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85 Colleges With Full-Ride Scholarships

Posted by Mary Ann Barge | Apr 20, 2018 12:00:00 PM

Financial Aid, College Info

 

You’ve worked hard all throughout high school and are an academic and extracurricular superstar. You’re looking forward to the challenges that college will bring. But are you ready for the challenge of paying for college?

There are a lot of ways students come up with the money to fund their higher educations. Did you know, though, that it can be as easy as getting one award? In this article, we give you a list of 85 colleges that offer at least one full-ride scholarship to cover all of your tuition costs.

 

What Is a Full-Ride Scholarship?

Getting a scholarship that fully covers tuition costs is most students’ dream. It’s hard to believe there’s something even better out there—the full-ride scholarship. These scholarships are special because they cover not only tuition but also other basic costs such as room and board, books, travel, and supplies.

For most private schools, this means you're getting more than $200,000 of expenses covered with these scholarships.

Unlike financial aid, which many schools offer to students based on what they and their families can afford to pay for their educations, these scholarships are based entirely on merit. 

The idea is that these schools think certain students are special—so special that they want it to be a no-brainer for you to choose to attend their school. As a result, they're going to try their hardest to make you want to partner with them for the next four years.

 

What Kind of Schools Offer Full-Tuition Scholarships?

As you look through the list of schools below, you'll probably recognize at least some of the names. A lot of the schools on this list are very good schools, but apart from a few notable exceptions,  you're not likely to see top schools in the country giving out full-ride scholarships. Why is this?

Full-ride scholarships are meant to lure top, super-attractive students who have a lot of choices. It’s the school’s way of telling you that among the student population, you really stand out. These full-ride scholarships are merit based, meaning that in your grades, extracurricular activities, and/or leadership skills, you've worked harder or achieved more than the average student.

At the most competitive schools, full rides are extremely rare. Pretty much all applicants to these schools are going to be high achievers across the board, making it a lot harder to pick out who the real stars are.

 

 

Where Should You Look for a Full-Ride Scholarship?

If you’re hoping for a full ride, you might want to look at schools that are “safe” for your grades, test scores, and extracurricular achievements. If you're scoring much higher than the average admitted student, you'll have a better chance of getting scholarship money.

You might also want to consider colleges you've not heard of before. A lot of these schools offer top academic experiences but lack the name recognition of other schools. Thus, they are trying to attract student superstars who can help raise their profiles.

Of course, even if you apply to the schools on the list below, expect competition to be fierce. Don’t bank everything on getting one of these scholarships—they're very tough to come by! This is why it's important to go after other forms of college money as well, such as traditional need-based financial aid and other independent merit-based scholarships.


Want to build the best possible college application and financial aid package?

We can help. PrepScholar Admissions is the world's best admissions consulting service. We combine world-class admissions counselors with our data-driven, proprietary admissions strategies. We've overseen thousands of students get into their top choice schools, from state colleges to the Ivy League.

We know what kinds of students colleges want to admit. We want to get you admitted to your dream schools.

Learn more about PrepScholar Admissions to maximize your chance of getting in.

Get Into Your Top Choice School

 

Top National Schools That Offer Full-Ride Scholarships

The following schools are ranked in the top 50 national US universities by US News. Consider this list the exception to the rule: these are the rare, top-ranked universities that offer merit-based scholarships in addition to standard need-based scholarships. The schools are ordered by ranking.

 

 

University of Chicago (Chicago, Illinois)

Stamps Scholarship

This scholarship covers tuition and fees, room and board, and a $10,000 enrichment fund for students who demonstrate leadership, perseverance, scholarship, service, and innovation. 

 

Duke University (Durham, North Carolina)

Robertson Scholars Leadership Program

This scholarship pays full tuition, fees, and room and board. It also awards funding for up to three domestic summer experiences. Winners are typically students who demonstrate purposeful leadership, intellectual curiosity, strength of character, and collaborative spirit.

 

California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, California)

Stamps Scholarship

This scholarship pays for four years of tuition, fees, and room and board. It also offers an additional stipend for enrichment experiences.

 

Vanderbilt University (Nashville, Tennessee)

Ingram Scholarship Program

This scholarship gives full tuition and stipends for summer projects. Students are selected based on commitment to community service, strength of personal character, and leadership potential.

Cornelius Vanderbilt Scholarship

This scholarship gives full tuition plus a one-time stipend to be used toward a summer study abroad or research experience. Selection is based on academic achievement, intellectual promise, leadership, and contributions outside the classroom.

