The National Student Leadership Conference

What major do I want to pursue? All high school students eventually have to answer this question for themselves one way or another, especially seniors, who are already beginning to finalize their college lists this school year and starting the arduous application process.
One opportunity that all students across the nation can take advantage of to help combat this task is by applying to the National Student Leadership Conference (NSLC). The NSLC hosts six to 18-day-long programs on 13 different well-known campuses across the nation. The duration largely depends on which subject the program focuses on. The universities that students can visit under the NSLC program include Yale University, Harvard Medical School, the University of California-Berkeley and many more.
“I ended up going to a different program called the Summer Springboard at Yale University in Connecticut, and I took the medical track,” sophomore Sophia Suon said. “I think that [the NSLC and Summer Springboard] are really similar opportunities.”
Select high school students are given the opportunity to experience the university lifestyle by sleeping in the university’s dorm rooms, while also being able to learn about specific careers. These careers range from medicine to law, business and more. All of these programs include various workshops and lectures from leaders in these fields, giving students an up-close and personal view of what their selected field of study would entail.
Students who do decide to attend the program or programs like it find that it does truly help them figure out what they want to do in life.
“We got to go to the hospital a lot, and we learned about CPR and we also took bio-science classes,” Suon said. “I think that I came back from that program more interested in medicine, and I figured out that I enjoyed it.”
These exclusive programs always take place over the summer, starting in early July and ending in early August. The deadline to apply for the NSLC program for high school students for the upcoming summer is March 12, 2020.
All of this raises the question of, how does one get into this program? First off, for a high school student to be eligible for the NSLC, they must have a “B” average or higher. Next, one can either be nominated for the program by a teacher, counselor or by a NSLC alumni member. If a student is not nominated, one can still apply for admission via the NSLC’s website as a merit applicant. Merit applicants require a teacher or counselor recommendation and must have leadership potential and be academically inclined. Once accepted, one can enroll into any NSLC program of one’s choice, if there is still space left.
One of the downsides to attending the NSLC is the cost. These programs can range anywhere from 2495 to 5295 dollars to attend. The majority of scholarships given by the NSLC can only provide so much aid due to the fact that a significant proportion of applicants apply for financial aid. According to the NSLC website, the majority of NSLC scholarships, are need-based and rarely merit-based and range between 250 to 750 dollars.
Either way, the NSLC can still be a great opportunity for students who are interested in learning more about a specific career field, and for those who want to experience the college lifestyle. All it takes is a certain level of dedication towards being a strong, academic, community leader.