Scholarships Overview

Apply for a scholarship.

The NSLC understands that family circumstances may not enable all qualified students to attend our programs without financial assistance. The National Student Leadership Foundation (NSLF) has designated yearly scholarship funds specifically for students demonstrating financial need.

Application Overview

The NSLF attempts to assist as many students as possible. The majority of scholarships, which are based on financial need, academic merit and school OR community involvement, are granted in the range of $500-$1,000. All applicants must be able to demonstrate financial need.

While the scholarship committee takes into consideration extenuating circumstances such as recent job loss, illness, and injury, the average scholarship recipient demonstrates financial hardship or is from a low income household, has an excellent academic record, and is highly involved in their school and community.

Maximum scholarship awards will not exceed the cost of tuition less the deposit. The vast majority of scholarships awarded will be $500-$1,000.

Students must be enrolled in a Summer 2024 program with a deposit placed in order to begin a scholarship application. If a student is denied a scholarship, or if the scholarship award is insufficient, the deposit will be fully refunded upon cancellation.

The NSLC does not expect scholarship applicants to continue making monthly tuition payments as they await award notifications. After completing the first step of the scholarship application, monthly payment dates will be automatically frozen until after the award notification date. Students are only required to place an initial refundable deposit before knowing if they have received a scholarship.

Application Requirements

To be considered for a scholarship, students must be enrolled in a current NSLC program and have submitted a tuition deposit.

Students who would like to prepare materials in advance should have the following items ready to complete the NSLF Scholarship Application. All items must be submitted via the online scholarship application (see exception below):

  • NSLC ID, received after submitting the NSLC Enrollment Application.
  • A digital copy of the student’s most recent academic transcript. This transcript may be “unofficial” or a scanned copy.
  • One Teacher or Counselor willing to write and submit a letter of recommendation by the application deadlines listed below. Educators will receive submission instructions via email.
  • Total household income (in US Dollars) and fundraising goal.
  • List of extracurricular and community activities with accurate Club or Activity Sponsor contact information.
  • Responses to the following questions. Each essay should be no more than 500 words:
    • Why do you deserve a scholarship to the NSLC? Feel free to include your experiences, achievements and goals.
    • Please write a letter of explanation of your current financial situation. (May be completed by a Parent/Guardian)

Paper Application Exception:

Applicants without reliable access to the internet may request a paper application by emailing

  • Paper applications must be requested by February 1, 2024.
  • Once your paper application request has been accepted, we will automatically adjust your next payment due date to May 3, 2024.
  • All paper applications must be postmarked by March 1, 2024.
  • Submission instructions will be sent with the paper application.

Application Deadline

All components of the Scholarship Application, including the educator recommendation must be completed and uploaded no later than 11:59PM Central on Friday, March 15, 2024 – no exceptions.

Important Dates

Application OpensJanuary 17, 2024
Application Deadline11:59PM Central, Friday, March 15, 2024
Scholarship Notification8:00PM Central, Friday, April 5, 2024
Accept/Decline Deadline5:00PM Central, Friday, May 3, 2024

Apply Online

Once you have assembled the above materials and are ready to apply, please click below to start the application process. The application allows you to save your work and return at a later time to finalize your submission.

Start Application Process

Questions? Please email

Other Ways to Raise

Community Fundraising

While the NSLF would like to meet the financial needs of all students, the large volume of scholarship applicants combined with limited funding means that not all applicants will receive scholarships.

The Foundation has created a comprehensive Guide to Community Fundraising which has helped make the NSLC an affordable experience for all applicants. This guide contains suggestions that have been used successfully by past NSLC students to raise funds while also forging relationships with leaders in their community. In several cases, students have been able to raise funds covering the full cost of their program and travel expenses.

Download Our Guide
Frequently Asked Questions
See more

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 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.

Your future starts here.

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