Competitive Scholarships

MBA - Tuition and Financial Aid - Competitive Scholarships - Breakthrough Scholars

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. In its initial year, the Breakthrough Scholars program will be open to students applying to the Full-Time MBA and Executive MBA programs at the Darden School of Business. The Darden School Foundation plans to award students who have a demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion with potential to break through in areas that are traditionally not sectors associated with diversity and inclusion, and where new leadership would be important and impactful.

The Award

Members of the cohort will be awarded merit-based scholarships from the Foundation, and access to other relevant programs and resources being offered to interested Darden students including:

  • Comprehensive curricular and co-curricular offerings from the Richard A. Mayo Center for Asset Management, the Batten Institute and the Darden Venture Capital Initiative enabling education, professional development and practical experience across a range of verticals within asset management
  • Network and mentoring from current industry professionals
  • A suite of elective courses to best develop industry-relevant skills and expertise
  • Access to career programs and unparalleled internship experiences with notable VC and private equity firms through the Batten Venture Internship Program, Mayo Center for Asset Management Fellowship program and the newly created Darden Venture Fellows program
  • A private equity or VC industry-related independent study overseen by a Darden faculty expert

Supporting Inclusive Excellence

Each year, the Darden School Foundation selects and awards highly selective scholarships for women and under-represented minorities; that range from partial tuition stipends to full tuition and fees. The Breakthrough Scholars program is part of a new set of Darden School Foundation programs dedicated to advancing diverse leadership in business. It is also part of a larger Inclusive Excellence effort led by the Darden School Foundation.

Building on Strength in Asset Management

The Breakthrough Scholars program creates new opportunities for diverse candidates to thrive in fields of asset management, where Darden brings established strength in thought leadership, talent development and career placement.

Led by Darden’s Batten Institute, Mayo Center and Career Center, the School offers a rich array of courses, experiential learning, events, career exploration and support, and networking opportunities to help students develop relevant skills and career pathways. The Darden Venture Capital Initiative, which will be led by the Batten Institute and Mayo Center and formally launch later this summer, will provide resources to advance offerings tailored to the VC space.

Applying to Become a Breakthrough Scholar

To be eligible, a prospective student must apply to Darden's Full-Time MBA in Early Action, Round 1 or Round 2, Consortium Round 1 or Round 2, or the Executive MBA by the 10 January 2022 deadline. Future Year Scholars will be considered in the year that they choose to matriculate. If you would like to signal your interest in this program, please submit this scholarship interest form and check the box for Breakthrough Scholars.

Exceptional candidates identified through the Admissions process will be invited to compete for a spot in the upcoming cohort.