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.

Scholar Summit

Walentas Scholars and first-generation First-Year Jefferson Scholars attend a Summit at the Foundation, where they can build community and college knowledge prior to attending UVA orientation.

College Transition Workshop

A First-Year Scholar community bonding conversation during the first week of arrival on Grounds. The workshop covers topics such as common experiences in the transition to college and includes community-building activities among the cohort.

J-Term/May Courses

Scholars may participate in one of UVA’s J-Term Courses offered every January. These unique interdisciplinary classes offer close interactions, field experiences, and small classes on topics of current interest or through undergraduate research seminars.

ModernGuild Accelerators

ModernGuild is a network of successful industry experts, thought leaders, and mentors with a mission to guide students to reach their full potential. ModernGuild’s four-week Accelerators consist of one-on-one mentorship to help Scholars investigate different career paths, learn practical real-world skills, and network with industry professionals to improve job candidacy.

Academy for Inner Leadership

Designed for social entrepreneurs and intentional leaders, this experiential retreat goes beyond wellbeing to explore mindfulness as a design tool, leverage wisdom for good, and learn more fully what deep social transformation requires on a systemic and global level. Scholars form profound bonds as they gain skillsets needed to embark on a lifetime of engaged citizenship.

Institute for Leadership and Citizenship

All rising Second-Year Scholars participate in a multi-day Institute for Leadership and Citizenship before the start of the academic year. The Institute fosters a deeper appreciation for the art of leadership and the importance of citizenship. Designed by and held at the Foundation, the Institute features in-class workshops, group discussions, community exploration, seminars, public-speaking development, and independent exploration.

Travel Study

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 ISO program, each Scholar can design and undertake an independent inquiry into a topic of personal interest while traveling abroad.

Oxford Semester Abroad

Scholars can pursue a semester abroad during the academic year, through an application to the Visiting Student Programme held by St. Anne’s College at the University of Oxford. This is an intense semester of academic study in the famed tutorial system at Oxford. It is an immersive semester at St. Anne’s that includes participation in courses, extracurricular experiences, and programmatic events with
the opportunity for further travel in the United Kingdom and beyond.

Professional Development Fund

The Foundation provides up to $4,000 to support those Scholars who wish to explore fields of employment through internships, conference attendance, and other opportunities.

Exploratory Fund

The Foundation’s Exploratory Fund provides merit-based funding for Scholars and Fellows who have entrepreneurial ideas capable of creating sustainable social, cultural, or economic change within or outside the University.


The Jefferson Scholars Foundation’s Network provides an opportunity for Scholars and alumni to connect with each other based on shared affinities and professional experiences. Alumni on the platform have volunteered to serve as a resource to any interested members of the JSF community, providing insights, advice, and time with no strings attached. In the first three years of uptime, over 800 connections have been made on the platform alone.

Fellow-Scholar Research Opportunities

Jefferson and National Fellows offer undergraduate research opportunities to current Scholars, providing mentorship and insight into the world of academia. Opportunities are shared at the beginning of each semester, and often involve presentation experience at conferences and poster sessions.