The Jefferson and Walentas Scholarship Programs encompass so much more than simply receiving a check every semester.

To help build a strong sense of community and to enhance all Scholars’ experiences at UVA as leaders, scholars, and citizens, the Foundation offers a comprehensive set of enrichment opportunities.

Institute for Leadership & Citizenship

In the summer after their first year, all Scholars participate in a two-week Institute for Leadership and Citizenship designed to foster a deeper appreciation for the art of leadership and the importance of citizenship. Designed by the Foundation and held on the Grounds of the University, the Institute features in-class workshops, group discussions, a service-learning project, seminars and independent exploration. 

Travel Studies

During the summer prior to their third year, all Scholars are invited to participate in a foreign travel/study experience through one of the many opportunities provided by the University’s International Studies Office. Following the structured program, each Scholar has the opportunity to undertake an independently designed inquiry into a topic of personal interest.

Alumni Connections 

Every year, hundreds of Scholars receive mentoring, advice, and shadowing opportunities from members of the JSF community. The Foundation invites all Scholars to join a custom online platform, where they can interact with and meet other members of the JSF community, including current Scholars and Fellows, faculty, alumni, and volunteers. Foundation staff are also happy to make introductions, when appropriate.

Career Development

All Scholars have the opportunity to participate in a career services program that offers one-to-one career exploration, guidance, and interview opportunities. In addition, the Foundation provides funding to Scholars who secure an unpaid internship during their time at UVA.

Exploratory Fund

To help support the creativity and innovation of all Scholars, the Foundation invites them to apply for merit-based seed funding to implement cutting-edge ideas that create sustainable social, cultural, or economic change. New commercial or philanthropic enterprises within or outside the University are eligible for funding consideration.


The Foundation hosts a number of speakers, panels, and conferences throughout the academic year that offer Scholars an opportunity to engage with and hear from a wide range of prominent faculty, alumni, government officials, and business leaders. Read about previous speakers.



The Jefferson Scholarship and the Walentas Scholarship are the premier undergraduate scholarships at the University of Virginia.

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The Foundation supports world-class graduate students through Jefferson Fellowships and National Fellowships.

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Distinguished Professorships

Learn more about the Foundation’s Professorship Program.

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