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Nationally Competitive Scholarships

The Honors Program provides support for all USD students – including undergraduates, graduates and alumni – interested in applying for prestigious and highly competitive scholarships.

Set your sights on great opportunities.

Nationally competitive scholarships are prestigious and highly competitive scholarships available to U.S. undergraduate and graduate students. USD students have won 73 nationally competitive scholarships since 2010.

While housed in the Honors Program, support for nationally competitive scholarships is offered to all USD undergraduates, graduates and alumni. Applications require substantial preparation and we work with students throughout the process.


As you go through the application process, we will:

  • Meet with you to determine which scholarships best suit your interests and qualifications
  • Work with you one-on-one on your application essays and personal statements
  • Facilitate internal selection process and secure university endorsement, when required.
  • Advise you on requesting letters of recommendation
  • Prepare you for interviews


It's never too soon to start thinking about pursuing these opportunities, and some are open to students as early as the first year. We encourage you to consider the following:

  • Grades are important but are not the only criteria
  • Pursue an ambitious curriculum
  • Get involved through research, internships, service-learning, study abroad and student organizations
  • Develop close relationships with faculty in several disciplines
  • Search for leadership opportunities
  • Broaden your horizons

The Honors Program curriculum, extra-curricular requirements and programming all help students meet these criteria. If you are interested in joining Honors, please contact us at for more information.

Award Descriptions

Listed below are some of the nation's most prestigious, highly selective scholarships. There are many more nationally competitive scholarships available.

Selected awards that do not require university endorsement

  You may also be interested in the following awards.  
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We're Here to Help

The Honors Program provides support to all USD students interested in applying for nationally competitive scholarships. Reach out to us at to get started. We look forward to hearing from you!

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