Richmond Scholars Deadline and Early Decision

By Tom

As many of you know, the Richmond Scholars application deadline is fast approaching: December 15 is just over a week away. Any application we receive by December 15 will automatically be considered for the Richmond Scholars program. There’s no additional application required (unless you intend to apply for the Artist Scholarship), and the deadline is in no way early or binding – we set an earlier date so we have time to review those applications and forward them to the faculty scholarship committees.

Each year we award about 50 full-tuition scholarships through the Richmond Scholars program (some of them include room and board as well). That’s about 1 in 15 students on campus receiving a full scholarship. The 50 awards are broken down into several categories: a majority are Boatwright Scholars, which can be taken into any academic field; there are up to six Artist Scholars, up to twelve Science Scholars, and up to seven Oldham Scholars – students who “exemplify the highest scholarship, personal integrity, and potential for leadership” (I’m quoting our Viewbook there). There is also a special program within the Richmond Scholars called the Oliver Hill program; students of any other designation may be considered for the Oliver Hill, which offers a sense of community for students who share a commitment to multiculturalism, particularly African-American students.

You don’t select which designation you will apply for until you have been selected as a semifinalist (with the exception of the Artist Scholarship). Once notified as a semifinalist, you may be asked to submit additional materials, depending on which designation you select (for example, semifinalists who want to be considered for the Science Scholarship will need to submit additional information about research they have completed).

A bit about the process: In the interest of expediency, semifinalists are notified in batches, not all at the same time – some semifinalists may be notified in late December, others not until mid- or late January. We do this so that the faculty committees can get started as quickly as possible considering semifinalists who have selected a designation and submitted additional materials. The order of notification depends simply on when applicant files are reviewed, and it tends to be fairly random, although it may correlate slightly (but not necessarily) to the order in which they are received. Only semifinalists are notified, via e-mail and postal mail, by the end of January; students who do not advance won’t receive notification.

What does a typical Richmond Scholar look like? Generally speaking, Richmond Scholar finalists fall above our profile ranges in terms of the numbers – they are usually straight-A students in a highly rigorous curriculum, often near the top of their class. More importantly, however, they demonstrate extraordinary personal qualities and academic achievement beyond the classroom. This could include significant academic research or other independent scholarship; unique achievements at regional, state, and national levels; outstanding examples of leadership or initiative; significant accomplishments in the arts or in service to society; or any number of other “way-above-and-beyond” qualities that stand out to our faculty committees. On the whole, they are students who are passionate about learning and are high achievers, as demonstrated in their high school accomplishments.

I hope that helps clarify a bit about the process for the next two months. On a completely separate note, I also wanted to give an update for those students who have applied for the November 15 Early Decision deadline. The admission committee is busy reviewing applications and making selections! Decisions will be mailed by the December 15 deadline.


  1. Silviya
    Posted December 11, 2008 at 4:07 am | Permalink

    I have a qustion.The site says”The University considers all first-year students for the Richmond Scholars Program provided that they submit a complete application by December 15 (postmark).”
    Perhaps I won’t be able to have my application arrive by 15.12.2008. But I will send it today is that ok? It is the postmark that matters,right?

    • Tom
      Posted December 11, 2008 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      Hi Silviya,

      You’re correct – it is the postmark that matters. As long as the application is postmarked by December 15, it will be considered for Richmond Scholars. Do I gather from the way you write the date that you might be an international student? 🙂 Either way – for U.S. students as well as international students – December 15 is the postmark deadline. The sooner you can get us everything the better, though!


  2. Silviya
    Posted December 13, 2008 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Yes,I am an international student 🙂
    (that’s how we write the dates in Bulgaria and my name appears on my identity card as Silviya and not as Sylvia)
    Thanks for the quick response 🙂 Warmest regards and best wishes for happy holidays!

    • Tom
      Posted December 14, 2008 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      I figured from the date… and don’t tell anybody, but I think that’s a much more logical way of writing the date than what we do here in the U.S. 😉

  3. Drew
    Posted December 15, 2008 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    My daughter was deferred on the first early decision,where does that put her in the regular admission? Same as if she applied regular decision? Thanks.

    • Tom
      Posted December 15, 2008 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      Hi Drew,

      I’d recommend checking out Maria’s post from last year, which you can find here. I’ll also be putting up a new post shortly, directing people to that post.

      In short, yes, students deferred from the Early Decision pool are essentially considered as if they had applied regular decision. They are given every consideration we give to regular decision applicants. The unknown factor at this point in time is, of course, what the RD pool will look like – that won’t be known until after January 15, our RD deadline.

  4. Casey
    Posted December 20, 2008 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    I see that if you are named a finalist for a Richmond Scholar award, you are to visit the campus for an interview. About what date does this take place?


    • Tom
      Posted January 5, 2009 at 12:47 pm | Permalink


      This year’s interviews for Richmond Scholar finalists will be held on March 17-19. Travel expenses will be covered for all students who are invited to interview.

  5. Emily
    Posted January 12, 2009 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    If I applied for Richmond Scholars and will be needing financial aid, how soon do I need to file FAFSA and/or CSS?

    • Tom
      Posted January 12, 2009 at 2:03 pm | Permalink


      Any student applying for need-based aid will need to file the FAFSA to the federal processor by February 15, and submit the Richmond Supplemental Application to our Office of Financial Aid by February 15 as well. More details.


  6. Clayton Campbell
    Posted February 21, 2009 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    When will the artist scholar semi-finalists be notified?
    or have they already and i just did not receive the designation?

    • Tom
      Posted February 24, 2009 at 11:26 am | Permalink


      Some artist scholar semi-finalists have been notified, but not all yet. We are on a rolling notification process.


  7. Clayton Campbell
    Posted February 24, 2009 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    Will i be notified should i not move on to the next round?

  8. Dave
    Posted November 11, 2009 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    If i am not accepted into the Richmond Scholars program, can I still be considered for the school regularly?

    • Tom
      Posted November 16, 2009 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      Absolutely – only 45-50 of our 800+ first-year students become Richmond Scholars.

  9. sugandh
    Posted December 20, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    I am an international student and am applying for the Boatwright Scholarship. The email I received said that the university must receive all the documents by January 4,2012. Since I will be sending my documents via mail, is it alright if my application packet is postmarked by January 4? Will my application still be accepted?


    • Tom
      Posted December 22, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Permalink


      Yes, it will be fine if the application is postmarked by January 4. You might want to contact the Scholars Office and let them know to expect it.

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