 

University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, Indiana)

Stamps Scholarship

This scholarship gives full tuition and fees plus $12,000 in enrichment funds. Each winner also gets a professional mentor from the faculty. Students must be nominated by the admissions office. Selection is based on leadership, perseverance, scholarship, service, and innovation. Five scholarships are awarded each year.

 

University of Notre Dame

 

Washington University in St. Louis (St. Louis, Missouri)

John B. Ervin Scholars Program

This scholarship gives full tuition plus a $2,500 annual stipend. Applicants should excel academically, challenge themselves, demonstrate initiative and leadership in their communities, bring diverse groups together, commit to community service, serve historically underprivileged populations, and/or persevere through challenging circumstances.

Annika Rodriguez Scholars Program

This scholarship covers full tuition and offers a $2,500 annual stipend. Awards are based on academic achievement (strong grades and SAT/ACT scores), a commitment to serving historically underprivileged populations, the ability to bring diverse people together, application answers and an essay, and recommendations received as part of the admission application.

Danforth Scholars Program

This scholarship covers full or partial tuition. Applicants must be nominated by someone with extensive knowledge of the student. Calls for nominations go out to high school guidance counselors every summer.

Stamps Scholarship

This scholarship covers full tuition, fees, room and board, and supplies; it also gives a $10,000 enrichment fund. Selection is based on the applicant’s academic achievement, leadership, perseverance, scholarship, service, and innovation.

 

Emory University (Atlanta, Georgia)

Emory Scholars Program

This scholarship gives full tuition and enrichment stipends and is only awarded to top students at Emory. The application deadline is November 15.

 

University of California, Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA)

Stamps Scholarship

This scholarship gives full tuition plus an enrichment fund of up to $12,000. You have to be nominated by UCLA for this scholarship based on qualities such as leadership, scholarship, community service, and innovation. Up to 10 scholarships are awarded every year: five nationally and five for California residents. Invitations to apply are emailed by February 1, with applications due in mid-February.

 

University of Southern California (Los Angeles, California)

Mork Family Scholarship

This scholarship gives full tuition plus a $5,000 stipend. Finalists are selected by USC faculty for interviews. The average SAT and ACT scores of recipients are in the top 1-2% of all students nationwide. Other factors considered include academic achievement, talent, perseverance, innovation, involvement, and leadership. A maximum of 10 scholarships are awarded each year. Finalists are notified of scholarship award status by April 1.

Stamps Scholarship

This scholarship gives full tuition plus a $5,000 annual enrichment fund ($20,000 in total over four years). Candidates are selected by USC faculty for interviews. The average SAT and ACT scores of recipients are in the top 1-2% of all students nationwide. In addition, winners are selected based on academic achievement, talent, perseverance, innovation, involvement, and leadership. Five scholarships are awarded each year. Finalists are notified of scholarship award status by April 1.

Trustee Scholarship

This scholarship covers full tuition. The average SAT and ACT scores of recipients are in the top 1-2% of all students nationwide. Additionally, winners are selected based on factors such as academic achievement, talent, perseverance, innovation, involvement, and leadership. Approximately 100 scholarships are awarded each year. Candidates are selected for interviews by February, and finalists are notified of scholarship award status by April 1.

 

University of Virginia (Charlottesville, Virginia)

Jefferson Scholarship

This scholarship covers full tuition, fees, room and board, books, an enrichment program, and personal expenses. Students are nominated by his/her school directly (and must also attend an eligible school). A maximum of 36 scholarships are awarded each year.

 

Wake Forest University (Winston-Salem, North Carolina)

Nancy Susan Reynolds Scholarship

This scholarship covers full tuition and offers a stipend. Selection is based on scholarship, achievement, and personal interviews. The application deadline is December 1.

Stamps Scholarship

This scholarship covers full tuition, fees, room and board, books, and personal expenses; it also offers an enrichment stipend of up to $15,000. Selection is based on educational achievements, academic motivation, maturity, and character. A maximum of five scholarships are awarded each year.

 

University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, Michigan)

Stamps Scholarship

This annual scholarship covers the full cost of attendance and up to $10,000 in enrichment funds for about 18 students admitted through early action. Selection is based on academic achievement, exceptional talent, leadership, and service and community involvement.

