Student Resources

Helpful Information and FAQ

The Office of National Scholars advisors assist University of South Florida students and alumni with competitive national and international scholarship applications. If you work with one of our advisors, they will provide one-on-one mentorship and guidance before, during, and after the application process.

Additional resources are always valuable alongside our help, or if you are applying for something that doesn’t fit into the scope of our office such as a USF scholarship, graduate school, or an internship.

Please explore the menu on the left side of the page to visit these additional resource pages.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are only Honors students eligible to utilize the Office of National Scholars?

All USF students are eligible to work with the Office of National Scholars.

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?

In the vast majority of cases, 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:

o Encouraging students to envision their future
o Connecting students with on- and off-campus resources
o Helping students reflect on the reasons behind their academic and professional activities
o Assisting 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 support from an official campus advisor 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?

What can I do to build a competitive resume?

This can totally depend on what you are applying for, so check with your advisor. But in general, we recommend:

o Maintaining a high GPA
o Searching for and completing internships of global significance
o Developing relationships with faculty (letters of recommendation from faculty are necessary for most competitive scholarships)
o Getting connected in undergraduate research
o Exploring opportunities for leadership and service in your areas of interest

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. Your advisor should have specialized guidance depending on the scholarship, but for general personal statement advice, visit our Personal Essays page.

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?

We recommend visiting the Opportunities section of our website to explore different scholarships. Please email the Office of National Scholars with additional questions at