The University of Virginia today announced a $4 million challenge grant from alumnus John Griffin for the establishment of a new scholarship program to benefit incoming undergraduate students with exceptional promise and significant financial need. The grant is conditional upon a match from other donors, with the goal of raising a total of $8 million.

John A. Griffin

“These scholarships will help make the University more attractive to high-achieving students with significant financial need,” said Griffin, a 1985 graduate of the McIntire School of Commerce. His gift will both launch the new “Blue Ridge Scholarships” and fuel growth of UVA’s endowment for financial aid.

The challenge grant underscores the importance of the University’s policy of offering admission to students with no consideration of their financial situations. UVA stands virtually alone as a public university practicing “need-blind” admission.

“The University of Virginia is proud of its commitment to ensure access for excellent students without consideration of their financial backgrounds, and of our commitment to meet 100 percent of demonstrated need for undergraduates,” President Teresa A. Sullivan said. “This new scholarship money will bolster the efforts we have launched to make a college education possible for more students with high financial need. I am grateful for the empowering philanthropic support of our alumni, especially John Griffin.”

Pending matching gifts, the first $1 million of Griffin’s grant will benefit incoming students to UVA’s Class of 2018 with outstanding academics and demonstrated financial need. The grant will provide $500,000 annually for four years in scholarship support.

Griffin’s challenge also bolsters UVA’s overall commitment to the long-term success and sustainability of its nationally recognized aid program, AccessUVa.

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