 

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill, North Carolina)

Morehead-Cain Scholars

This scholarship covers full tuition, fees, housing, books, meals, books, a laptop, supplies, and funding for research and summer opportunities. It is open to students from a designated nominating school. Current nominating schools are located all across the globe.

Robertson Scholars Leadership Program

This scholarship gives full tuition, fees, and room and board, as well as funding for up to three domestic summer experiences. It is awarded to students who show purposeful leadership, intellectual curiosity, strength of character, and collaborative spirit.

 

Boston College (Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts)

Gabelli Presidential Scholars Program

This scholarship pays full tuition and provides summer opportunities at Boston College to selected early action applicants. About 15 awards are given every year. The early action application deadline is November 1, with students invited in for interviews in late January or early February.

 

College of William and Mary (Williamsburg, Virginia) 

College of William and Mary Stamps 1693 Scholarship

Stamps 1693 scholars receive full in-state tuition, fees, room and board, and $5,000 for independent projects. (Out-of-state students are eligible, but must pay the difference between in-state and out-of-state costs.) All applicants are considered for scholarships and will be contacted by the selection committee to submit additional materials if chosen as semifinalists.

William and Mary Scholars

William and Mary Scholars receive full coverage for in-state tuition and fees. Scholarships are offered to academically strong applicants who have overcome adversity and/or would increase campus diversity. All applicants to the college are considered.

 

Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, Georgia)

Stamps President's Scholars Program

This scholarship gives full tuition, fees, room and board, books, supplies, a laptop, and $15,000 in enrichment funding. It is awarded to the top 1% of students at Georgia Tech who have also shown a dedication to leadership and service. To be considered, students must apply by the early application deadline, October 15.

 

University of Rochester (Rochester, New York)

Alan and Jane Handler Endowed Scholarship

This scholarship is a combination of a merit- and need-based aid. The award guarantees full tuition, individual mentoring, and up to $5,000 for professional or academic enrichment. Selection is based on financial need, academic excellence, leadership, and the mastery of difficult challenges.

 

Boston University (Boston, Massachusetts)

Trustee Scholarship

This scholarship awards full tuition plus fees. Students must have exceptional academic credentials and display intellectual and creative adventurousness. The application deadline is December 1. Students will complete the regular common application and submit an answer to one of the Trustee Scholarship prompts as their essay; they must also complete a short supplemental essay. About 20 students are selected each year.

 

Tulane University (New Orleans, Louisiana)

Deans' Honor Scholarship

This scholarship covers full tuition. Selection is based on general achievements and a creative project. A maximum of 75 scholarships are awarded each year. The submission deadline is December 5.

Paul Tulane Award

This scholarship covers full tuition. Selection is based on general achievement and additional writing components. A maximum of 50 scholarships are awarded every year. The application deadline is December 5.

Stamps Scholarship

This scholarship awards full cost of attendance and additional enrichment funding. Students must apply for the Deans' Honor Scholarship or the Paul Tulane Award and will be nominated from that pool of applicants. Selection is based on academics, leadership, perseverance, and innovation. Approximately five scholarships are awarded every year.

 

University of Wisconsin (Madison, Wisconsin)

Chancellor's Scholarship Program

Chancellor's Scholars receive a full-tuition scholarship and a $400 book stipend every semester. They need to maintain a 3.0 GPA and full-time student status to remain eligible for the award throughout their college careers. Applicants must meet certain eligibility requirements in regard to race/ethnicity and socioeconomic background in order to apply.

 

East Coast Schools

 

American University (Washington, DC)

Frederick Douglass Scholarship Program

This scholarship gives full tuition plus money for fees, room and board, and books. To be a competitive applicant, you will need at least a 3.8 unweighted GPA or a 4.0 weighted GPA. ACT/SAT scores are optional, and preference is given to first-generation college students. Award notifications start April 1.

 

Arcadia University (Glenside, Pennsylvania)

President's Scholarship

This full-tuition scholarship is awarded to a handful of freshmen applicants each year. Applicants are evaluated based on their SAT/ACT scores, GPA, class rank, and leadership experience. All applicants are considered for the award; no separate application is required.

 

Barry University (Miami Shores, Florida)

Stamps Scholarship

This scholarship is for full tuition, room and board, books, and transportation. It also provides winners with $6,000 to go toward a study abroad program or other learning experience. You will need to have a GPA of 3.5 or above and prove you have been actively involved in community service and leadership. The application deadline is February 1.

