Helpful Information and FAQ
Your success is our success!
Our advisors understand that scholarship applications can be daunting for busy college students. The Office of National Scholarships offers a strong support network with mentoring before and throughout the application process.
Please use the menu on the left side of this page to explore advice and additional
campus resources, or review frequently asked questions below.
Are only Honors students eligible to apply for national scholarships?
All USF students on all USF campuses are eligible to apply.
Competitive scholarships are open to undergraduate and graduate students. There are also a few opportunities for which recent alumni may apply.
Can national scholarships be applied towards undergraduate tuition?
No. Nationally competitive scholarships are awards which enable students to gain experiences that will help direct their pursuit of academic, professional, and personal goals. Most awards only have merit-based criteria; however, there are a few scholarships that require eligibility based on financial need.
How do ONS advisors assist students?
ONS advisors provide high-touch mentoring which consists of:
- Encouraging students to envision their future
- Connecting students with on- and off-campus resources
- Helping students reflect on the reasons behind their academic and professional activities
- In addition, our advisors understand the intense nature of the national scholarship application process and assist with application components such as essay writing, choice of recommenders for reference letters, and mock preparatory interviews.
Why do I need to schedule an appointment with an ONS advisor?
Many scholarships require a letter of support from ONS or only allow each University to nominate a limited number of applicants. Even for scholarships that do not require ONS endorsement, working with an advisor will strengthen your applications for competitive scholarships.
Additionally, ONS advisors may recommend opportunities to students after obtaining more information regarding their goals and interests.
How do I schedule an appointment to meet with an advisor to discuss my interest in applying for a nationally competitive award?
How do I receive endorsement from ONS for a scholarship for which I want to apply?
Schedule an appointment to meet with the ONS advisor who works with students on that scholarship application. If there are a limited number of students that USF can nominate, then our office will administer an internal competition among all of the interested USF students. USF faculty members review and select the best applications, and then the finalists receive endorsement by the university.
What can I do to build a competitive resume?
- Maintain a high GPA
- Search for and complete internships of global significance - Career Services and ONS advisors are happy to assist
- Develop relationships with faculty; letters of recommendation from faculty are necessary for most competitive scholarships
- Get connected in research through Undergraduate Research
- Research study abroad opportunities with Education Abroad
- Explore leadership opportunities with The Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement (CLCE)
Do my high school accomplishments count when I apply for these scholarships?
Typically, no. Most competitive scholarships are interested only in college career accomplishments. There are limited scholarships that require a transcript and list of accomplishments from high school.
What is the purpose of an application's personal statement?
Personal essays explain who you are, why you are applying, and what you plan to accomplish with the award.
Do any of these scholarships require interviews? If so, how do I prepare for an interview?
Some scholarships may require an interview. For example, the Truman scholarship requires
an interview only if you are chosen as a finalist. ONS administers mock interviews
with USF faculty members for each scholarship. The faculty members provide feedback
after your interview.
Why should I create an ONS Student Profile?
The ONS Student Profile allows you to keep track of opportunities and share your experiences and achievements with ONS advisors. Find out more information about ONS Student Profiles.
How do I log-in to my ONS Student Profile?
You can access your ONS Student Profile here. Please use your USF NetID as log-in credentials.
Where do I find more information on applying for specific scholarships?
Aside from visiting the Office of National Scholarships, we recommend visiting the website for your desired scholarship.
Please email the Office of National Scholarships with additional questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.