Financial Aid Information

Financial Aid Information

The Sorensen Institute does offer some financial aid for applicants to programs who might require some financial assistance in order to attend.  If you are interested in applying for financial aid, please review this page carefully. 

Acceptance to any Sorensen Institute program is need-blind.  In 2019, we met 100% of demonstrated financial need through a combination of grants, scholarships, and financial aid.  No individual is ever denied participation in a Sorensen program because of inability to pay the tuition cost.  Participants are responsible for their own travel expenses, but food and lodging costs are covered by tuition.

Financial Aid Process
Financial aid applications are reviewed by representatives of our parent organization, The Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service.  Applicants will receive notice of how much financial aid they have been awarded when they are notified of their acceptance to the program.

In many instances, participants may be required to fundraise to help offset or match their financial aid awards. Guidance and advice is available, but the responsibility of fundraising lies solely on the participant.

How to Apply for Financial Aid

Applicants seeking financial aid must submit two components to be eligible for consideration.  The process is the same for applicants of all programs.

1. Financial Aid Application Form:

Please download, print, complete, and mail this form.

2. Interview with an elected official:

Applicants for financial aid must interview any elected official in Virginia who holds office at the time of the interview.  Applicants must ask at least five substantive questions during their interview.  Applicants should type up a transcript of the interview along with the name of who was interviewed, their office, and the date of the interview and mail it along with their Application Form.

Suggested Interview Questions:

  1. What led you to running for office?
  2. Did you hold any elected office before the one you have now?
  3. What are some of the most important issues facing your constituents?
  4. What goals did you have for yourself when you decided to run for office?
  5. Have you accomplished those goals? Are you on the path to accomplish them? Have they changed or evolved at all during your time in office?
  6. What is your greatest success since you’ve been in office?  What did you learn from your accomplishment?
  7. What has been your greatest challenge since you’ve been in office? What did you learn from your experience?
  8. What advice do you have for people looking to get involved in politics or policy?
  9. Any other thoughts on politics or leadership you’d care to share?

Applicants who do not complete BOTH components of the process by the deadline will not be eligible for financial aid.

Deadlines and Submission

Applicants to the 2020 Candidate Training Program must have all financial aid application materials postmarked by Tuesday, February 18th, 2020.  Materials that are postmarked after Tuesday, February, 18th, 2020 will not be eligible for review.

The deadline to apply for Financial Aid for the 2020 Candidate Training Program is Tuesday, February 18th 2020.  Materials may be sent to:

The Sorensen Institute
Attn: Michael Phillips
PO Box 400206
Charlottesville, Virginia 22904

If you have questions about the Sorensen Institute's financial aid process, please contact Michael Phillips, Associate Director of the Cooper Center for Public Service, at or 434-982-5549.