 

The Catholic University of America (Washington, DC)

Archdiocesan Scholarship

This scholarship is for full-tuition coverage. You will need to have an unweighted GPA of 3.8 or above, earn high SAT/ACT scores, and be in the top of your class in order to be eligible for the scholarship. All undergraduate applicants are considered for this award.

 

Elizabethtown College (Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania)

Stamps Scholarship

This scholarship provides full tuition, $6,000 in enrichment funds, and a personal mentor. Awards are given to high academic achievers who have demonstrated leadership, perseverance, scholarship, service, and innovation. Winners are chosen by the Stamps Family Charitable Foundation. Five awards are given out each year, and the application deadline is February 1.

 

Fordham University (New York, New York)

Presidential Scholarship

This scholarship covers full tuition plus room and is renewable for all four years of college. These awards usually go to students who are ranked in the top 1-2% of their high school classes. Award notifications are around April 1 each year.

Semifinalist Scholarship

This scholarship covers full tuition. Those eligible for the award include semifinalists or finalists for National Merit or National Hispanic Recognition Scholarship Programs who have an A average and are in the top 2-3% of admitted students.

 

The George Washington University (Washington, DC)

Stephen Joel Trachtenberg Scholarship

This scholarship covers full tuition, fees, room and board, and a book allowance. It is only awarded to students who are residents of Washington, DC, who have attended an accredited high school in the area, and who are applying for financial aid.

 

Northeastern University (Boston, Massachusetts)

Torch Scholars Program

Every year, 10 first-generation college students will receive coverage for full tuition, fees, and room and board; they'll also get to participate in a summer immersion program. Applicants must be nominated by a non-family member who knows the student well.

 

Providence College (Providence, Rhode Island) 

Roddy Scholarship

This scholarship covers full tuition, fees, and room and board. The scholarship is awarded based on academic achievement in high school; no separate application is required. However, it is only for students who are hoping to have a career in the medical field.

 

Rollins College (Winter Park, Florida)

Alfond Scholars Program

Every year this program awards up to 10 full-ride scholarships to incoming freshmen to the College of Liberal Arts. Each scholarship covers full tuition as well as room and board. Scholarships are renewable for up to four years.

 

Stevens Institute of Technology (Hoboken, New Jersey)

The Ann P. Neupauer Scholarship

This highly prestigious scholarship covers full tuition. The award can be renewed for four years as long as you maintain a GPA of 3.2 or better and meet certain academic requirements.

 

Stevenson University (Stevenson, Maryland)

Presidential Fellowship

This scholarship covers full tuition, is renewable for all four years of college, and is open to all freshman applicants. The scholarship application submission deadline is November 1.

 

St. Lawrence University (Canton, New York)

Trustee Scholarship

This scholarship covers the cost of tuition for four years. It is offered to the top male and top female students entering their first year. Selection is based on academic excellence, character, and leadership.

 

SUNY Alfred College (Alfred, New York)

Distinguished Scholars Program: Excellence in Education Scholarship

This scholarship covers full tuition and room and board. Applicants should have at least a 3.7 GPA as well as a score of 1310 or higher on the SAT or 28 or higher on the ACT.

 

Syracuse University (Syracuse, New York)

Coronat Scholars

This scholarship provides full tuition, admission to the honors program, and the chance to receive additional funding for study abroad programs. It is awarded to freshmen pursuing a liberal arts major. Application is by invitation only, and recipients are selected by the College of Arts and Sciences.

Haudenosaunee Scholarships

This scholarship is for certified citizens of one of the Haudenosaunee nations. For the Promise Scholarship in particular, applicants need to have lived in a Haudenosaunee territory for at least four years prior to enrollment. Both programs cover full tuition and mandatory fees. 

 

University at Buffalo (Buffalo, New York)

Millonzi Distinguished Honors Scholarship

The University at Buffalo offers one annual full-ride scholarship, covering tuition and fees, to an admitted freshman honors student studying the creative or performing arts. To be eligible, you must have an unweighted high school average of 90 and either a 1300 SAT score or a 27 ACT score. You must also turn in a scholarship application, undergo an interview, and do an audition or turn in a portfolio of your work (whichever is relevant to your field).

 

University of Delaware (Newark, Delaware)

Eugene du Pont Memorial Scholars

This scholarship covers full tuition, room and board, and a $2,500 enrichment stipend for academic activities such as study abroad. Application is by invitation only, with invitations going out in January each year.

