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Lott Leadership Institute
Motivate. Captivate. Inspire. Engage.

Lott Leadership For Rising 12th Graders


Session I: May 28 – June 30, 2023
Session II: June 25 – July 28, 2023

Summer College for High School Students
Office of Pre-College Programs
(662) 915-7621

Since the Lott Summer Leadership Institute for Rising 12th Graders was initiated in the summer of 2000 at The University of Mississippi, hundreds of students have expressed enthusiasm for the life-altering experience of participating in the Summer Leadership Institute. If you are a junior in high school who is interested in leadership, we have a question for you: Are you ready — for an experience that could change your life?

▶︎  Learn More at Outreach

What Students are Saying

“My experience in the Lott Institute summer programs was immense when I made my college decision. The program provided me unparalleled insight into the aspirations this place has for its students, the connections it gives its students, and the opportunities students in institute have at their disposal. All of this compiled with a sublime group of individuals made such an impact on me that I wanted to come back and be a part of it at the university level.”

—Andrew Harrison Foxworth

“The Lott Leadership Institute’s Rising 12th Grade Program truly changed my path to college for the better. As a junior in high school, I had no idea what a career in public policy leadership could look like. After participating in the Lott Leadership Institute Rising 12th Grade Program, I saw how the Lott Institute develops young people who want to be positive change agents in any field, from state government to nursing to engineering. The program introduced me to alumni working as legislators, lobbyists, attorneys, and nonprofit leaders in every sector, and by engaging with these leaders I was able to discover how to turn my own academic interests into a career. I left the program knowing that earning a degree in public policy leadership through the Lott Leadership Institute would prepare me to be a leader in any setting.”

—Grace Dragna

Campus Living:

Washington, D.C. Trip:

“The Lott Experience”


The Summer Leadership Institute for Rising 12th Graders is a partnership between The University of Mississippi’s Lott Leadership Institute and the Division of Outreach’s Summer College for High School Students. The goals of the program are to develop leadership skills in young citizens and prepare them for college. In order to achieve these goals, the Summer Leadership Institute brings together student leaders from across the Southeast to earn college credit on the UM campus and to begin the study of leadership.

Included in the program are opportunities to mingle with college administrators, student leaders, and community leaders while participating in current event debates, discussions, and decision-making activities. The program culminates with a one-week trip to Washington, D.C., during which the participants see the federal government in action, hear from national leaders, and tour the nation’s Capitol. The ideal outcome is for students who complete the program to return to their high schools and put their new skills to work for the betterment of their own schools and communities.


Nominations from schools MUST be received by the Office of Pre-College Programs (PCP) no later than 5:00 p.m. on December 15, 2022.


From the group of nominated applicants, a committee comprised of University officials will select 40 total applicants, 20 per session. Students will be ranked on demonstrated interest in public service, leadership, concern for others, and academic achievements. The committee will attempt to form a class with diverse interests and experiences. In addition to the 40 selected to participate, a small number of alternates will be designated, and some applicants not selected will be offered scholarships to attend the Summer College for High School Students Program.


In order to be considered for selection, students MUST meet the following University of Mississippi early admission requirements:

  • Be an eleventh-grade student in good academic and conduct standing at the time of admission. The school can be public, private, parochial, or even home-educated.
  • Have earned 14 high school credits by the end of the current school year. with at least a 3.0 GPA.
  • Complete an online application.

Once the nomination is submitted online, students will receive an email with information about how to apply for the program. Students must submit their completed application and required documents (detailed below) prior to January 21, 2023, to be considered.

Students must submit all application materials prior to January 21, 2023 in order to be considered by the selection committee.

Required Application Materials:

  1. Online application with essay responses (Applications will be sent to students upon nomination.)
  2. Current high school transcript
  3. One letter of recommendation from a teacher or administrator (This recommender shall not be the person who made the nomination.)
  4. All ACT or SAT scores to date


Participants will take Political Science 101, Introduction to American Politics, which emphasizes constitutional principles of the U.S. government. Students will investigate political procedures, electoral processes, and political institutions. Participants will also take Speech 102, Fundamentals of Public Speaking, in which they will learn how to organize, prepare, and deliver speeches in a variety of public forums. Finally, participants take Liberal Arts 199, Leadership Perspectives, in which students gain skills in qualitative research as well as connecting with a local leader on mutual interests. Combined, these courses provide 7 hours of college credit.


Students accepted to the program will be housed with the Summer College for Rising 12th Graders in one of the University’s residential colleges. Adult staff as well as selected student counselors who serve as mentors to the participants will supervise them. While in Washington, participants will be closely supervised by University staff and student counselors. The group will travel together and be housed in a secure setting.


Once a student is accepted to the program, they are required to pay a non-refundable $100 registration fee to reserve their position in the program. Students selected to the Lott Leadership Institute for Rising 12th Graders will receive a scholarship to help with the costs of room, board, tuition, and travel. Actual program costs to the student will be a $1000 program fee (this amount is in addition to the registration fee) plus approximately $125 for books, and $200 for weekend meals, snacks, and souvenir/spending money. Students selected to participate are strongly encouraged to fundraise the required funds themselves rather than paying out of pocket. This is a leadership-building exercise that is part of the program experience. An individual’s financial situation should not be a deterrent to applying to and successful completion of the program.