The transition from military life to higher education can be a daunting experience for some. That is where the Leadership Scholar Program (LSP) comes in. The LSP, along with installation Education Centers, works with Marines on a daily basis to guide them through the college admission process.

As Marines approach the end of their enlistments, the crucial decision-making process of what they want to do becomes more of a reality. “Managing my time, connecting with right-minded people and switching my mindset from military to student was challenging,” said Veteran Marine Cpl Theerawat Charusi. “After getting out of the Marine Corps there was no more set schedule that I had to follow, no more people telling me what to do, where to go, etc., and no more curfew. So I had to manage my time wisely between attending classes, studying for exams, and hanging out with friends.”

Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif. Education and Career Specialist Janet Kaemmerling says her duties as part of LSP include counseling Active Duty service members, military spouses and dependents. “I helped Cpl Charusi keep track of deadlines and overcome those small, but significant processing hurdles,” said Kaemmerling. “The college application essays were perhaps his biggest concern.”

More than 220 colleges and universities participate in LSP. These range from Ivy League, large state systems, and small liberal arts colleges.  To be eligible, you must be an honorably discharged Active Duty Marine who is planning to attend a school as a freshman or a transfer student. You must have a recommendation from a commanding officer or someone for whom you have worked, and as well as an AFQT score of 70 or higher and a GT score of 115 or higher.  Marines can apply while on Active Duty but must apply within 180 days after end of Active Duty service.  “Never in my life had I dreamt of attending one of the most renowned schools in the United States,” said Charusi. “I was exposed to diverse and vibrant communities and LSP personnel stood by my side through the rigorous process of applying to other colleges.”

To begin the process, all Marines must submit an LSP application online. To apply now, please click here and submit an application. Are you ready to take the next step in your education? For more information on the Leadership Scholar Program, click here.