 

University of Maryland, College Park (College Park, Maryland)

Banneker/Key Scholars Program

This scholarship covers full tuition, room and board, and books. Application is by invitation only by a selection committee. Winners can also receive up to $5,000 for research, travel, study abroad, and internships. Three scholarships are awarded each year.

 

University of Miami (Coral Gables, Florida)

Hammond Scholarship

This scholarship covers full tuition. Winners are selected based on academic excellence and a demonstrated passion for achieving personal goals.

Stamps Scholarship

University of Miami Stamps Scholars receive full tuition, fees, room and board, textbooks, a computer allowance, and up to $12,000 in enrichment funds. All applicants to the university are considered for Stamps Scholarships.

George W. Jenkins Scholarship

This scholarship offers full tuition, fees, room and board, university health insurance, and a laptop allowance. Candidates must be nominated for this award by their high school counselors. Selection is based on a combination of financial need, academic merit, and an essay on overcoming adversity.

Isaac Bashevis Singer Scholarship

This scholarship offers full tuition. Finalists are nominated by the admission committee; there is no separate application process.

Marta S. and L. Austin Weeks Scholarship

This scholarship offers full tuition. Applicants must apply early decision to be eligible.

 

University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)

Chancellor's Scholarship

Recipients receive full tuition, fees, room and board, a $500 stipend for books, and $2,000 for study abroad or research. Applicants must be nominated by the scholarship selection committee.

Stamps Scholarship

Five incoming freshman from Pennsylvania will be offered a Stamps Scholarship, which covers full tuition, fees, room and board, a personal and academic allowance, and up to $17,400 in enrichment funds.

Diversity Scholarships

The University of Pittsburgh offers four named scholarships to applicants from underrepresented groups: one in engineering, one in arts and sciences, one in business, and one in nursing. Scholarships cover full tuition, fees, room and board, a $500 book award, and a $2,000 scholarship for research or study abroad.

Nordenberg Leadership Scholars Program

Nordenberg Scholars receive full tuition, an international experience, and assistance securing internships throughout college. Five outstanding graduates from Pennsylvania high schools are selected for the award each year.


Want to build the best possible college application and financial aid package?

We can help. PrepScholar Admissions is the world's best admissions consulting service. We combine world-class admissions counselors with our data-driven, proprietary admissions strategies. We've overseen thousands of students get into their top choice schools, from state colleges to the Ivy League.

We know what kinds of students colleges want to admit. We want to get you admitted to your dream schools.

Learn more about PrepScholar Admissions to maximize your chance of getting in.

Get Into Your Top Choice School

 

Midwestern Schools

 

Carthage College (Kenosha, Wisconsin)

Lincoln Scholarship

This scholarship covers full tuition in addition to room and board. Applicants must complete the separate Presidential Scholarship application (usually available in October) and write a personal statement. Three scholarships are awarded each year.

Clausen Scholarship

This scholarship covers full tuition only. Applicants must complete the separate Presidential Scholarship application and write a personal statement. Three scholarships are awarded every year.

Ruud Scholarship

Like the Clausen Scholarship above, this scholarship covers full tuition only. Applicants must complete the separate Presidential Scholarship application and write a personal statement. Three scholarships are awarded each year.

 

Drake University (Des Moines, Iowa)

National Alumni Scholarship

This scholarship covers full tuition, fees, and room and board. To be eligible, students must have ACT scores of at least 31 or SAT scores of at least 1430, be in the top 5% of their high school classes, and have a GPA of 3.8 or above. A maximum of six scholarships are given out every year, and the deadline for submission is December 1.

 

Hiram College (Hiram, Ohio)

Trustee Scholarship

This scholarship covers full tuition. Evaluation is by holistic review.

 

Indiana University Bloomington (Bloomington, Indiana)

Wells Scholars Program

This scholarship covers the full cost of attendance for four years. Potential recipients can be nominated by their high schools, the admissions office, or an IU faculty member. Each year, 18-22 students receive the award.

 

Illinois Institute of Technology (Chicago, Illinois)

Duchossois Leadership Scholars Program

This scholarship covers full tuition, room and board, summer educational experiences, a fall retreat, and mentoring. You will need to have a GPA of at least 3.5 and standardized test scores in the top 10% nationally to be eligible. Students from households with income levels over $200,000 are ineligible. The application deadline is December 1.

