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 2017, 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 for completion and held separately until an applicant is selected for the program.  Once an applicant is accepted, all financial aid application materials will be reviewed by a panel of members of Sorensen's Statewide Advisory Board.  Applicants will receive notice of how much financial aid they have been awarded when they are notified of their acceptance to the program.

Fundraising
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.

 

 

Candidate Training Program Instructions

Statement of Financial Understanding:

As an applicant for the Sorensen Institute’s 2018 Candidate Training Program I sign my name electronically below to signify that….

  • Responsibility for paying for participation in the program is my own;
  • I can apply for financial aid;
  • To be eligible for financial aid, I must submit my application for financial aid by Friday, February 2nd;
  • My program deposit must be paid by me and is not eligible to be included in financial aid requests;
  • Participants who receive financial aid are not eligible to request private room accommodations during the program;
  • Financial aid applications will be reviewed by the Sorensen Institute’s Statewide Board and decisions will be provided to me if I am selected to attend the program to which I am applying;
  • If I seek financial aid, I may be required to fundraise to help offset my cost of attending the program;
  • If I am accepted, I must comply with the following payment dates:
  • $300 non-refundable deposit due March 1, 2018 (not eligible for financial aid); $300 due on March 15; $300 due on March 22 (Program start date)
  • According to IRS guidance, the Lifetime Learning tax credit applies to students who are enrolled in one or more courses at an eligible educational institution. The course or courses must be either part of a postsecondary degree program or taken by the student to acquire or improve job skills. There are many other details surrounding the Hope and Lifetime Learning Tax Credits. We suggest that you contact your own tax professional to see if you qualify for these credits. Unfortunately, neither the Sorensen Political Institute nor the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service can provide tax advice. You can also contact the IRS' Office of Public Liaison at 202-622-2970 or view Publication 970 on the IRS website for further information.

 

How to apply for Financial Aid

Applicants seeking financial aid must submit two components to be eligible for consideration.

1. Financial Aid Application Form: Please print, download, fill out, 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 will not be eligible for financial aid.
 

Deadlines and Submission
Applicants to the 2018 Candidate Training Program must have all financial aid application materials postmarked by Friday, February 2nd, 2018.  Materials that are postmarked after Friday, February 2nd, 2018 will not be eligible for review. The deadline to apply for Financial Aid for the 2018 Candidate Training Program is Friday, February 2nd, 2018.  Materials may be sent to:

The Sorensen Institute
Attn: Lauren Gilbert
PO Box 400206
Charlottesville, Virginia 22904

If you have questions about the Sorensen Institute's financial aid process, please contact Lauren Gilbert, Associate Director, at lauren.gilbert@virginia.edu or (434-243-2844).

 

 

High School Leaders Program Instructions

Statement of Financial Understanding:

Statement of Financial Understanding: As an applicant for the Sorensen Institute’s 2018 High School Leaders Program I sign my name electronically below to signify that...

  • Responsibility for paying for participation in the program is my own;
  • The cost to attend the 2018 High School Leaders Program is $2,175.00;
  • I can apply for financial aid;
  • To be eligible for financial aid, I must submit my application for financial aid by Wednesday, March 7;
  • My program deposit must be paid by me and is not eligible to be included in financial aid requests;
  • Participants who receive financial aid are not eligible to take the program for three college credits;
  • Financial aid applications will be reviewed by the Sorensen Institute’s Statewide Board and decisions will be provided to me if I am selected to attend the program to which I am applying;
  • If I seek financial aid, I may be required to fundraise to help offset my cost of attending the program;
  • If I am accepted, I must comply with the following payment schedule: $500 non-refundable deposit due on Tuesday, May 15 (not eligible for financial aid); $500 due June 15; $275 due Saturday, July 7th.
  • According to IRS guidance, the Lifetime Learning tax credit applies to students who are enrolled in one or more courses at an eligible educational institution. The course or courses must be either part of a post secondary degree program or taken by the student to acquire or improve job skills. There are many other details surrounding the Hope and Lifetime Learning Tax Credits. We suggest that you contact your own tax professional to see if you qualify for these credits. Unfortunately, neither the Sorensen Political Institute nor the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service can provide tax advice. You can also contact the IRS' Office of Public Liaison at 202-622-2970 or view Publication 970 on the IRS website for further information.

 

How to apply for Financial Aid

Applicants seeking financial aid must submit two components to be eligible for consideration.

1. Financial Aid Application Form: Please print, download, fill out, 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 will not be eligible for financial aid.
 

Deadlines and Submission
Applicants to the 2018 High School Leaders Program must have all financial aid application materials postmarked by Wednesday, March 7th, 2018.  Materials that are postmarked after Wednesday, March 7th will not be eligible for review. The deadline to apply for Financial Aid for the 2018 High School Leaders Program is Wednesday, March 7th, 2018.  Materials may be sent to:

The Sorensen Institute
Attn: Lauren Gilbert
PO Box 400206
Charlottesville, Virginia 22904

If you have questions about the Sorensen Institute's financial aid process, please contact Lauren Gilbert, Associate Director, at lauren.gilbert@virginia.edu or (434-243-2844).