Leadership Scholarship


Whittier College’s Leadership Scholarship awards up to $5,000 to future Poets who have demonstrated a high level of leadership in their communities and intend to bring those skills and experience to Whittier.

Leadership can take on many different forms and appear in different types of settings. Therefore, Whittier seeks applications from students who have demonstrated Whittier College values (community, communication, cultural perspective, and connections) through leadership in their school, community, jobs/internships, clubs/organizations, or religious communities. 

The Leadership Scholarship is annually renewable as long as the recipient maintains full-time enrollment (at least 12 units per semester) and good academic standing (minimum 2.0 GPA). Recipients must also complete a minimum of eight hours of leadership involvement, from pre-arranged options, each year they're at Whittier in order to maintain their scholarship. Leadership and Talent Scholarships are stackable. International students are not eligible to receive Leadership Scholarships.

Application, Deadline, and Timeline

The Leadership Scholarship Application is now open. All entries are due March 15.

Students selected to move on to the interview portion of the application process will be notified via email in March.

Students selected to receive the Leadership Scholarship will be notified via email in April.

Email admissionscholarships@whittier.edu for questions or concerns.

Can I receive and accept both a merit scholarship and a Leadership Scholarship?

Absolutely! Your Leadership Scholarship will be awarded in addition to your academic merit award.

How will my Leadership Scholarship be used?

Your Leadership Scholarship will be applied to your financial aid package as a discount on your cost of tuition.

Do I have to have leadership experience to apply for this scholarship?

Leadership experience is strongly recommended! We understand that being a leader can mean different things for different students, and you don’t have to fit into a traditional leadership role to apply. You can have experience as captain of your sports team, founder of a club at your school, caregiver for your family, or the organizer of an event. We are looking for students who are motivated to make a difference in the world and can share those experiences with us during the application process.

What are the steps in the application process?

All students wishing to apply must write a 500-word essay about their leadership experience(s). Remember that while we enjoy hearing about people in your life who have influenced you as a leader, the majority of your essay should focus on ways in which you have been a leader in your community. Students will be notified via email whether they have been selected to move onto the interview stage of the process. These interviews are conducted virtually with a Whittier College staff member and are scheduled for 30 minutes. Your interview will be your chance to showcase your wide range of involvements and experiences before we make our award decision.

What will be required of me if I am awarded the Leadership Scholarship?

All Leadership Scholarship recipients are required to maintain 8 or more community service hours per semester in order to continue receiving their award. Failure to do so may result in scholarship probation. The Office of Admission collaborates closely with the Center for Engagement with Communities and the Office of Student Engagement to provide service opportunities to our students, with emphasis on the Whittier community.

Can I apply for and accept a Leadership Scholarship and a Talent Scholarship?

You may apply for and accept both a Leadership and Talent Scholarship if both are offered. These are stackable scholarships.

Can I receive any other scholarships in addition to the Leadership Scholarship?

You can receive an Alumni Scholarship or a Broadoaks Scholarship in addition to your Leadership Scholarship and merit award. These are stackable scholarships.

I’m interested in this scholarship, but I haven’t applied to Whittier College. What should I do?

You must be a Whittier College applicant to be eligible to apply for a Leadership Scholarship. Visit the First-Year or Transfer admission pages for more details about how to apply to Whittier College.

I am having technical difficulties submitting my application. What should I do?

If you are having technical difficulties, we suggest using another device or browser. The application works best on Chrome and is accessible on desktop and mobile. If all else fails, email admissionscholarships@whittier.edu for assistance.

I have already successfully submitted my application, but I need to change something. How do I do so?

Email us at admissionscholarships@whittier.edu for assistance.

I missed the Leadership Scholarship application deadline. What should I do?

The Office of Admission may be willing to review late applications from incoming students on a case-by-case basis. Please email us at admissionscholarships@whittier.edu as soon as possible to initiate the process. In your email, please explain why you missed the Leadership Scholarship deadline.

Who is eligible for a Leadership Scholarship?

Leadership Scholarships are available to incoming first-year and transfer students. International students are not eligible to receive Leadership Scholarships. Current or returning students are not eligible and should speak to their department head about scholarship opportunities available to them.

If I have additional questions, whom should I contact?

Please direct all questions and concerns directly to admissionscholarships@whittier.edu.

Essay Prompt

Discuss your experiences as a leader. What is a unique leadership experience you've had? Who is someone that has positively influenced your leadership style? What was an important lesson you learned about being a good leader?

The selection committee encourages applicants to be authentic in their answers and let their personal voices come through. Essays must be one page in length, single space, 500 words max.