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M. A. and Lila Self Leadership Academy Scholarship

Named for University Regent Al Self and his wife, Lila, the M. A. and Lila Self Leadership Academy Scholarship is a distinguished and prestigious award given to the top applicants to the university that demonstrate exceptional leadership potential. The Selfs provided the founding gift to the Leadership Academy in 2000, and it allows the Leadership Academy to provide up to four incoming first-year students with scholarships. The Leadership Academy is composed of 30 undergraduates and is led by Executive Director George M. Langlois and Program Manager Alexandra. In addition to funding 30 undergraduates. The academy is an educational initiative aimed at developing the leadership potential of all Illinois Tech students.  Additional benefits to Leadership Academy Scholarship recipients include exclusive leadership opportunities on campus and in the Chicago area, networking luncheons and dinners, experiential leadership development and training, and social bonding with fellow Leadership Academy Scholars. Leadership Academy Scholars will also receive a certificate in leadership studies upon successful completion of the academy's programs and activities.

Meet the current scholars

Scholarship Benefits

  • Full-tuition scholarship in the initial year of admittance to the academy. For each year following the first, students are only required to cover any annual increase to tuition. Students are eligible for up to four years of undergraduate tuition; five years if the student is in the architecture program.
  • Exclusive leadership opportunities on-campus and in the Chicago area, networking luncheons and dinners, experiential leadership development and training, and social cohesion with fellow Leadership Academy Scholars
  • Certificate in Leadership Studies upon successful completion of the Academy’s programs and activities

How to Apply

Leadership Academy scholarship candidates must apply to Illinois Tech and must submit the following to the Office of Undergraduate Admission no later than February 15:

  • Apply via the Early Decision I (binding) or Early Action I (non-binding) application deadline
  • Complete and submit an application for regular admission through the 
  • Complete and submit the Leadership Academy Scholarship Application
  • Students who are selected as finalists for the Leadership Academy Scholarship will be required to participate in a final interview, which takes place on campus the Saturday of Scholarship Symposium in early February.

Application Timeline

November 15 Leadership Academy application due along with application to Illinois Institute of Technology
December Leadership Academy finalists are notified
Early February Leadership Academy finalists will participate in an in-person interview at Scholarship Symposium
Late February Leadership Academy Scholars recipients will be notified of their selection
April 1 Decision deadline to accept Leadership Academy Scholarship 
May 1 Confirm enrollment to Illinois Tech
Interview Itinerary
Students will be selected by Leadership Academy staff to interview virtually in early February. Students also interviewing for Camras, Duchossois, and/or Crown scholarships will be required to interview virtually. Your interview is an experiential one: Leadership Academy staff will contact you to schedule your Leadership Experience for Assessment and Development (LEAD) appointment, which is a four-hour assessment center simulation.
  • Center for Research and Service staff will provide all participants with an individual feedback report from their LEAD session
  • Students chosen as finalists from the assessment center will then interview in person with the Leadership Academy staff at Scholarship Symposium in February.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applies only to full-time undergraduate students at Illinois Tech
  • Satisfactory academic progress (defined in the Illinois Tech Student Handbook as a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 in each semester) is required
  • Annual renewal of the scholarship is contingent upon satisfactory academic progress and attendance at all Leadership Academy-sponsored programs, including but not limited to Saturday leadership seminars, regular scholar meetings, and sophomore leadership retreats
  • Scholars are required to actively participate in a committee of their choosing to support the development of the Leadership Academy program
  • Scholars are required to contribute 10 hours of service per semester to community service projects that are officially sponsored by the Leadership Academy
  • All scholars must also adhere to university-wide codes of conduct; students who are accused and found guilty of conduct not in keeping with the code of conduct are subject to dismissal from the academy

Additional Information

The Leadership Academy Scholarship cannot be combined with other Illinois Tech merit scholarships such as Elevate, Heald, FIRST Robotics, VEX Robotics, Duchossois, Camras, Crown, Chicago Police and Fire, Collens, and more. If a student earns multiple Illinois Tech merit scholarships throughout the admission process, the university will award the highest merit award for which the student is qualified but will not combine multiple awards.

If you are awarded the Leadership Academy Scholarship and the Illinois MAP Grant: The Leadership Academy Scholarship is restricted to tuition charges only and the Illinois MAP Grant is restricted to tuition and mandatory fee charges. For this reason, the total of the two awards cannot exceed the total of tuition charges, activity fees, and student service fees. Moreover, the Leadership Academy Scholarship cannot exceed the total value of tuition charges from the first year the scholar attends Illinois Tech.