On the heels of one of the most generous scholarship pledge years in Darden’s history, the School moved forward with a plan to expand the scholarship portfolio with a combination of merit scholarships and additional scholarship competitions and a new, need-based merit scholarship called AccessDarden. These repackaged and newly designated awards are part of Darden’s commitment to being one of the most accessible programs among top business schools.
The scholarship innovations include:
- The introduction of the Darden Distinguished Scholars Program for full-time MBA students, which includes a growing portfolio of merit scholarships and scholarship competitions offered by the Darden School, the Darden School Foundation and external organizations in support of Darden.
- A new competitive scholarship program called The Oculus Fellowships that will invite selected admitted full-time MBA students to apply and compete for this prestigious award, which includes full tuition and fees and other benefits. Named for the Oculus — the circular opening at the apex of the Dome Room in UVA’s Rotunda — the fellowships represent the illumination that outstanding students and their ideas bring to the University.
- A new need-based merit scholarship program called AccessDarden, which will provide students admitted on their merit — in both the full-time MBA and Executive MBA programs — the opportunity to apply for a need-based scholarship of up to $20,000 per year of study.
Need-based aid is a priority of the Powered by Purpose capital campaign, and this new offering builds on an existing portfolio of merit-based scholarships that have a need-based component. Over time, it is expected that the grant amounts will increase with philanthropy.
Every full-time MBA Darden student has the opportunity to participate in a Darden Worldwide course, thanks to the Batten Worldwide Scholarship program, established in 2018.
MBA-focused publication Poets & Quants also highlighted the scholarship announcement, featuring an interview with Dean Scott Beardsley.
Beardsley shared, “We are just trying to do what we think is the right thing and continue to innovate and streamline and better communicate what we already have. As a student who had to borrow everything to go to school, I am a big believer that you need to make education affordable and accessible. Scholarships for me were a game-changer in my life and it is equally relevant for students today.”
Approximately one-third of Darden’s current full-time students receive a partial of full scholarship. Beardsley commented, “The first thing we do is guarantee that any student who comes to Darden qualifies for financial aid in the form of loans at the very least,” says Beardsley. “Even if someone doesn’t have a penny and has no credit history, we stand behind their student loans. That’s very important. That means anybody can find a way to make it through.”
Read the full story on the Darden Report.
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