The Foundation attracts outstanding undergraduate students to the University of Virginia through two scholarship programs–the Jefferson Scholars Program and the Walentas Scholars Program.

The Scholarships

Developing leaders, scholars, and citizens for a self-governing people is at the heart of what we do. 

Our two scholarship programs—the Jefferson Scholars Program and the Walentas Scholars Program—cultivate outstanding undergraduate students, providing them with financial support to pursue their passions and develop their talents for the good of the University and beyond.

Both programs provide generous financial packages, enrichment opportunities, and access to the JSF network of Scholars, Fellows, alumni, and volunteers.


The award for the Jefferson Scholarship and the Walentas Scholarship is intended to cover the entire cost of attendance for four years at the University of Virginia, plus coverage of supplemental enrichment experiences.

Total value of the Jefferson or Walentas Scholarship exceeds:

  • $333,000 for non-Virginian students
  • $177,000 for Virginian students

The stipend in 2022–2023 will exceed:

  • $72,000 for non-Virginian students  
  • $36,000 for Virginian students

The stipend includes tuition, fees, books, supplies, room, board, and personal expenses.

Community & Enrichment

Jefferson and Walentas Scholars have an opportunity to network and build relationships with the Foundation’s diverse and accomplished community of Scholars, Fellows, alumni, volunteers, and staff.

The Foundation gives Scholars of both programs opportunities to broaden their horizons through a wide range of enrichment activities, including:

  • Foreign Travel
  • Career Development
  • Institute for Leadership and Citizenship
  • Alumni Connections
  • Exploratory Fund

Selection Process

Jefferson and Walentas Scholarships are awarded to individuals who have undergone a rigorous selection process and who possess an exceptional record of accomplishment both inside and outside the classroom.


No one may apply for a Jefferson or Walentas Scholarship directly. Candidates must be nominated by their high schools based on their demonstrated excellence and exceptional potential in the areas of leadership, scholarship, and citizenship. Walentas Scholars must also be the first or among the first in their families to earn a bachelor’s degree from a four-year college or university.

Currently, nearly 6,000 secondary schools are eligible to nominate for either or both Scholarships.  

Nominations for the Jefferson Scholarship pour in from all corners of the country and globe. In 2021, over 2,100 students from 49 U.S. states and territories and 46 countries were nominated. 

Nominations for the newly established Walentas Scholarship will continue in the fall of 2022 in 14 regions, including throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia, Baltimore, New York City, Rochester, and St. Louis. 


Once nominated, students are placed into regional competitions and may be invited to participate in one or more rounds of interviews. These interviews will determine the regional finalist(s) who will be invited to participate in the final stage of either the Jefferson Scholarship competition or the Walentas Scholarship competition, both of which will take place in March 2023.



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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