members are upper college-aged or recent college graduates.

Please be sure to carefully proofread your application before hitting submit. If any changes are needed, please email jobs@nslcleaders.org.

Please email jobs@nslcleaders.org for any questions about our application and hiring process.

Your future starts here.

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