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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you offer financial aid?

No.  We help you apply for nationally competitive merit-based scholarships; however, we do have a few scholarships that require financial need for eligibility. 


What kinds of things can I do to build a competitive resume?
  1. Keep a high GPA
  2. Develop relationships with your faculty so they can get to know you and write strong letters of recommendation for you.
  3. Get connected in research through Undergraduate Research
  4. Study abroad, get started with Education Abroad
  5. Leadership opportunities, get started with The Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement(CLCE)

Why do I need your office? I see the application right on the website.

Many scholarships require a letter of support from our office or only allow each University to nominate a certain number of applicants. Even for scholarships which do not require our involvement, having one of our advisors review your essays or speak with your recommenders can only increase your chances for winning these extremely competitive scholarships! Additionally, once we know you, your goals, and interests, we can recommend other opportunities you might not have known about.


Why should I create a profile?

By creating a profile, we get to know a little about you before you come in for a one-on-one interview.  This information will allow both the advisor and you to have more time talking about you, your ambitions, and scholarships that would best fit you instead of talking about your GPA, when you will graduate, and other useful criteria.


Are all of your scholarships for studying abroad?

No.  We have both domestic and study abroad opportunities. If you have never been abroad, however, we encourage that you apply for study abroad scholarships because they can make you more competitive when you apply for future scholarships, graduate programs and jobs. 


How do you determine class level?

We prefer to determine your class level by knowing the term and year that you will graduate; however, some scholarships use the number of credit hours obtained to determine class level.  See a scholarship advisor.


Do you only offer scholarships for undergraduate students?

No. We have competitions open to undergraduates, graduate students, even a few for which recent graduates may apply.


Do my high school accomplishments count when I apply for these scholarships?

There are a few scholarships, which require a high school transcript, and some may ask you to list your high school accomplishments. Most scholarships are only interested in what you have accomplished in your college career.


What are some examples of leadership that will make me competitive?
  1. Officer positions for clubs and organizations
  2. Presenting research at a conference
  3. Identifying and taking action on a present problem
  4. Beginning a new club

Do your scholarships have a service requirement?

A few of them do require at least 1-2 years of service in a paid job after graduation, but that it is not true for all of them.  The term ”service requirement” may sound overwhelming, but it is actually a prestigious opportunity!  See a scholarship advisor for further details.


How do I get nominated for a scholarship for which I want to apply?

Come in and talk to a scholarship advisor.  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 choose the best applications, and then we nominate the best applicants for our university.


Why should I bother applying? It's too competitive.

Our scholarships are very competitive, but you are most likely more competitive than you think.  The best way to find out if you have what it takes is by making an appointment with one of our scholarship advisors.  Even if you don’t win, you will gain a much better perspective of yourself and your accomplishments while improving your professional writing skills for resumes and personal statements and obtaining recommendation letters.  You will learn valuable skills that will help you apply for future scholarships, graduate programs, and jobs. 


How can I make my essays and application the best they can be?

Meet with a scholarship advisor for advice on your best strategic approach to application questions and essays for each scholarship. Also, request feedback from your references and other people you rely on for solid advice. We have a Writing Consultant on our staff who can work with you on your application essays.


Are only Honors students eligible to apply?

Absolutely not. We work with all USF students on all USF campuses.


Do any of these scholarships require interviews? If so, how do I prepare for an interview?

Some scholarships may require an interview, but normally this means that you are that much closer to being a winner!  For example, the Truman scholarship requires an interview only if you are chosen as a finalist.  Regardless of whether or not you are chosen for an interview, we administer and film a mock, or “pretend,” interview with real USF faculty members for each scholarship, and then the faculty member provides feedback on your interview.  You will receive a copy of the film to review so that you can improve your interview skills and prepare for the real thing!


Where do I find more tips on applying for specific scholarships?

One of the best places is right here in our office, meeting with an advisor. There are numerous other resources under Useful Resources above and once you’ve logged in to your account there are more on your profile page as well.


I want to know what scholarships fit me. How do I get started?

Your next steps to begin learning about our office and these funded opportunities are:

  1. Create and log onto your ONS profile. This is your home base for scholarship information and beginning a mentoring relationship with an ONS adviser.
  2. Add the scholarships of interest to your profile, which will automatically add you to the scholarships’ email list about upcoming workshops and deadlines.
  3. Become a scholarship expert by exploring the scholarships’ websites and becoming thoroughly familiar with each opportunity.
  4. Attend the next General Inquiry Workshop (for undergraduates), Graduate Student Workshop (for Masters and Doctoral students), or International Student Workshop to learn more about our office and to begin your national scholarship journey. ONS Calendar of Events.
If you have specific questions, email ONS at NationalScholarships@usf.edu.




Office of National Scholarships 4202 E. Fowler Ave. ALN 271 Tampa, FL 33620 | Phone: (813) 974-3087   Fax: (813) 974-5801
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Questions regarding the Office of National Scholarships? Email: nationalscholarships@usf.edu