Frequently Asked Questions

An LBJ Women's Campaign School student talks with speaker Dashieka Ruffin, senior advisor, Warnock for Senate

Frequently Asked Questions

How is the LBJ Women's Campaign School different?  
The LBJ Women's Campaign School utilizes the resources of a top 10 academic institution combined with the network of the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library to deliver a world-class curriculum for leaders. This first-of-its-kind curriculum in Texas is bipartisan and issue neutral. We believe that when leaders of differing ideologies come together in the political arena, we can create lasting societal change.

Our program provides a combination of self work, high-impact mentorship, and classroom and virtual learning. Our mentorship program reflects the fact that mentor/mentee relationships can result in a productivity increase of 88%, compared with a 24% increase from training alone. Cohort 5 members will be individually matched with a mentor who is uniquely qualified to guide you on a specific career path or political goal. Our experienced mentors are political experts, highly experienced campaign staff, former and sitting elected officials, and more. Specific mentorship experiences depend on personal mentor/mentee requirements, but all mentors are requested to meet with program participants four to five times over the course of the training, and to provide feedback tailored to your needs.

Why should I attend?  
The LBJ Women's Campaign School will give you all the tools you need to win. You will learn from the nation's top political experts, build a powerful network of leaders, and gain the skills and confidence to take on any challenge. If you are serious about running for office or managing a campaign, apply today to bring your campaign to the next level.

When is Cohort 5 of the LBJ Women's Campaign School?  
If admitted, you will be required to participate in full. Please mark your calendar for these important dates:

In-person training session in Austin

  • May 30-June 1, 2024

Virtual Closing Ceremony and Family Training via Zoom

  • Nov. 16, 2024

Is your program bipartisan?  
Yes. We believe that to promote greater understanding and empathy democracy needs more spaces for bipartisan learning. We are fiercely committed to this principle and believe that great learning happens when you are around people with different views from your own. We ensure that people of both major political parties are involved in our advisory board and faculty, and recruit participants from a range of ideologies.

Is the LBJ Women's Campaign School only for those who identify as women?  
No. The LBJ Women's Campaign School is an inclusive training program with a curriculum geared toward helping communities that are traditionally excluded from the public sphere. People of all gender identities are encouraged to apply.

How much time per month should I set aside for LBJ WCS programming?  
You should plan on setting aside six to eight hours per month for the program. Class sessions are two and a half hours and mentor sessions are one hour, plus networking sessions and homework. The virtual campaign plan competition is more time intensive, and you should plan to set aside time on the weekend and in the evenings during competition week (Oct. 10–21).

Will I receive academic credit for participating?  
No. The purpose of this training program is professional development.

Am I required to participate in full?  
Yes, your participation is heavily subsidized by the philanthropic generosity of our sponsors. If you accept a place in our program, you are required to participate in full.  
 

Tuition Costs:

What is the cost to participate?  
Tuition cost is $1,750.

We encourage change-makers to fundraise for their tuition. This will give you a window into the world of political fundraising. If you choose to fundraise for your tuition, you will be invited to a bonus political fundraising class with a fundraising expert. If you are unable to fundraise your tuition, we also have scholarships available based on financial need. Our financial aid form is built into our application. If you have any questions, please see our financial aid FAQ section under the "apply" tab or please contact Executive Director Amy Kroll: lbjwcs@austin.utexas.edu. We work hard fundraising year-round to ensure that cost is never a barrier to participation.

Everyone who participates benefits from subsidized tuition funded by our donors. The actual cost to run the program is over $3,000 per person. Through grants, fundraisers, and sponsorships, we are able to subsidize tuition for 100% of participants, bringing the tuition price down to $1,750.

Competitive, Full-Tuition Grants from the Jane Nelson Institute for Women's Leadership (JNIWL) at Texas Woman's University (TWU)

What are the full-tuition grants from JNIWL?   
The Jane Nelson Institute for Women's Leadership is providing full-tuition grants on a competitive basis for Texas residents admitted into the LBJ Women's Campaign School. These grants, like admission to the program, require that you complete the program in full. This includes all homework assignments, virtual, and in-person classes.

