The UVA Jefferson Scholarship: Nomination & Selection Process

October 03, 2017

The University of Virginia awards around 30-35 students every year the merit-based UVA Jefferson Scholarship. Students cannot apply directly for the scholarship. Instead, the students must be nominated by eligible high schools in VA.

The Award

The UVA Jefferson Scholarship will cover your entire 4 years at UVA, including coverage of the supplemental enrichment programs that Jefferson Scholars will be offered.

Total value of the scholarship exceeds:

  • $280,000 for non-Virginian students

  • $150,000 for Virginian students

Enrichment Programs

Being a Jefferson Scholar doesn’t just mean getting a full ride to UVA, they also have access to enrichment programs that are designed to support and nurture these students passions and skills. The opportunities include:

  • Team Challenge Program

  • Institute for Leadership and Citizenship

  • Foreign Travel Studies

  • Alumni Connections Program

  • Career Counseling

  • Public Service Fellows

  • Enrichment Dinners and Receptions

Nomination & Selection

There are over 4,500 secondary school that are eligible to nominate students for the regional competition for the Jefferson Scholarship. Each school may nominate one or two student per year from the graduating class.

Once nominated, students are required to go through a selection process. Student nominees will first be placed into regional competitions, and 120 finalists from regionals will be invited to Charlottesville for the Jefferson Scholarship Selection Weekend in late March.

In 2016-2017, 36 Jefferson Scholars emerged from the pool of 2,005 nominees. Click here to learn more about the Jefferson Scholarship. 

Student Insight


University of Virginia ‘20

Small exterior scholarships are always a good idea but many people don’t realize much-larger opportunities available. One of the main reasons (perhaps THE main reason) I chose to attend UVA is because of the Jefferson Scholarship. It not only pays all my college expenses, but also opens up an extremely strong and close-knit group of alumni connections and forges and instant community among the scholars (~35 per year). At my school, we had to apply to be nominated by our counselors for the scholarship. Many students at my school weren’t even aware of this. Other similar scholarships include the Morehead-Cain at UNC and the Robertson, which I believe entails dual-enrollment at UNC and Duke. View the full University of Virginia application file. 


University of Virginia ‘18

Personal Statement Excerpt: 

“If your childhood was anything like mine, you remember endlessly asking your parents “why?” to unravel fundamental truths. You remember transforming your Tyson chicken nuggets and mashed potatoes into a Continental Army troop (nuggets) crossing the icy Delaware River (mashers). If you think back hard enough, your recall chopping up your older sister’s CDs for ducted fans in your latest quadrotor helicopter.” Read his full UVA personal statement.


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About The Author

Frances Wong
Frances Wong

Frances was born in Hong Kong and received her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University. She loves super sad drama television, cooking, and reading. Her favorite person on Earth isn’t actually a member of the AdmitSee team - it’s her dog Cooper.


Browse Successful Application Files

UVA ‘19

Accepted to UVA, JMU, Penn State, USC

I am a first year Kinesiology major at the University of Virginia.
UVA ‘16

Accepted to NYU, UChicago, Harvard, UVA, Drexel, UPenn, UC Berkeley, UCLA, Brown, Princeton, Cornell, Dartmouth

I am 21 year old college transfer student at New York University. I used to attend UVA and major in History and Philosophy.
UVA ‘18

Accepted to UVA, William & Mary

currently a 1st year at UVA
UVA ‘18

Accepted to UVA, Rutgers, Tufts, William & Mary, Northeastern, UConn

I'm a First Year at the University of Virginia, Majoring in Spanish and Economics and planning to earn a Fourth Year MS in Commerce.

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