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Frequently Asked Questions


Who is eligible to apply for Alumni Leadership Academy?
Students who have completed an Economics for Leaders (EFL), Economics for Leaders Virtual (EFL Virtual), Economic Forces in American History (EFAH)Entrepreneurship in the Global Economy (EGE), or Environment & the Economy program in 2020 – 2022 and have not started their first year of college. Students who will attend one of these programs in 2023 prior to the start of ALA are also eligible to apply, but may be placed on a waitlist until admission status is confirmed.


What are the application requirements?
All students will need to log into their Self Service Center to start the application. A short answer response is required. A $35 non-refundable processing fee is also charged at the time of submission. Alumni status will be confirmed for eligibility. Space in the program is limited to 25 participants. 


When will I know if I have been admitted?
Alumni will be notified of their admission status via email within three weeks of their application being marked complete. To check on the status of your application, you can always log into the Self-Service Center here. 


How will I be notified? 
We will notify alumni of their admission status through email. Please be sure to provide an email that you check frequently! Your notification email will also provide directions and a link for you to access your portal. 

It is your responsibility to follow the email directions and complete the additional enrollment forms in your portal before the enrollment deadline stated in your acceptance letter. You will also be prompted to submit your program payment at the same time. 


How much does it cost to attend Alumni Leadership Academy? 
Alumni participants are financially responsible for a $1,000 program fee, travel to and from the site, lunch while on an excursion, and any other personal incidental costs. The program fee includes room and board onsite at the college campus as well as transportation to program activities.


Does FTE offer financial assistance? 
Yes! Scholarship funding is available. Visit our Costs & Scholarships page for more details about scholarship assistance. 


How can I pay the program fee?
Accepted applicants can pay online with a credit card (Visa, MasterCard, or American Express). Payment directions can be found by logging in to your Self Service Center account. 


Can I arrive late or leave early? 
No. All students are required to be in attendance for the entire program. Students should plan to arrive on campus for check in between 2 – 4 pm on the program start date. Exceptions are made to the check-in time for travel delays only. Students should plan to check out on the morning of the program end date between 8 – 11 am. 


What if I need to cancel?
If you cancel by May 19, 2023, you are eligible to have 50% of the paid program fee refunded to you. Refunds will not be offered for cancellations after May 19th. 


Can I earn college credit for Alumni Leadership Academy?
No.  The Alumni Leadership Academy is not eligible for college credit.


Who will be the on-site staff?
Participants are under the supervision of an Economics Instructor, Student Administrator (SA), and Program Coordinators (PC). The SA oversees the students and the leadership instruction. The instructor, along with special guest speakers, will conduct the economic classroom sessions. The SA and PC’s are housed in the residence facilities with the students.


Where do participants stay while at Alumni Leadership Academy? 
Participants stay in dormitories on the campus of American University. Dorm rooms are most often a traditional set-up – two participants of the same gender per room, with a communal bathroom down the hall. If the site has a different set-up (i.e. suite style), you will be notified in the orientation materials provided approximately four weeks before the start of the program. Students may be placed in a single room without notification due to gender split of program participants and/or dorm availability on campus. Roommates are randomly assigned based on gender and are not shared in advance of the program. 


What is included in the dorm rooms? 
Dorm rooms include a bed, closet, desk, and chair. Linens are provided for the week and include a set of sheets, blanket, pillow, and pillowcase, as well as a bath towel and hand towel. We encourage participants to bring a sweatshirt or sweater as air-conditioned dorms can become cool at night (and dorm rooms sometimes do not have individual thermostats). You are welcome to bring extra towels or blankets if you wish. 

Additional items such as fans and refrigerators are not included in the dorm rooms. If you have a medical reason for such an item, please contact us at admissions@fte.org to inform us of the situation as early as possible and see what accommodations might be made. 


What if I have a special dietary restriction?
Please indicate this information when filling out your enrollment forms. We will work with the program site to make sure that any dietary needs, including food allergies, will be accommodated. 


What is the curriculum focus?
The program is an extension of economic reasoning learned in other FTE student programs to contemporary and historical leadership and decision-making. Program sessions, both in the classroom, and throughout DC, build on the economics and leadership topics taught in our student programs.


What is the dress code?
Casual summer clothing may be worn. However, attention to modesty and decorum consistent with serious academic purpose and visits to government offices, museums, and other public institutions is required. Tank tops, revealing shorts, and clothing that show bare stomachs should be left at home. Bring comfortable shoes. All students should be prepared to walk a great deal between subway stops, classrooms, and public institutions and should be prepared for heat and/or rain. Business attire may be required for one ore more activity. Specific requirements mandated by particular activities will be included in orientation materials.


How do I get to American University? 
All transportation arrangements to and from the program site are the student’s responsibility. FTE does not provide a specific shuttle/bus to pick students up from airports, train station or transit hubs at any sites. FTE recommends waiting to purchase airfare until 2-4 weeks before your program starts. FTE is not responsible for any flight cancellations or airline fees. 

If air travel is necessary, there are three area airports that include Reagan National Airport (DCA), Dulles International Airport (IAD), and Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI). Students should ideally arrange their flights to arrive at the destination airport around lunchtime on the first day of the program – this provides enough time to pick up any checked luggage and eat lunch before travelling to American University by check-in time, which is any time between 2 – 4 PM on Monday afternoon. Best options include the Metro, Uber, taxis and Super Shuttle. The closest Metro station is the Tenleytown-AU stop on the Redline. From the station, students can take the AU shuttle that is located on the corner of 40th St. NW and Albemarle St. NW in front of Whole Foods.

While we realize that solo long-distance travel is intimidating for some students and families, FTE also considers this process a necessary part of learning about the independence and initiative skills that our programs encourage. We’ve found that students who manage their ground transportation on their own (with parents just a cell phone call away, of course) return home with a gratifying sense of independence and accomplishment that helps prepare them for college! 


Where will classes be held?
The program is not confined just to American University. Participants will travel to various location “classrooms”, including many of Washington D.C.’s museums and monuments.


How will I get to the different “classrooms” during the program?
At check-in, participants will be given a pre-loaded DC Metro (subway) card for travel to other venues.


What are the COVID-19 modifications for the Leadership Academy?
Our participants’ health and safety is of the utmost concern. FTE will be following all guidelines required by the college, county and Washington, D.C. Updates to these policies will be available as the program date approaches and current health guidelines are known.