Trent Lott Leadership Institute

Motivate. Captivate. Inspire. Engage.

Annual Summer Leadership Institute For High School Students


Session 1: May 25 – June 26, 2020
Session 2: June 23 – July 23, 2020


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

Since the Lott Summer Leadership Institute for High School Students 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?

Campus Living: 

Washington, D.C. Trip: 

“The Lott Experience” 


The Summer Leadership Institute for High School Students 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.


There are two sessions of the Lott Leadership Institute to choose between. Accepted students are enrolled in two University of Mississippi classes and must attend all meetings. The trip to Washington, DC is a mandatory component of the program and students must fly to and from DC with the group. Students unable to commit to the below dates should not apply to the program.

Students selected to participate in the first session should be prepared to check-in on the campus of Ole Miss beginning at 1 p.m. on May 24, 2020. A brief welcome and orientation for parents and students will occur at 3:30 PM (Directions given at Check-In). Directions to UM and a campus map are available at: The trip to DC for this group is tentatively set for June 19- June 25. Participants may depart campus after 1 p.m. on June 26, 2020.

Students selected to participate in the second session should be prepared to check-in on the campus of Ole Miss beginning at 1 p.m. on June 22, 2020. A brief welcome and orientation for parents and students will occur at 3:30 PM (Directions given at Check-In). Directions to UM and a campus map are available at: The trip to DC for this group is tentatively set for July 17-23. Participants may depart campus after 1 p.m. on July 24, 2020.


Nominations from schools MUST be received by the Office of Pre-College Programs (PCP) no later than 5:00 p.m. on December 13, 2019.

Counselors, follow the link below to submit an online nomination.


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 UM 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 3.2 GPA.
  • Complete an online application.
  • Acceptance Notification Date:  March 15, 2020

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 20, 2020, to be considered.

Students must submit all application materials prior to January 20, 2020 in order to be considered by the selection committee.

Required Application Materials:

  1. Online application with essay responses (Applications will be sent to student 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. Combined, these courses provide 6 hours of college credit.


To enhance their studies at the University, LLI students will travel to Washington, D.C. for a four-day field trip (not including two travel days). While in D.C., participants will visit with federal officials, including U.S. Representatives and Senators. Students will also tour the Capitol, the National Archives, the Smithsonian, and various other attractions of the capital city. Additionally, participants will visit with leaders in industry and in the nonprofit sector.

“I had a great experience at Lott! I enjoyed getting to know people for 5 weeks and being able to have a connection with them for the rest of my life. I enjoyed the courses that we had to take and I feel like they prepared me for college. I really enjoyed going to Washington with my session and traveling with them. If I had the chance to do it again, I would in a heart beat.”

— Student Participant, Summer 2017


Students accepted to the program will be housed with the Summer College for High School Students 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, he/she is required to pay a non-refundable $100 registration fee to reserve his/her position in the program. Students selected to the Lott Leadership Institute for High School Students will receive a scholarship to help with the costs of room, board, tuition, and travel. Actual program costs to the student will be a $500 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.

For additional information, please contact:

12th Grade Lott Leadership Institute

Division of Outreach

P.O. Box 1848

University, MS 38677

Phone: (662) 915-7621