The application will open in September 2017.

Applicant Criteria


The applicant must be a current sophomore or junior in any secondary school at the time of the application deadline. Homeschoolers are eligible.


Grounds for application disqualification: ineligibility of applicant, lateness, failure to send application to the correct office, incompleteness of the application (it must be submitted in its entirety at one time), plagiarism, or falsification of information on the application.

Application Deadline

February 15, 2018


Applications are reviewed by a committee comprised of Lehigh University professors, business and industry experts and the Iacocca Institute staff. A strong performance in the essay is critical to selection; a strong transcript and/or high test scores will not offset sloppy, indifferent writing or poor recommendations. 


1. Personal Essay

Basic Criteria: Essay is completely written; is fully developed; avoid clichés; demonstrate an interest in business development and management. 

Competitive Criteria: Demonstrate excellent, mature writing skills; the presence of a voice and personal writing style; critical thinking; ownership of the ideas presented; self-awareness; genuine interest in and connection with concepts and concerns relevant to entrepreneurship. 

2. Academic Record

Basic Criteria: Strong transcript. Strong test scores. 

Competitive Criteria: Overall, consistent academic strength. Student takes challenging courses and performs well.

3. Extracurricular Resume 

Basic Criteria: Reveals some leadership and an above average level of energy for becoming involved in activities outside of the classroom. 

Competitive Criteria: Reveals leadership, a respect for service and a high level of energy; reveals a trend for participating in business-related activities or activities employing skills that can apply to entrepreneurship; demonstrates creativity and initiative in seeking out special activities or opportunities, especially those that have an entrepreneurial connection. 

4. References 

Basic Criteria: Rate candidate above average or excellent in most categories. Are generally positive. 

Competitive Criteria: Rate candidate very strong, provide specific evidence of independence, creativity, initiative, analytical thinking, strong communication skills, ability to work with others, respect for diversity and ability to accept and apply criticism.

Students will be notified of acceptance during the second week of March.