Success by Design: Adidas Leadership Scholars

The Adidas Leadership Scholars program is designed for incoming KU students who are Pell-grant eligible or first-generation. Scholars are part of a comprehensive four-year leadership and development program involving accelerated coursework, leadership training, experiential learning opportunities, and community mentoring and service. The program will assist scholars by streamlining their educational experience to prepare them to graduate as scholars who can be leaders in their community.

Setting the Pace: Year 1

All Adidas Leadership scholars will receive academic, community, and financial support for their freshman year at KU.  Students will enroll in an intense, hands-on program in the summer months leading up to their freshman year, and will take two credit-bearing college courses, work on team projects (oral and written communication skills), and explore their strengths, and choices in careers and majors. Students will receive individual academic advising, academic success coaching, career coaching, and be connected to peer and community mentors throughout their freshman year. 

Going the Distance: Four to Finish

In the second through fourth years, students participate in on-campus and off-campus experiential learning opportunities, continued leadership development training, opportunities to engage in community and university service, and access to local and global leaders committed to their success.

Moments of Impact: The Benefits

Scholars develop valuable skills in problem solving, professionalism, time management, team building and coordination, communication, and ethical decision-making.  Students also may be eligible to receive summer financial assistance that can apply towards internships, coursework, study abroad, research, or other approved experiences based on their academic year participation and by staying academically on-track in the program.

Two Powerful Partners: KU and Adidas

Founded by abolitionists committed to equal opportunity, KU has a 150+ year history of breaking down barriers and improving access.  Adidas embodies the nobility of business, leveraging the power of sports to improve lives. These two powerful partners have joined together to support first-generation and Pell-grant eligible students through the Adidas Leadership Scholars. Overall, the goal of the program is to provide the financial and academic resources needed to guide students through their educational experience and graduate as scholars who will be leaders in their community. 

Apply Now

*You will need to know your KU Online ID and password in order to access the program application.

KU Core

The KU Core stretches across the undergraduate experience, yielding fundamental skills, building a broad background of knowledge, generating capacities and opportunities for blending and creating ideas, strengthening an appreciation of cultural and global diversity, and cultivating ethical integrity. Each of our six educational goals has one or more distinct learning outcomes. Learn more visit

DEI Strategy

Undergraduate Studies is committed to creating and promoting an inclusive and diverse learning environment, in our offices, through our programming, and throughout our services supporting students. Our leadership team is currently developing a DEI strategy that will guide our efforts across the units. The strategy will be regularly reviewed and adapted to reflect the needs of the community we serve. 

Bold Aspirations

Bold Aspirations is the strategic plan for KU, comprising individual plans for the Lawrence and Edwards campuses and for the medical center. To learn more visit

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times
KU Today