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  2. Arts & Sciences

Echols Scholars Program Admissions

Admission to the Echols Scholars Program

All applicants to the College of Arts & Sciences’ first-year class are automatically reviewed for selection to the Echols Scholars Program. There is no special application form required and all decisions regarding selection are made exclusively by the University's Office of Admission. All questions regarding the selection process for Echols Scholar status should be directed to the Office of Admission at (434) 982-3200. Students interested in the Echols Program should present all supporting materials they wish the Admissions Committee to review, at the time of their application.

As a general rule, applicants accepted to the College of Arts & Sciences selected for inclusion in the Echols Scholars Program are notified around the time of their offer of admissions to the University. This usually occurs in late January/early February for early action applicants, and late March to mid-April for regular action applicants.

The Office of Admission does not have a fixed "target" for the number of applicants selected for admission to the Echols Scholars Program. Each Echols class contains between 225-250 students, but the precise number fluctuates annually. In 2014, there were 226 Echols Scholars matriculated in the College of Arts & Sciences, roughly 6.5% of total incoming class.  Many Echols Scholars have told us that the privilege of being selected for the Program contributed substantially to their choice of the University of Virginia over other peer institutions and top-tier liberal arts colleges because of its unique academic structure and flexibility.

Echols "Days on the Lawn"

Accepted students invited to join the Echols Scholars Program, and their parents and family, will be invited to attend one of the "Days on the Lawn" informational events held on Grounds in the spring, generally March and April. The exact dates of these events change annually, and information is communicated to in advance prospective students accepted to the University. During Days on the Lawn students and their parents will receive additional information about the University and the benefits of being a member of the Echols Scholar Program. They also will be able to attend forums featuring the Echols Director, Association Dean, and current Echols Scholars, as well as participate in other activities intended to assist students in making an informed choice when considering the University’s offer of admission.

Echols "Summer Orientation"

The University's Office of Orientation hosts information sessions for incoming students from July through August of each year. Once students accept the University's offer of admission they will receive materials regarding the Summer Orientation process. Sessions are generally held on a Monday-Tuesday and Thursday-Friday schedule.  The purpose of Summer Orientation is to provide students with information and advising support prior to the selection of classes (course registration) for fall semester.

Echols Scholars have the option of attending one of several sessions occurring during July and August, and ideally, incoming Echols Scholars should attend one of these sessions. However, if their schedules do not permit them to attend sessions designated for Echols Scholars, they can attend one of the other Orientation Sessions.  During Summer Orientation, Echols Scholars will attend information and advising sessions overseen by the Echols Director and Association Dean. Students will also meet with Faculty Advisers and student Orientation Leaders who will assist them with the process of course selection and registration. The Echols Council also provides Peer Mentoring services to all incoming Echols Scholars. Students interested in speaking with an Echols Peer Mentor should follow the following link for further information: http://www.echolscouncil.org/mentoring-program/.  General questions regarding Summer Orientation should be directed to the orientation office at the following e-mail address: orientation@virginia.edu.

All incoming students will receive mailings and emails from the College of Arts & Sciences regarding orientation, academic advising, and course selection/registration. We encourage Echols Scholars to complete the on-line information form in a timely manner so we can better anticipate your advising needs.

Scholarships and Research Grants

Regrettably the Echols Scholars Program cannot offer financial scholarships to incoming students at this time. However, it does provide financial support for independent research and scholarship though a number of means, and offers three endowed scholarships to students in the Program.

Thanks to the kind generosity of family, friends, and various individuals, the Echols Scholar Program is able to offer three endowed scholarships annually--The Sheri Gayle Richman Memorial Scholarship, The Laurie Lee Woolen Memorial Scholarship, and The Kenneth N. and Barbara B. Adatto Scholarship--to enrolled students during the spring semester.

The Ingrassia Family Echols Scholars Research Fund, established in January 2009 by an Endowment Gift from Timothy J. Ingrassia, provides financial support to Echols Scholars conducting a research project under the supervision of a faculty member that requires personal expenditures (stipend support), travel, and/or research supplies costs.  

Echols Scholars are also eligible for various Scholarships offered by the University and College of Arts & Sciences. Information on these opportunities can be found on  the website of the Center for Undergraduate Excellence.

The University's Jefferson Scholars Foundation does offer merit scholarships to incoming students but has a separate selection process.  Information on the Jefferson Scholars program can be found at www.jeffersonscholars.org.

Prospective Student Information and Visits

The Echols Scholars Program welcomes visits from prospective students at all times. We are delighted to have the opportunity to speak with you further about the program, but we do not conduct interviews and will not use personal contact as a factor in the Echols Scholar selection process. The Echols Council provides opportunities for prospective students and their parents to communicate directly with students currently in the program through the Echols Ambassadors program. If you are interested in speaking with a current Echols Scholar please use the following link: http://www.echolscouncil.org/mentoring-program/#.

If you plan to visit the University and have questions about the Program that our on-line information does not address, please contact the Program Office at (434) 924-3353 to schedule an appointment. The Director and Echols Association Dean hold regular office hours during the academic year and are also available for much of the summer.

Application for Admission to Echols Scholars Program after the First Year

The Echols Scholars Program accepts a limited number of rising second-year students enrolled in the College of Arts & Sciences into the program annually. Admission is by application made during the spring semester and is open to all first-year students enrolled in the College of Arts & Sciences. First-year admission is managed by the Echols Scholars Program and is aimed toward the recruitment of students whose high school records may not have commended them for an initial acceptance into the program, but who have distinguished themselves academically during their first year at the University.

No single factor determines suitability for acceptance. Criteria for selection include having taken a challenging selection of coursework each semester and demonstration of academic exploration and curiosity in and outside of the classroom. As with the initial selection to the program, there is no fixed number of first year acceptances. Students invited to join the Echols Scholars Program at the end of their first year are given the same privileges as students selected out of secondary school. 

The deadline for application by first-year students in the College seeking admission into the Echols Scholars Program is April 1, 2015. Updated information regarding application procedures and the required application forms will be available online beginning January 15, 2015.

The 2015 First-Year Application is available at the following link:  First Year Application to the Echols Scholars Program .