By Sgt. Heather Golden, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms
A new academic partnership may mean all the difference for transitioning Marines waiting on acceptance letters to their schools of choice.
The Leadership Scholar Program, which is sponsored by Marine Corps Community Services, connects colleges and universities with the kind of high-caliber applicants schools look for in potential students.
Marines who qualify for and are accepted into the program are given special consideration for admission into participating schools. With more than 200 schools within the LSP partnership, schools even go as far as to reserve a specific number of seats for Marines. Acceptance into the LSP does not guarantee acceptance into the participating schools.
A full list of participating schools can be found on the LSP’s website at http://www.leadershipscholarprogram.com.
The list includes both public and private schools, and even a handful of Ivy League Universities.
To qualify, applicants must be active duty, reserve or veteran Marines planning to attend a school as freshmen or transfer students. Those currently on active duty must be honorably discharged before the beginning of the school semester. Applicants must have an Armed Forces Qualification Test score of at least 70 and a General Technical score of at least 115, and be high school graduates. High school equivalencies, like the GED, will only be considered with significant college credits. Waivers for all the above requirements are available on a case-by-case basis.
The LSP is not open to graduate students. Marines whose active duty obligation goes beyond the beginning of that semester should wait to apply until the next application cycle.
Marines must also have acceptable SAT or ACT scores. Each individual school determines these scores, and their expiration dates. Deadlines for application are also at the schools’ discretion. These requirements are available under each school’s detailed information within the participating schools list located on the LSP website.
A board considers each application for the program based upon the individual’s potential to successfully complete college.
To apply, Marines need to submit an unofficial copy of their high school transcript; an unofficial copy of their collage transcripts; their SMART transcript; certified true copies of NAVMC118 pages (3), (11) and (12); certified true copies of Record of Service, Basic Individual Record, Basic Training Record, awards page, and education record; and a letter of recommendation from their commanding officer or any officer for whom they have worked. Phone and email contact information for this officer is also accepted in lieu of a letter.
The endorsements should be similar in structure to the endorsement required in a Marine Corps fitness report, and should detail “the Marine’s demonstrated performance and potential for growth and successful completion of a college degree program,” according to the website.
For more information, to find schools or to get started on an application, go to the LSP website and click the red icon marked “Marines” in the center of the page.
Application packages can be sent by mail to:
Leadership Scholar Program
Marine and Family Programs Division
ATTN: Caitlin Pfister
3820 Russell Road
Quantico, Va 22134
The packages can also be faxed. Contact the LSP at (760) 429-4124 for faxing directions.