Marines who want to continue education have tools to succeed

2 Oct 2012 | Lance Cpl. Scott W. Whiting

There are many scholarships and programs available to Marines who choose to pursue an education after the military. The Leadership Scholar Program helps Marines make an easy transition to participating universities and colleges through providing a solid recommendation that participating schools recognize.

“The LSP is a Marine Corps program for facilitating admission to colleges and universities for eligible Marines who desire an undergraduate degree after separation,” said Beth E. Hagan, an LSP representative with the Marine and Family Program Division of Headquarters Marine Corps.

The program was originally founded in 2008 as a partnership between Marine Corps Installations West and California State University to make the admissions process easier for Marines. MCI East and the University of North Carolina also worked together to accomplish the same goal on the east coast. It since grew to include a large number of educational institutions across the country.

The LSP has more than 220 participating schools. A handful of Ivy League schools, state schools, and small liberal arts colleges take part in it, leaving numerous options open to Marines who choose to utilize the program.

However, there are a few requirements for applying for the LSP.

“LSP applications must be active-duty or reserve Marines who are planning to attend a school as a freshmen or transfer student,” said Hagan. “If an applicant is an active-duty Marine, they must be honorably discharged prior to the beginning of the school semester in which they plan to enroll. Institutions dictate all academic criteria and other requirements, but to be eligible to participate in the LSP, Marines must be high school graduates and possess a minimum combined score of 70 or higher on the Armed Forces Qualification Test and a General Technical score of 115 or higher.”

Some schools require SAT or ACT scores as well.

The program can grant waivers on occasions for those who don’t meet the requirements for the LSP.

The LSP is not a scholarship. No money is given to the applicant other than what scholarships the various schools may offer.

“Colleges and universities that participate in the LSP will often guarantee admission to Marines who meet their standards,” said Hagan. “An LSP recommendation adds significant weight to the application.  It essentially provides an extra look prior to a school’s admissions office making final decisions on who is offered the opportunity to enroll.”

For more information on the LSP, its requirements or participating schools, visit