Outstanding Student Life Awards

The Division of Academic and Student Affairs hosts the Annual Outstanding Student Life Awards each spring to recognize FIU students who have excelled academically and in the areas of distinguished service to others, citizenship, innovation, leadership, diversity advancement, and promotion of the Panther Spirit. These student leaders serve as a source of pride and inspiration to others by giving unselfishly of themselves in order to enhance life on campus and to make FIU a better place for all of us. 

Award Categories and Descriptions

  • Kaplan Prize
    The Kaplan Prize is for students who are planning to attend graduate school. Strong candidates will be sophomores, juniors and seniors who have expressed a clear goal to pursue graduate studies in their chosen field. The Kaplan Prize provides a scholarship valued at $1,500 toward a GRE, LSAT, MCAT, or other test preparation course offered by Kaplan at FIU. All nominees are eligible for these prizes, so you just need to nominate them for any of the other awards for them to be considered.
  • Outstanding Leadership Award

    The Outstanding Leadership Award recognizes integrity, leadership and teamwork exhibited by individual FIU students. Strong nominations will highlight the student’s commitment to and leadership in co-curricular campus involvement in the following categories:

    • Freshman Leader of the Year Award (less than 30 credits)

    • Sophomore Leader of the Year Award (30-59 credits)

    • Junior Leader of the Year Award (60-89 credits)

    • Senior Leader of the Year Award (90 credits and above)

    • Graduate Student Leader of the Year Award

    In addition to demonstrating leadership in the university community through formal and informal leadership roles in activities and organizations, eligibility will be based on the number of years the nominee has been in college and/or the number of credit hours completed at the time of the nomination. All nominees for the category “Senior” must be eligible for graduation within the year of the award.

  • Outstanding Service Award
    The Outstanding Service Award recognizes the commitment of time and service to others by a student and/or organization/group. Strong nominations should speak to the impact and outcomes of the service on the individuals and/or community served, and when applicable, how these achievements have impacted the nominee’s contributions toward promoting active citizenship.
  • Diversity Award
    The Diversity Award embodies the Division of Student Affairs’ ongoing commitment to educate and/or advocate for the importance of valuing and appreciating difference, similarities, and uniqueness within our community and beyond. This award will recognize a student and/or organization/group dedicated to promoting understanding, acceptance and celebration of our diversity.
  • Spirit Award
    The Spirit Award honors one student and/or organization/group that has demonstrated outstanding leadership in promoting campus spirit, pride, and loyalty to FIU – true “Panthers.” Strong nominations will not only share details regarding examples of how the student/organization promotes campus spirit, pride, and loyalty to FIU, but also, when applicable, share information related to the impact this has had on their peers and FIU.
  • Shining Star Award
    The Shining Star Award recognizes one student and/or organization/group that has created a new campus tradition, innovative programming idea or shown exceptional commitment to supporting a campus tradition and/or increasing the university’s prestige. Strong nominations will also elaborate on the impact made by the student or organization on campus through the program, tradition or other new idea.
  • Scholar Award

    The Scholar Award recognizes a student who has demonstrated outstanding leadership through academic achievement and/or academic research. Strong nominations will share the significance of the academic achievements and/or research conducted by the student, and/or the role the student played in the research team. When applicable, nominators will share information related to the potential implications of the student’s findings. Additionally, students who have published and/or presented their work at a professional meeting or conference will be considered especially strong candidates.

  • Presidential Award
    The Presidential Award recognizes one “Worlds Ahead” student who has significantly impacted the FIU community above and beyond any one-award category listed above. Strong candidates will have consistently shown dedication and action to enhance life on campus and university prestige. Strong candidates may have also shown leadership and action toward creating positive change in the community beyond campus. The recipient of the Presidential Award will be selected from all nominees, so you just need to nominate them for any of the other awards for them to be considered.

Eligibility and Process

Nominees and applicants for all awards:

  • Have demonstrated leadership in the university community through formal and informal leadership roles in organizations and activities that enhance life on campus.

  • Must be an enrolled student at FIU during the semester of the awards ceremony.

  • Must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.75.

  • Must be in good judicial standing with the university.

  • Required to fill out the Nominee Form by Feb. 26, 2019 at 5 pm, which is sent by email when a nomination is submitted. 
    • Check your junk and/or spam mail for this message.  It will be from FIU Student Life Awards <SLA@fiu.edu>.
    • Called a "Letter of Recommendation" by the system.
    • Have your resume ready to upload as a PDF.
    • If you receive multiple nominations, you DO have to fill out this form multiple times.


  • Must complete the online nomination form.

    • Create a profile when first logging in to the system.  (This will autopopulate some of the form.)
    • The questions generated depend on the category selected, so a warning pops up to let you know that when you select the category.
    • Can track the nominations you submit through this system.
    • Able to see if the student submitted their Nominee Form (note: called a "Pending Letter of Recommendation" by the system).  If they have not, you can resend it to them.
    • After the student submits their Nominee Form, you will receive an email indicating your nomination is complete.
  • Should provide a letter of support in PDF form stating the award category and examples that indicate the strength of the student’s candidacy, and whenever applicable, the impact the student has had through co-curricular involvement.

  • Needs to provide an email address for the student, who will receive a request to fill out a Nominee Form, which includes uploading a resume and giving permission to access university records.  The nomination is NOT valid until this Nominee Form is also filled out.


If you are interesting in sponsoring or donating towards this event, please contact:  Joan Casanova Gonzalez, Director of Development for Student Affairs at casanova@fiu.edu or 305-348-3583.

Know An Outstanding Student?

The Student Life Awards nomination process closes on Feb. 22, 2019.

Nominate Today!


Division of Academic and Student Affairs
11200 SW 8th Street
GC 219
Miami, FL 33199