Who is eligible for the full tuition grants from Texas Woman's University?  
To be eligible for the grants from Texas Woman's University you must be a Texas resident. Full-time undergraduate and graduate students, precinct chairs, current candidates and current elected officials are not eligible for this grant.

If you are a Texas resident accepted to the LBJ Women's Campaign School, you will be asked to fill out an additional application for the grant, which includes a check request form, W-9, direct deposit form, and a signed letter of acceptance that designates the rules of the grant and that youaccept them. Additionally, you cannot have a hold on your account by the State of Texas to be eligible for the grant. If you have questions about a potential hold on your account, please contact the Texas Comptroller's office. If you have questions about your eligibility, please email Amy Kroll: lbjwcs@austin.utexas.edu.  
 

Qualifications:

What kind of experience is necessary for the program?  
It is important that all change-makers have meaningful professional experience. This program is not designed for entry-level staff, but rather for those who are ready to run or serve as senior campaign staff in the next one to three years. We know that elected officials and senior campaign staff can come from a wide variety of backgrounds. We are looking for applicants with demonstrated leadership, a civic-minded outlook, a connection to their community, and strong communication skills.

What are we looking for from applicants?  
Successful applicants will have the following characteristics:

  • Civic-minded and committed to public service: Uses her voice and her time to lift up those around her, votes, volunteers and has the capacity to lead toward meaningful change.
  • Significant, meaningful experience: has demonstrated success in her career or other aspects of her life, is ready to lead.
  • Can apply what she learns in the program: has clearly defined goals for running for office or staffing a campaign in the next one to three years (i.e., running or managing a 2025, 2026, or 2027 race).
  • Skilled communicator: Inspires those around her through her communication skills, authenticity, and vision.

Is a college degree a requirement of the program?  
No. However, the application is highly selective, so applicants must demonstrate meaningful experience.

Can current candidates apply for the LBJ Women's Campaign School?  
No. If you have currently declared that you are running for public office, you are not eligible to apply for the LBJ Women's Campaign School. For the purpose of the 2024 class, this means that if you have officially declared your candidacy by early March 2024, you are not eligible to apply. This program is designed for those planning to run for office or manage campaigns in the 2025, 2026, or 2027 election cycles.

Are current office holders eligible to apply for the LBJ Women's Campaign School?  
Yes. If you are a current office holder who is not actively seeking reelection, you are eligible to apply for the LBJ Women's Campaign School.  
 

Application and Selection:

What is required in the application?  
Applicants must submit the application form online, including one letter of recommendation. The letter should indicate support for your run for office or senior campaign staff ambitions. We ask you to share your story (written or via video), goals, diverse life experience, resume, connection to your community, and political experience.

What is a letter of recommendation?    
This is a letter that your chosen reference will submit via a link they receive by email from LBJWCS. It is part of your complete online application, and our admissions committee will review it along with your other application materials. Letters of recommendation will include short answers to the following questions, as well as a multiple choice section rating the applicant's public service, leadership, and communication skills.

  1. In what capacity do you know the applicant? (300 characters)
  2. What would make this applicant an excellent candidate or campaign manager? (1,000 characters)
  3. Our program is designed to build the skills necessary to run for office or manage campaigns. With this in mind, what aspect of the applicant's leadership needs the most improvement and why? (1,000 characters)

When are applications due, and when will I be notified of admittance to the program?   
Applications are now open. The Round 1 deadline is Dec. 1. The Round 2 deadline has been extended until Feb. 19, 2024. There is financial aid available for both rounds. We will notify the members of Cohort 5 on March 4, 2024.  
 

Nominations:

Can I nominate a woman to apply?   
We are not accepting nominations at this time. But please write to that one woman you know who should consider running for office and tell her about our program. Send her an email; here is a draft modified from our partners at She Should Run:

I heard about this program at The University of Texas at Austin called the LBJ Women's Campaign School and thought of you. I think you are (adjective) and I believe you have what it takes to make a difference in your community. I hope you will consider (running for office/ becoming a campaign manager). You have one vote already. Mine.

Your friend,  

(Your name)