1.   General Questions

At what age is my child eligible to attend?

  • Students must be entering 9th grade or have just completed 12th grade

  • Students 13-19 years of age on July 26, 2020

Discerning the most appropriate age to send a student is up to the parent, depending on the student’s maturity level and whether or not they can handle the rigorous schedule and challenging curriculum.

What is the average age of first-time students?

First-time students vary in age from 13 to 19. The first-year students are split into committees and caucuses, and each group is purposely made up of students of all ages, so no one group has any advantage over another during debates on Friday.

What are the housing arrangements?

We house everyone – students, staff, and volunteers, in the men's and women's dorms of the University of Northwestern. LEAD assigns dorm rooms by biological gender. 

Do you assign dorm rooms?

YES. LEAD does assign dorm rooms. When students arrive on Sunday, they will be directed to their assigned dorm room and will be entrusted with a key for their room. If a student loses their dorm room key, a $50 fee will be charged to that student, payable to Minnesota Family Institute. 2-3 students are assigned to each room. When submitting registrations, students may request to room with other students who are registered. We will do our best to accommodate students' roommate requests but cannot guarantee that these requests will be met.

What if I need to contact my child during the week?

We provide every family with emergency numbers they can use to contact LEAD Staff. Students may not have cell phones in the main session building. Volunteers carry phones in case of emergency.

What if my child is reluctant or does not want to attend LEAD?

This is a common question, because LEAD is very unique and the experience is very different than what most teens expect. The vast majority of teens who did not want to attend were glad their parents registered them and returned the following year. As one alumnus said: “My dad talked me into coming. Next year, I’m going to talk my dad into letting me come!!”  -Shaohannah E.  

2.    Track Eligibility

HOUSE Track - First-year students participate in the House Track

SENATE Track - Second+ year students participate in the Senate Track

MEDIA Track - Third Year Students OR Alumni Upper Classmen. Students must also complete an additional Media Track Application (emailed to Media Track applicants after registration).

MOCK TRIAL Track - Third Year Students OR Alumni Upper Classmen.

3.    Location

Where is LEAD held?

University of Northwestern St. Paul 3003 Snelling Avenue N. - St. Paul, MN 55113

Most activities are held in the air-conditioned campus buildings. Students also participate in activities on the campus grounds.

For other activities, students are transported by bus 2-3 times during the week to the Capitol Complex in St. Paul and other professional venues for Media Track students.

4.    Chaperones & Aide-De-Camps

Since many parents want to see our programs first-hand, chaperones are often parents of participating students. Students who have graduated out of the program may also return as aide-de-camps.  If you are interested in volunteering visit the bottom of our Registration Page.

5.    Financial Aid

How does financial aid work?

LEAD is a project of the Minnesota Family Institute, a non-profit, faith-based, educational organization that depends upon the generosity of donors for all of our needs, including financial aid. You MUST be registered for LEAD in order to be considered for Financial Aid.

Do As Much As You Can:

We encourage all financial aid applicants to pay as much of the full registration cost as possible. Many families have approached their church and even civic organizations for sponsorship. In addition, some students do fund-raisers and odd jobs to earn money to attend LEAD. It’s amazing how creative they get – babysitting, shoveling snow, raking leaves, mowing lawns, and part-time jobs. Some students earn enough to pay their whole way.

First-Time Financial Aid Recipients: 
In addition to the $100 deposit, we require a minimum payment of $75 per recipient. 

Previous Financial Aid Recipients: 
In addition to the $100 deposit, we require a minimum payment of $175 for each repeat recipient. 

How Do I Apply for Financial Aid? 

  • Register and pay the required $100 deposit. (Mail-In registrations and Financial Aid applications should be mailed in simultaneously.)

  • Apply for financial aid by mail.

Notification of Financial Aid 
Applicants will be notified of financial aid once it has been determined that sufficient funds are in place to meet the request. Students will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis. June 1st is our target date for informing all applicants - however, decisions may be handed out earlier. 

Special Circumstances
If you are in extreme circumstances and feel you are unable to attend LEAD because of the minimum required payment, please contact us. We want to do all we can to work with you in your situation.

6.    Deposits/Payment

Can I send in my registration without a deposit and still save my space?

No. Because of demand, if we don’t have a registration with a deposit ($100), we cannot hold a spot.

Should I send the full payment right away, or do I need to send only the $100 deposit?

Please send as much as you can, as soon as you can. If you cannot pay in full right away, note that all balances are due by July 17th.

What is the Cancellation/Refund Policy?

LEAD understands that students may, at times, be unable to attend after they have registered. All refund checks are mailed approximately 2-3 weeks after LEAD. Due to costly administrative commitments, the fee deadlines and refunds will be as follows:

July 17, 2020 - Full registration payment due

July 1, 2020 - Deadline for partial refund - Refund will be amount paid minus $100 administration fee. No refund after this date.

NOTE: If a student is dismissed as a result of disciplinary action or leaves to go home for any reason (illness, etc.) during his/her week at LEAD, no refund will be issued. Likewise, no one may attend in his/her place.

6.    LEAD Confirmation Packet

Are there any documents that I have to read or fill out before camp besides the registration form?

Yes. Multiple documents are included in the LEAD Confirmation Packet. ALL students and parents/guardians are REQUIRED to completely read the packet in order to attend LEAD. Forms 3-4 must be signed and mailed to Minnesota Family Institute by July 17th:

1.    Confirmation Letter (read with your student and keep for your reference)
2.    Policies and Procedures (read with your student and keep for your reference)
3.    Student Covenant (student signature needed)
4.    Permissions & Liability, and Medical Releases (parent/ student signatures and copy of student’s insurance card needed)

Where is my LEAD confirmation packet?

After completing the registration process, you should have received an email with an attached LEAD Confirmation Packet. If you did not receive this packet after registration, please email us at LEAD@mfc.org and we will send it to you.

Where do I send my completed LEAD Confirmation Packet?

Attn: LEAD
Minnesota Family Institute
2855 Anthony Lane S - Suite 150
Minneapolis, MN 55418