Frequently Asked Questions
How can I verify that all of my application materials have been received?
Please return to the online application main page after submitting your application. After you enter your username and password a materials checklist will appear detailing whether or not our office has received your application materials.
Whom should I ask to write recommendations?
You should ask someone that knows you well and who you believe will give you a strong letter of recommendation attesting to your character and capabilities. Though you may submit non-academic recommendations, two (2) should be from academic personnel.
I am interested in LA-STEM, but I don't meet the minimum GPA or ACT/SAT requirement. What other opportunities does LSU have available for me?
Louisiana State University offers a variety of scholarships and aid to students. Please visit the Office of Student Aid and Scholarships website for more information.
Am I guaranteed acceptance if I meet the minimum requirements?
No, the LA-STEM Research Scholars Program has a competitive application process in which all aspects of a student's application will be considered.
Will my research sample be returned?
No, all submitted materials become the property of the LA-STEM Research Scholars Program and will not be returned.
What if I have more honors and awards, organization memberships, community service, or mentoring experiences than there is room on the application?
Please choose a sampling of the items that are most recent, most important to you, and for which your commitment was the greatest. Also, make sure that you have not cross-listed any experiences (e.g. mentoring and community service).
What if I don't have enough honors and awards, organization memberships, community service, or mentoring experiences to fill the application?
The application was designed to accommodate a variety of students with different experiences. You are not expected to fill every space on every list.
What if I have plans for the dates listed for Selection Weekend?
Unfortunately, because of the unique nature of our interview process, we will be unable to conduct interviews outside of the dates listed. If your plans are flexible, we invite you to apply.
Can I save my work on the application and come back to it later?
Yes. When you begin the application, you will register with a username and password that will allow you to return to your unfinished application at a later time. Once your application has been submitted, you will be unable to access it again
I already submitted an ACT score report to LSU Admissions. Do I need to send another report to LA-STEM?
Yes. LA-STEM does not receive score reports from admissions. Please note that a photocopy of your report is acceptable.
Is the LA-STEM Research Scholars Program open only to minorities?
No. The LA-STEM Research Scholars Program is open to all students who are committed to promoting diversity in the STEM disciplines and meet the other minimum requirements.
Why hasn't my school nominated me for the LA-STEM Research Scholars Program?
Although your school may not have heard about the program or realized that you were eligible, you may download a nomination form and ask a teacher, counselor, or principal to nominate you by completing the form and submitting it by fax or mail.
Can I submit a paper application?
If you prefer a paper application, please contact us, and we'd be happy to send you one.
I anticipate receiving scholarship funds from several sources. Will this affect my LA-STEM award?
It may. The total amount of funding that a student may receive is limited to LSU's cost of attendance. If you suspect that the total amount of all scholarships awarded to you will exceed the cost of attendance, please contact the Office of Student Aid and Scholarships.
Is the award guaranteed for four years?
No. With the fulfillment of various program requirements, students may receive the award for multiple years
Will I receive a stipend during OSI Summer Bridge?
No. Your financial award for the Summer Bridge Program includes tuition, room and board, and some funding for books. The LA-STEM stipend is only offered during the academic year.
Will I receive a room and board award if I live off-campus?
No. Students who live off-campus forfeit their room and board award, but their stipends are increased by $500 per year. Only students who have completed the first year of the program may live off-campus.
Appointment as a LA-STEM Research Scholar
If I am appointed as a LA-STEM Research Scholar, what requirements will I need to fulfill to maintain my appointment?
In order to maintain your appointment, you must complete the OSI Summer Bridge Program. Academic-year requirements include, but are not limited to, (1) attending regular mentoring meetings with program staff, (2) completing the applicable courses in the UC0050-UC0080 series, (3) maintaining a cumulative 3.5 GPA, (4) conducting undergraduate research, and (5) participating in community service activities.
What if I have summer plans that conflict with OSI Summer Bridge?
OSI Summer Bridge is required for all LA-STEM Scholars. If you have questions about the extent to which your plans will conflict with OSI Summer Bridge, please contact us.
Can I hold a job and attend OSI Summer Bridge?
We do not recommend students' having a job during Summer Bridge, though there may be some exceptions for on-campus research positions with few hours and flexible schedules. We expect that during Summer Bridge, academics will be your first priority and program activities your second.
Is doing research in later summers a requirement?
Yes, each subsequent summer after appointment, students are expected to secure a position to do undergraduate research. This requirement may be fulfilled by continuing the research that they began during the academic year or by securing a research position with a summer program at another university.
What kind of time commitment will I need to dedicate to LA-STEM during the academic year?
During the academic year, you will need to enroll in the applicable course from the UC0050-UC0080 series and complete the assignments for the course. You will also be expected to attend meetings, perform undergraduate research, meet with your peer mentor/mentee, and participate in community service activities. We estimate the time commitment to be about 5-6 hours per week not including the research aspect, which will vary depending on your lab and project.
What if I am unsure of my intended major?
Appointment as a LA-STEM Research Scholar is only available to students in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) disciplines. If you are sure that your major will be STEM, but unsure which specific discipline, please include that with your application. If you are unsure whether or not your major will be STEM, you may apply and keep us updated, but only students who have informed us of their decisions to become STEM majors will be accepted into the program.
Do I have to join the Honors College?
LA-STEM Scholars are given automatic admission into the Honors College. However, you are not obligated to join the Honors College. We recommend fully researching the Honors College opportunity and meeting with a counselor there before deciding either way.
Will I have to live on-campus?
You will have to live on-campus for the OSI Summer Bridge Program and for your first year as a LA-STEM Research Scholar. After the first year, you may live anywhere on-campus, including the East and West Campus Apartments, or off-campus, but your room and board award only applies towards on-campus housing and may not fully cover the cost of living in the East or West Campus Apartments.