 

Knox College (Galesburg, Illinois)

Presidential Scholarship

This scholarship covers full tuition. Application is by invitation only. Five scholarships are awarded annually, with announcements made in March.

 

 

Miami University (Oxford, Ohio)

University Merit Scholarship

This scholarship covers full tuition. Eligible students will need to have SAT scores of at least 1480 or ACT scores of at least 33, a 3.5 GPA or higher, and a rigorous academic course load. Priority consideration for all scholarships and honors programs is given to students who apply for university admission by December 1.

Stamps Scholarship

This scholarship covers full tuition, fees, room and board, and $10,000 for enrichment purposes. Recipients are selected from the most outstanding applicants at Miami University. Priority consideration for all scholarships and honors programs is given to students who apply for university admission by December 1.

 

Michigan State University (East Lansing, Michigan)

Alumni Distinguished Scholarship

This scholarship gives full tuition, fees, room and board, and a $1,000 stipend every year. Eligible students will be invited to take a scholarship examination and apply. The deadline is November 1, and there are a maximum of 15 awards given every year.

Distinguished Freshman Scholarship

This scholarship pays full tuition and fees, and is given to runners-up of the Alumni Distinguished Scholarship (see above). Each year, 20 scholarships are awarded to qualified students.

 

Oberlin College (Oberlin, Ohio)

Stamps Scholarship

This scholarship provides full tuition, fees, and $5,000 in enrichment funds that the winner can use at any time during his or her four years of college. All admitted applicants to Oberlin are automatically considered for the award, and there is no separate scholarship application.

 

The Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio)

Eminence Fellows Scholarship

This scholarship gives full tuition plus a $3,000 enrichment fund. Recipients are usually in the top 3% of their high school classes and have an ACT score of 34+ or an SAT score of 1520+.

Morrill Scholarship Program

This scholarship program targets academically strong applicants who will contribute to diversity on campus. There are three levels of awards: Distinction, Prominence, and Excellence. Distinction awards cover the full cost of attendance, Prominence awards cover the full cost of tuition, and Excellence awards cover in-state tuition.

 

Purdue University (West Lafayette, Indiana)

Stamps Scholarship

This scholarship gives full tuition plus $10,000 for enrichment activities. Selection is based on leadership, academics, extracurricular activities, and personal history. Application is by invitation only. Students who wish to be considered for this scholarship must apply for admission to Purdue by November 1.

 

University of Illinois (Champaign, Illinois)

Stamps Scholarship

This scholarship covers the total cost of attendance and offers an additional fund for enrichment activities, such as study abroad experiences, internships, and research. About five scholarships are awarded each year.

 

Southern Schools 

 

Agnes Scott College (Decatur, Georgia)

Marvin B. Perry Presidential Scholarships

This scholarship covers full tuition in addition to room and board. Promising applicants will be invited to apply.

Goizueta Foundation Scholarships

This scholarship covers full tuition and room and board. It is offered to one student every year, with preference given to Hispanic/Latina women who have demonstrated both academic excellence and financial need.

 

Birmingham-Southern College (Birmingham, Alabama)

Distinguished Scholars Award

This scholarship covers full tuition. Eligible students will be invited to apply. Recipients will be selected on the basis of grades, standardized test scores, extracurricular activities, an interview, and an essay.

 

Clemson University (Clemson, South Carolina)

National Scholars Program

This scholarship covers full tuition and fees; an allowance for room, board, and supplies; and summer group study abroad experiences. Selection is based on outstanding academic achievement, leadership, service, and extracurricular activities.

 

Davidson College (Davidson, North Carolina)

John M. Belk Scholarship

This scholarship covers full tuition, fees, room and board, and up to $6,000 in special study stipends. It is awarded to students who have demonstrated exceptional promise in academics, character, leadership, and service. Students must be nominated by a counselor or administrator. A maximum of eight awards are given every year.

Charles Scholarship

This scholarship covers full tuition, fees, room and board, a book allowance, travel expenses, and personal expenses. Eligible students are graduates of Chicago public high schools with strong records of academic and personal accomplishment who also show financial need. Preference is given to students of color, especially Hispanic/Latinx students. Students must be nominated by a counselor or administrator. A maximum of three awards are given per year.

 

Furman University (Greenville, South Carolina)

James B. Duke Scholarship

This scholarship pays full tuition and stipends of up to $5,000 for summer study experiences. Selection is based on exceptional academic achievement and personal accomplishment.

