Program Overview

Aspire Leaders Program: Something-for-Everyone Experience

Aspire Leaders Program

Candidates for the program receive a host of academic and professional development resources through a tiered application structure that reaches thousands of students globally.

Extended Leadership Opportunities

Professional and Academic Grants, Community Action Awards, and Mentorship opportunities available for students that complete stage five during a full year after the immersive online classroom experience.

Who is it for? 

This program is for students who are from backgrounds of social and financial adversity. All applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • First-generation to attend university, meaning their parents did not complete an undergraduate degree
  • Low-income background
  • Ages 18-26

For more details about eligibility, please see the FAQ.

What are the program opportunities?

Through the program, students will:

  • Gain access to fully-funded HarvardX courses and leadership development tools.
  • Participate in live seminars with Harvard and world-class faculty.
  • Exchange ideas in a virtual classroom with a global community of peers.

Am I eligible if I am in 2022 Cycle One?

If you applied to the 2022 Cycle One program and were invited to Stage 1, then you were eligible for the Aspire Leaders Program. If you were not able to continue and complete Stage 1 or any other stage, then you are welcome to apply again for Cycle Two.

If you progressed to Stage 2 or Stage 3 of the 2022 Cycle One program then we encourage you to continue taking HarvardX courses and attending faculty seminars while they are available. Congratulations! You have already learned and gained so much. If you do not continue to Stage 4 and/or Stage 5 then you can apply again in 2023.


Applications for Aspire Leaders Program Cycle One closed on March 15, 2022 and applications open for Aspire Leaders Program Cycle Two open on April 18, 2022. The Early Action Deadline is May 18. Apply early to receive priority access to each stage of the program. The final application deadline for Aspire Leaders Program Cycle Two is June 15. Students who apply and are eligible will begin moving through the stages. Whether students complete one stage or all five, they will gain skills and certificates along the way. The Aspire Leaders Program is competitive, and we strongly encourage you to submit the application early.

Once accepted to the Aspire Leaders Program, students will continue through a multi-stage selection process, culminating in the finalist program in June or October, delivered virtually.

What are the outcomes?

Aspire Institute’s leadership development offerings will tangibly support the next steps of your journey as a young leader. The Aspire alumni network is a dynamic and diverse group spanning countries around the world. Membership in this group provides access to regional cohorts and affinity networks.


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