The Jefferson Scholars Foundation attracts the most promising leaders, scholars, and citizens in the world to the University of Virginia.

The Scholarship

Developing leaders for a self-governing people is at the heart of what we do. Since 1980, the Jefferson Scholarship Program has been cultivating outstanding undergraduate students, providing them with the financial support to pursue their passions and develop their talents for the good of the University and beyond.


The award 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 Scholarship exceeds:

  • $293,000 for non-Virginian students
  • $157,000 for Virginian students

The stipend in 2020–2021 will exceed:

  • $68,000 for non-Virginian students  
  • $34,000 for Virginian students

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


During your four years as a Scholar, you’ll broaden your horizons through a wide range of enrichment opportunities, including: 

  • Foreign Travel Studies
  • Career Counseling
  • Public Service Fellows
  • Team Challenge Program
  • Institute for Leadership and Citizenship
  • Alumni Connections Program
  • Dinners and Receptions


Build relationships as you connect with our diverse and accomplished community of Scholars, Graduate Fellows, staff, and alumni.

Selection Process

Awarded solely on the basis of merit, Jefferson Scholarships are granted to candidates who have undergone a rigorous selection process.


No one may apply for a Jefferson Scholarship directly. For regional competitions, a prospective Scholar must be nominated by his or her school (eligible schools may nominate one or two students per year from the senior class). Currently, more than 5,000 secondary schools are eligible to nominate in the regional competitions.

Nominations for the Scholarship pour in from all corners of the country and globe. In 2019, over 2,000 students from 41 U.S. states and 42 countries were nominated. The depth and diversity of talent to consider ensures the presence of a group of Scholars who will sharpen and challenge each other—and the University at large.


Once nominated, students are placed into regional competitions, which will determine the 120 finalists who will be invited to participate in the Jefferson Scholarship Selection Event in late March. 

In 2019-2020, 32 Jefferson Scholars emerged from the pool of more than 2,000 nominees.



The Jefferson Scholarship is the premier undergraduate scholarship at the University of Virginia. Scholars are selected through a rigorous selection process that is based on exceptional performance in the areas of leadership, scholarship, and citizenship.

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The Jefferson Fellowship is the premier graduate fellowship offered at the University of Virginia. Based solely on merit, the Fellowship seeks to attract Ph.D. and M.B.A. candidates.

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