 

Hendrix College (Conway, Arkansas)

Hays Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship covers full tuition, mandatory fees, a residence hall room, an an unlimited board plan. To be eligible, you must have a 3.6 GPA and a 32 ACT or a 1410 SAT score. Applicants must apply early action to the college and submit a separate application for the scholarship by February 1.

Hendrix College Scholarship

This scholarship gives you anywhere from $18,000 to full tuition. Winners are chosen based on factors such as GPA, test scores, recommendations, leadership experience, and extracurricular activities. All admitted students to the school are automatically considered for the scholarship.

 

Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge, Louisiana)

Stamps Scholarship

This scholarship covers full tuition and up to $14,000 for enrichment activities. Eligible students must have a 3.5 GPA or higher as well as SAT scores of 1440+ or ACT scores of 33+. Students will be invited to apply.

 

Mercer University (Macon, Georgia)

Stamps Scholarship

This scholarship covers full tuition, fees, room and board, books, and up to $16,000 in enrichment funds. These scholarships are awarded to the highest achievers in the entering freshman class. To be considered, students must apply to Mercer by October 15. A maximum of five awards are given every year.

 

Morehouse College (Atlanta, Georgia)

Stamps Scholarship

This scholarship covers full tuition, fees, and $10,000 for enrichment activities. You must have a 3.7 GPA to be eligible. A maximum of five scholarships are awarded every year. To be considered, students must apply to Morehouse by November 1.

Rugari Scholarship

This scholarship covers the full cost of attendance for five students. It is awarded to male students from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, or Uganda.

 

North Carolina A&T State University (Greensboro, North Carolina)

National Alumni Scholarship

This scholarship covers full tuition, fees, room and board, and books. To be eligible, you must have a minimum 3.0 GPA in addition to SAT scores of 1080 or above or ACT scores of 22 or above. Students will need to submit a one-page autobiography and three letters of recommendation.

Lewis and Elizabeth Dowdy Scholarship

This scholarship covers full tuition plus room and board. You will need to have at least a 3.75 GPA and SAT scores of 1270 or above or ACT scores of 26 or above. Students will have to submit a one-page essay and two letters of recommendation.

 

North Carolina State University (Raleigh, North Carolina)

Park Scholarship

This scholarship covers full tuition, fees, room and board, books, supplies, travel, a laptop, and personal expenses. Winners will also get admission to the University Scholars Program. Candidates will be selected based on academic merit, exemplary character, exceptional potential for leadership, and the sense of promise that they may one day make contributions of enduring importance to the betterment of the human condition.

 

Oglethorpe University (Atlanta, Georgia)

Civic & Service Engagement Scholarship

This scholarship offers full tuition to two students who are deeply engaged in community service. Students are chosen based on activities over Scholarship Weekend. Application is by invitation only.

James Edward Oglethorpe Scholarship

This scholarship gives full tuition for four recipients, determined by a scholarship competition held during Scholarship Weekend. Application is by invitation only, and up to four scholarships are awarded each year.

OU Theatre Scholarship

This scholarship covers full tuition for two students interested in the study of theater. Recipients are selected based on Scholarship Weekend activities. Application is by invitation only.

 

Rhodes College (Memphis, Tennessee)

Bellingrath Scholarship

This scholarship covers the full cost of tuition and is awarded to one applicant each year.

 

Saint Louis University (Saint Louis, Missouri)

Presidential Scholarship

This scholarship covers full tuition. Applicants should have a GPA of at least 3.85 (weighted or unweighted) and scores of at least 1390 on the SAT or 30 on the ACT to be eligible. For consideration, you need to submit your application to the school and fill out the additional Presidential Scholarship application by December 1.

 

Salem College (Winston-Salem, North Carolina)

Robert E. Elberson Scholarship

This scholarship covers full tuition, room and board, and a semester of study abroad in England. Only one is awarded each year. Scholarship application is by invitation only. For consideration, you must submit your application to the school by January 1.

Chatham/Davis/Weyand/Womble/Whitaker Scholarships

This scholarship covers full tuition for 10-15 students. Selection is based on academic performance, evidence of leadership, responsibility, concern for others, initiative, motivation, creativity, resourcefulness, and vigor. Finalists will be invited to Scholarship Weekend to compete for these scholarships.

