By Dave Hendrick
The University of Virginia Darden School of Business has announced a new competitive scholarship program intended to attract and support top students interested in entrepreneurship, innovation and technology.
The Batten Scholars Program, sponsored and administered by Darden’s Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, supports full- and partial-tuition scholarships for applicants admitted to Darden’s two-year, full-time MBA program. Additional benefits of the scholarships include certain program fee waivers, limited travel support and advisers to help awardees pursue their purpose.
“Darden and the Batten Institute are dedicated to supporting innovation and the cultivation of principled, innovative and technology-savvy leaders,” said Batten Institute Executive Director Sean Carr. “Through the Batten Scholars Program, we hope to empower the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders through the boundless opportunities for learning and transformation available at the Darden School.”
Darden is consistently ranked among the top schools in the world for entrepreneurship, with dozens of courses devoted to entrepreneurship, innovation and technology; numerous resources for venture incubation and acceleration; several internship programs dedicated to startups, early stage companies, and venture capital firms; an array of immersive boot camps, workshops and experiential learning opportunities; and tight linkages with entrepreneurial and technological hubs in Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C.
All candidates for the program are expected to exhibit an entrepreneurial spirit, strong leadership skills and a drive for innovation, as well as recognizable background characteristics and goals that satisfy the desired purposes of the Batten Institute. Beginning in the current application cycle for the two-year MBA, Darden will award new scholarships through the Batten Scholars Program in three categories:
- Batten Entrepreneurial Scholars — Scholarships awarded to students who have led or helped build a new enterprise or nonprofit organization. Candidates should also plan to lead entrepreneurial ventures in the future.
- Batten Technology Scholars — Scholarships awarded to students who demonstrate exemplary entrepreneurial and innovative impact within the technology sector. Candidates should have a commitment to advancing entrepreneurship and innovation through technology in their future careers.
- Batten Innovation Scholars — Scholarships awarded to students with a record of accomplishment implementing innovation within for-profit or nonprofit organizations. Candidates should plan to pursue innovative action in the future.
All Batten Scholars are also eligible for a package of additional benefits to support their Darden experience and career ambitions, including:
- Prematriculation access to Batten-affiliated programs and resources, such as the W.L. Lyons Brown III Innovation Laboratory (i.Lab)
- Support of specialized advisers and mentors
- Curriculum and career-planning assistance
- Limited travel stipend and fee waivers for Batten-sponsored programs
- Unique networking opportunities for Batten Scholars
Scholarships are awarded for both years of the full-time MBA, given academic requirements are met. Resources for Batten Scholars supplement the multitude of services and personalized career counseling available to all Darden students.
Applying to the Program
In addition to applying for admission to the Darden School, prospective students interested in being considered for these scholarships must also submit a supplemental application to the Batten Scholars Program. The application consists of a 500-word essay in which applicants should discuss how they meet the criteria of the program; how they would contribute to the Darden community; and how the award would further their career ambitions in entrepreneurship, innovation or technology.
To be considered, candidates must submit their application by one of the standard admissions deadlines for early action (7 September 2018), Round 1 (4 October 2018) or Round 2 (10 January 2019). Applicants are encouraged to apply for only one of the three categories in the program. High-potential candidates will be invited to Darden for supplemental on-Grounds interviews with members of the Batten Scholars Selection Committee.
The Batten Scholars Program is one of many merit-based scholarships available to Darden students. Last year the School provided 150 merit-based scholarships, and fundraising for scholarships has increased 700 percent during the past two years.
The University of Virginia Darden School of Business delivers the world’s best business education experience to prepare entrepreneurial, global and responsible leaders through its MBA, Ph.D. and Executive Education programs. Darden’s top-ranked faculty is renowned for teaching excellence and advances practical business knowledge through research. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.