The Cavalier Academic Achievement Fund is designed to raise funds to support academic achievement awards, encouraging student-athletes to take full advantage of the academic experience at the University of Virginia.
This new opportunity is the latest addition to Virginia Athletics and the Virginia Athletics Foundation’s ongoing commitment to support a nationally competitive program and to continue to invest in the student-athlete experience. As with funding scholarships, academic support, and a portion of the Olympic sports budgets, donor contributions will be needed to fund this $1.9 million new annual investment.
These awards are now available to student-athletes as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in NCAA v. Alston, which allows all institutions the ability to reward student-athletes for academic achievement up to $5,980 annually. UVA student-athletes will be eligible to receive this award through participation in the Department of Athletics’ Pathways program. This unique program will facilitate new growth opportunities across all areas of a holistic student-athlete experience, including career readiness and networking, leadership and personal development, and community engagement. Student-athletes will also have access to a variety of experiential opportunities and an extensive network of UVA alumni and friends who are engaged in the Pathways program. Additionally, coaches and staff will be able to offer an array of team-based workshops and service opportunities that are integrated with the Pathways program.
Not only do these awards reinforce the University’s focus on a well-rounded educational experience, but they are also an important aspect of the recruiting process. As a majority of Power Five institutions across the country include these awards in addition to scholarship offers, University of Virginia coaches will need to have the same ability to remain competitive in the recruiting process.
Student-athletes are now eligible to receive these awards, and full implementation of this effort across all sports will be dependent on fundraising success. Gifts to the Cavalier Academic Achievement Fund are encouraged to be in addition to regular commitments to the Annual Fund. They do not qualify donors to ticket and parking benefits but do count toward donor priority points.
As the landscape of college athletics continues to evolve, this opportunity will ensure that Virginia Athletics can continue to recruit the very best student-athletes to Grounds and enrich their academic experience.