Group shot of the top scholars with President Dr. Saunders
UWF Top Scholars

Bright minds and brilliant futures.

And we’re here to set them on the best path.

The University of West Florida attracts high-performing students from across the country—those with potential to become future leaders who will change the world. We’re proud to call them Argos, and we show it by rewarding their hard work with our most prestigious scholarships.

Each year, we award the best and brightest freshmen with the University's top scholarships, valued at more than $50,000 each. We believe in the power of higher education to change lives—and this is one way we’re making it happen.


We are delighted to welcome four National Merit Finalists to the University of West Florida. These students exemplify what we look for in our top students, intellectual curiosity and a desire to change the world. Our dedicated faculty will provide them with opportunities to participate in research from the moment they enroll as freshmen. Our focus on high‑impact learning for our students sets UWF apart.

UWF President Dr. Martha Saunders

National Merit Finalists

Each year, more than one million high school juniors enter the National Merit Scholarship Competition and less than 20,000 meet the requirements for Finalist standing. Learn about the National Merit Finalists who chose UWF below.

2018 National Merit Finalists

Not Pictured: Joshua Wood

2017 National Merit Finalists

President’s Scholarship Competition Recipients

UWF hosts an annual, one-day competition where the best and brightest students from across the state vie for the institution’s top scholarships. We believe in rewarding our own talented students of today and providing them with the knowledge and skills needed to become leaders, guiding our state into the future.


Pace Presidential Award Recipients

Isabel Holland portrait

Isabel Holland

Hometown: Pensacola, Florida

Major: Pre-Nursing

Eden Ridgeway portrait

Eden Ridgeway

Hometown: Pace, Florida

Major: Social Work

Gianyce Gesualdo portrait

Gianyce Gesualdo

Hometown: Kissimmee, Florida

Major: Biomedical Sciences

Matthew Sharpsteen portrait

Matthew Sharpsteen

Hometown: Brevard, North Carolina

Major: Political Science, Pre-Law

Olivia Stanhope portrait

Olivia Stanhope

Hometown: Pensacola, Florida

Major: Biomedical Sciences

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