LEAPS Scholarship (Leadership Experience and Advancement Program in STEM)

The Leadership Experience and Advancement Program in STEM (LEAPS) provides scholarships, a unique bridge program, summer research experience, individual mentoring, and career-development opportunities in an effort to build resilience and confidence in future STEM leaders.

As a LEAPS Scholar, you will receive a scholarship of up to $10,000 each year of undergraduate study at North Central. LEAPS is more than just a scholarship, though. It is a supported effort to help students maximize their college experience, graduate on time, and prepare for a STEM career. LEAPS begins with the premise that all students have strengths that can be developed. This strengths-based approach is tailored to your unique abilities, academic preparedness, and career aspirations. By fostering leadership, resilience, and self-efficacy, LEAPS supports your academic journey from Day 1 to graduation. Through summer research, faculty mentorship, and career planning, you will leave North Central with the tools you need to succeed in graduate school or a career in STEM.

The scholarship is funded by a grant to North Central from the National Science Foundation.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • New, incoming First Year or Transfer students entering the next fall semester as well as Continuing North Central students
  • Full-time students majoring in Biology, Computer Science, Environmental Studies, Mathematics, or Neuroscience
  • High school or Transfer GPA > 3.0 preferred, but not required
  • Must meet federal eligibility requirements for Pell Grants as determined by the submission of a Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Must write a personal essay
  • Must include a reference from a STEM instructor

Note: LEAPS has been designed specifically to benefit transfer students. However, all students who meet the eligibility requirements are encouraged to apply. No preference for transfer status is applied during awarding of scholarships.

This scholarship is renewable provided the recipient continues to meet the scholarship criteria, remains in good standing, and makes satisfactory progress toward an undergraduate degree. Renewal eligibility is confirmed with department faculty and the Office of Financial Aid each year.

up to $10,000
Supplemental Questions
  1. In 500 words or fewer, describe what fascinates you about your intended STEM Major, what you plan to do after graduating from North Central, and how LEAPS will help you reach your post-graduation goals.
  2. The LEAPS Scholarship application requires a letter of recommendation written by a STEM educator who can comment on your likelihood of success in completing a STEM bachelor's program. Please enter the name and email address of the person from whom you wish to request this letter of recommendation.