MBA - Tuition and Financial Aid - Competitive Scholarships

Distinguished Scholars Program: Competitive Scholarships

Darden offers seven distinguished scholarship programs some with external organizations — that award scholarships through a competitive application or process designed to identify MBA candidates who demonstrate outstanding academic achievement, professional accomplishments and high promise as responsible leaders with the potential to contribute to the life of the Darden community and the world at large.

Less than 10 percent of the student body receives these prestigious scholarships, which offer up to the full cost of attendance and in some cases are awarded by or in partnership with an organization independent of the University of Virginia. Acceptance of these scholarships requires a binding commitment to enrolling in the Darden School. 

Consideration for these scholarships, which provide up to the cost of full attendance, are available through a supplemental application process.

New! The Oculus Fellowships

These prestigious fellowships, awarded by the Darden School for the first time in the academic year 2020-21, recognize outstanding academic ability and leadership potential. Named for the Oculus — the circular opening at the apex of the Dome Room in the Rotunda — the fellowships represent the illumination that outstanding students and their ideas bring to the University and to the Darden School.


New! Breakthrough Scholars

The Breakthrough Scholars program is a competitive scholarship initiative designed to foster a new generation of diverse leadership in private equity, venture capital (VC) and other areas of asset management. Through this new program, the Darden School Foundation will select an annual cohort of up to 12 Breakthrough Scholars.


New! Impact Fellows

The Impact Fellows program will support an annual cohort of top Full-Time MBA students from diverse backgrounds in their Darden journeys with a variety of carefully tailored mentorship and leadership development programming involving Darden alumni, faculty, fellow students and staff. Through the Darden School Foundation, exceptional candidates identified through the Admissions process will be invited to compete for the award.


Jefferson Fellowships

Awarded by the Jefferson Scholars Foundation, an independent and merit-based scholarship and fellowship program at the University of Virginia, the Jefferson Fellowships are granted to the most exceptional candidates from anywhere in the world who demonstrate qualities such as ethical leadership, diplomatic decisiveness, a track record of putting ideas into action and a superb record of academic achievement.


Batten Scholars

Darden’s Batten Institute awards scholarships to outstanding, high-potential candidates in three areas: entrepreneurship, technology and innovation.

  • Batten Entrepreneurial Scholars show evidence of having led or helped build a new enterprise and ambition for future entrepreneurial endeavors
  • Batten Technology Scholars show evidence of exemplary entrepreneurial and innovative impact within the technology sector and a commitment to technological innovation in future endeavors
  • Batten Innovation Scholars dare to challenge how things have always been done and show past experience in value-driven innovation and a strategy or idea for pursuing responsible innovation in the future


Stamps Scholars

The Stamps Scholars Program, in partnership with the Darden School, awards Stamps Fellowships based on merit and a record of exemplifying such core values as leadership, perseverance, scholarship, service and innovation. Selected students demonstrate a superior level of readiness to share their perspectives in the classroom; get involved with the School, the University of Virginia and the surrounding community; and make an overall leadership impact in society.


Lemuel E. Lewis Bicentennial Award for Global Leadership

This scholarship founded by Darden alumnus Lem Lewis (MBA ’72) recognizes students who have improved the community by demonstrating a commitment to increase inclusiveness among various economic, political, religious and social groups. The scholarship offers two awards: an annual award to a Second Year student and a bi-annual award to a First Year student (the next First Year will be announced in 2022). Meet the 2019 award winner and the two 2020 award winners.


McGowan Fellows Program

The McGowan Fellows Program supports a full-tuition scholarship to one Second Year student who is in the top five percent of the First Year class and who demonstrates leadership experience through a competitive application process. Supported by the William G. McGowan Charitable Fund, the selected fellow participates in a host of experiential leadership development opportunities throughout the year with fellows from nine other top business schools. The purpose of the McGowan Fellows Program is to build and support a community of emerging business leaders who embody the McGowan principles of ethical leadership and will favorably contribute to a fair and just society for all.


Batten Media Fellowships

Frank Batten, who was chairman of the Associated Press, CEO of Landmark Communications and founder of The Weather Channel, established the Batten Media Fellowships in 1988 to invite professionals who have worked in the news media for at least three years the opportunity to pursue an MBA.