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Giving to LSP

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Your gift to the Leland Scholars Program will make a critical difference in the lives Stanford’s first-generation and/or low-income (FLI) students. Your support will give them the tools they need to succeed during their years at Stanford, and beyond.

Providing mentorship, academic training, and peer connections, Leland Scholars Program (LSP) aims to support and embolden FLI students as they transition to Stanford. LSP is both a residential or virtual summer program leading into the first year, and an ongoing formal support network for many additional students throughout their Stanford journey.

 Meet Sam Duke, ’20 More LSP Student Voices

How it works

Leland Scholars learn and develop together for four weeks during the late summer leading into their first year. LSP Residential scholars live on campus and LSPxSOAR scholars meet multiple times per week over online sessions hosted by instructors and program staff. LSP enrolls roughly equal numbers of men and women annually, with more than 70% of participants being the first in their families to attend college. The majority come from under-represented minority backgrounds, are low-income, and have a zero expected family contribution in their financial aid.

Since its origination, the program has grown to accommodate 80 Stanford students, selecting from around 170 applicants annually. All scholars receive a well-rounded introduction to what they will encounter in the university’s curriculum through a three-unit problem-solving course in the sciences, an intensive writing course, and a research project during LSP Residential and a math and/or writing course during LSPxSOAR. The unique mix of these hands-on, group-oriented experiences are designed to enhance students’ analytical thinking, problem solving abilities, and communication skills with an intentional focus on preparing each LSP student for the academic rigor of their first quarter and year at Stanford.

Beyond their coursework, community building and networking among LSP participants are central to the program’s success. Leland Scholars gather for a range of presentations, seminars and activities that introduce them to supportive resources the university offers, and engage them with Stanford faculty and peers. LSP covers all participant costs—courses, housing, meals, transportation and excursions during scholars’ residential experience and technology needs (e.g., Wi-Fi routers) during the virtual experience. While the program cannot currently accommodate every student who applies, LSP is extending access to select program components to any of Stanford’s FLI students— including an invitation to take part in a weekly seminar for first-year FLI students during autumn quarter. 

Meet Sam Duke, ’20

Hear in his own words how donor support made it possible for a first-generation, low-income LSP student to complete his Stanford journey—and thrive along the way.

Impact on FLI students

The documented impact of LSP on its participants is both broad and deep. Internal analyses of LSP student outcomes made in comparison to similar students demographically in an on-going randomized control study demonstrate that LSP students are comparably more likely to embrace learning opportunities, new challenges, and take on leadership roles at Stanford—such as being selected for RA positions, participating in an overseas program, providing peer tutoring to fellow Stanford students, establishing meaningful connections with faculty, and to tackle courses that arouse their curiosity, regardless of their perceived difficulty. And while there are not statistical differences in GPAs, LSP students maintained higher retention rates through prominent first-year STEM courses in chemistry, math, physics, and computational and mathematical engineering.

LSP also sees one of the very highest student impact “scores” among its participants. Surveyed students report the program having a significant impact on their transition to Stanford and nearly every participant surveyed reported they would strongly recommend the program to their peers.

Meeting the needs of FLI students

There is a critical need for ongoing support. During an era in which Stanford has committed to expanding its community of first-generation / low-income students, LSP leaders have imagined an exceptionally bright future for the program, with hopes that sustained funding can help them actualize some of their greatest ambitions.

Make a Gift

If you'd like to explore supporting LSP, please reach out to:
Ben Daniels, Development Officer
Undergraduate Education
(314) 315-5850