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Lott Leadership Institute
Motivate. Captivate. Inspire. Engage.

Lott Leadership for Rising 9th Graders

Session I: June 4 – June 16, 2023
Session II: July 9 – July 21, 2023

Office of Pre-College Programs
(662) 915-7621

▶︎  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 Institute for Rising Ninth Graders, a partnership between The University of Mississippi’s Lott Leadership Institute and the Division of Outreach, is a program designed to develop critical thinking and leadership skills in soon-to-be high school freshmen. Its aim is to cultivate and inspire honest, compassionate, and responsive leaders who will focus on responsibility and stewardship. The overall goal is that students who complete the program will return to their high schools and put the new skills to work for the betterment of the community.

Accepted students come from all over the state of Mississippi. They are given a residential experience on the UMiss campus, earn high school credit, study public policy and leadership, all while forming bonds with peers in the program. As part of the experience, students mingle with college administrators, student leaders, and active community members while participating in current event discussions and decision-making activities. During the program, participants take a trip to visit significant state sites. Students will also participate in a service project to drive home the notion of stewardship from our leaders.

There are two sessions of the Lott Leadership for Rising Ninth Graders. Twenty students will be selected to attend each term. A principal, guidance counselor, or University recruiter must nominate a student in order for the student to receive an application. Only five students per school may be nominated.


The first session of the Lott Leadership Institute for Rising Ninth Graders is June 4 – June 16, 2023. The second session is July 9 – July 21, 2023. Students select the session they prefer to attend during the application process. Accepted students are enrolled in a credit-bearing course and must attend ALL class meetings, the regional trip, and participate in the service project.


Students must be nominated for the program by their school principals or counselors and meet the following admission requirements:

  • The student must be in good academic and conduct standing in the eighth grade at the time of admission.
  • The school can be public, private, parochial, or even home–educated.
  • The student must have an overall 3.3 GPA 6th, 7th, and 8th-grade years.
  • The applicant must also have standardized achievement test scores at or above the present grade level.
  • The student must have permission from their principal.


Nominations from the school must be received through the Office of Pre-College Programs online nomination portal no later than 5:00 p.m. on December 15, 2022.

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 prior to January 20, 2023, to be considered.


Students will take Problems in American Democracy, a course designed to give students a greater awareness of the issues and problems facing the United States today. Its emphasis is on analysis of issues, situations, and problems with the goal of fostering positive appreciation and desired resolution. This course is part of the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) curriculum framework and covers the curriculum as designed by MDE. Students that successfully complete the course will receive 1/2 high school Carnegie credit from The University of Mississippi.


Students will be housed with other students attending our summer programs in a university residence hall designated specifically for them with counselors selected to work specifically with their age group. After class each day, students will participate in recreational activities, as well as research and course activities, that will familiarize them with the library and computer center on campus.


Administrative personnel from the Pre–College Program Office serve as administrators for the Lott Leadership Institute for Rising Ninth Grade. Instructors working with the group are certified high school teachers. At least ten counselors (five male and five female) will live and work with the group (counselors are outstanding UMiss students).


The selected participants are sent a set of age–appropriate rules, and both parents and students must sign and agree to the rules. The only punishment for breach of rules is dismissal from the program. Administrators, teachers, and counselors monitor the students, and the residence hall where they are housed is secure.


Once a student is accepted to the program, a non-refundable $125 registration fee is required to reserve their position in the program. The remaining cost of the program is $500 (this amount is in addition to the registration fee). Students are strongly encouraged to fundraise the required funds themselves rather than pay 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 successfully completing the program. No other scholarships or financial aid is available.

In addition to the above costs, students are responsible for some simple school supplies, weekend meals, snacks, and miscellaneous spending money. Remaining costs of the program, including on-campus housing, a week-day meal plan, travel costs, etc., are covered by the Lott Leadership Institute.


For additional information, please contact:

Lott Leadership for Rising Ninth Graders
Division of Outreach, Office of Pre-College Programs
P.O. Box 1848
University, MS 38677
Telephone: 662-915-7621