HSLP Application Process


We look forward to receiving your application to the High School Leaders Program. Please read through all of the instructions below before you complete the online application. If you have questions about the program, please contact Sarah Campbell: sarah.campbell@virginia.edu.   



Application Timeline
  • November – March: Applications accepted for the July class
  • March – early May: Interviews of applicants, selection of class participants
  • May: Acceptance packets distributed, forms and payments due
  • July 15-29, 2023: Class meets for two weeks at the University of Virginia
Application Requirements
  • Completing on online application which includes:
    • short essay questions
    • background/contact information
  • Submitting by email (do not mail) to jw3uj@virginia.edu the following three documents: (Your application is not complete until we have received all three).  
    • a copy of your high school transcript (official and unofficial are both accepted)
    • a resume or activity sheet
    • at least one (but no more than two letters) letter of recommendation
  • Completing an interview
    A number of qualified finalists will be contacted for an in-person interview with board members, alumni, and staff.

Application Deadlines

Applications Open:
Applications Close:
Supplemental materials submitted electronically by:
Program Applications Open Applications Close Application Process Link to Application
High School Leaders Program Mon, November 28, 2022 Mon, March 20, 2023

Application Components

PLEASE NOTE: This is an online application. We are not able to save partially completed applications. For this reason, we recommend that you prepare everything you will need to complete the application in advance of filling out the online form.

Application Short Essay Questions

The HSLP online application includes a number of short-answer questions. Be aware that your answers are a significant part of the selection process and very important to making admissions decisions. Please answer each question fully. The short-answer questions on the High School Leaders Program online application are as follows:

  1. Why are you interested in attending the High School Leaders Program?
  2. Why are you interested in government, politics and public policy in Virginia?
  3. Please list any major commitments or events that might conflict with the program dates.
  4. Is there anything else you would like us to know or take into consideration that has not been included on this application form?
  5. How did you learn about the High School Leaders Program?


Please write a (NO MORE THAN) 300 word essay on ONE of the following two topics:

OPTION 1: Describe the accomplishment you are most proud of and why. Feel free to address the following questions: What obstacles did you need to overcome to achieve your goal? What did you learn from your experience? What would you have done differently if you had the chance to do it again? How has this affected your goals for the future? How would you be different if you had not had this experience?

OPTION 2: Briefly outline a public policy issue that you care about and suggest a solution. Address why this issue is important to you. Give the three strongest reasons for your solution, and give the three strongest arguments against the solution you have proposed. What would you say to convince someone who was opposed to your solution that it is the correct path to take?

Woman writing

Application Contact and Background Information

You should also be prepared with the following information to successfully complete the HSLP application:

  • Name
  • Email address
  • Cell phone number (if applicable)
  • Home address and phone number
  • Year in school
  • Name of high school and its location (city, state)


If you have questions about the High School Leaders Program or the application process, please contact Sarah Campbell (sarah.campbell@virginia.edu).