John Preston Davis Art Full-Tuition Scholarship

Already accepted students who want to study studio art, art history, or design can apply for this full-tuition scholarship. Students will need to answer an essay and provide a recommendation. Finalists will be interviewed at Scholarship Weekend.

 

Southern Methodist University (Dallas, Texas)

President’s Scholars Program

This scholarship covers full tuition and fees plus one summer and one academic-year program abroad. Under certain conditions, scholars might receive an additional award to cover room and board. Finalists will be invited to interview and typically have high SAT/ACT scores, a challenging high school curriculum, a top 10% high school class ranking, and demonstrated involvement in the community. Students must apply to the school by January 15 to be considered (no additional application for the scholarship is required).

 

Texas Christian University (Fort Worth, Texas)

Chancellor’s Scholarship

This scholarship awards full tuition to the most academically accomplished applicants to TCU. The average test scores among current Chancellor's Scholars is a 2150 on the old SAT and a 33 on the ACT. Most recipients are in the top 3% of their graduating high school classes. In the 2016-17 school year, 54 scholars were selected from more than 500 finalists.

 

University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, Alabama)

Academic Elite Scholarship

This scholarship has two levels. At the first level, seven scholars receive full tuition, an $8,500 yearly stipend, a $2,000 book scholarship, and one year of on-campus housing. At the other level, one top scholar receives full tuition, an $8,500 stipend for the first year (followed by an $18,500 stipend for years two through four), a $5,000 study abroad stipend, a $2,000 book scholarship, and one year of on-campus housing. Applicants to UA with a 3.8 GPA and either a 32 ACT score or a 1450 SAT score may apply for the fellowship.

 

University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)

Foundation Fellowship

This scholarship covers full cost of attendance, several study abroad experiences, mentoring, and research and conference grants. The scholarship application is due in early November. To be eligible, applicants must have an unweighted GPA of at least 3.9 and an SAT score of 1470 or an ACT score of 32.

Ramsey Honors Scholarship

This scholarship covers full tuition, a modest stipend, mentoring, and a $3,000 travel-study grant. Finalists for the Foundation Fellowship who do not receive the fellowship are guaranteed a Ramsey Honors Scholarship. The scholarship application is due in early November. To be eligible, applicants must have an unweighted GPA of at least 3.9 and an SAT score of 1470 or an ACT score of 32.

 

University of Houston (Houston, Texas)

Tier One Scholarship

This scholarship gives full tuition, fees, two years of room and board, a stipend for research, a stipend for study abroad, membership to the Honors College, and priority registration for classes. Applicants must complete the scholarship application and application to UH by mid-November.

 

University of Kentucky (Lexington, Kentucky)

Otis A. Singletary Scholarship

This scholarship covers full tuition as well as room and board. Interested applicants will need to complete and submit the competitive scholarship supplement by December 1. Applicants should have a score of 33 on the ACT or 1490 on the SAT, and an unweighted GPA of at least 3.8.

Presidential Scholarship

This scholarship covers full tuition. Interested applicants will need to complete the competitive scholarship supplement with their application and submit by December 1. Applicants should have a minimum test score of 31 on the ACT or 1420 on the SAT, and a minimum unweighted 3.5 GPA.

 

University of Louisville (Louisville, Kentucky)

Brown Fellows Program

This scholarship pays for full tuition and housing; it also gives an allowance for books and up to $6,000 in enrichment funds. Selection is based on academics, well-roundedness, and leadership potential. Applicants need to submit supplementary materials, including an additional essay, and should have at least a 31 on the ACT or a 1420 on the SAT, as well as a minimum 3.5 GPA. Each year 10 scholarships are awarded.

 

University of Mississippi (Oxford, Mississippi)

Stamps Scholarship and the University of Mississippi Chancellor's Scholar Program

This scholarship covers the full cost of attendance and a $12,000 enrichment stipend. Selection is based on academic achievement, leadership, and service. Interested applicants need to submit a Special Programs and Scholarships Application in addition to their application to the school.

 

University of North Carolina, Charlotte (Charlotte, North Carolina)

Levine Scholars Program

This scholarship covers full tuition, fees, room and board, a grant to implement a community service project, and four summer experiences. Students must be nominated by their high school counselors to apply.

 

University of Richmond (Richmond, Virginia)

Richmond Scholars

This scholarship takes care of full tuition, room and board, and faculty mentoring. In addition, it offers $3,000 in enrichment funds, priority course registration, and tickets for cultural events at the Modlin Center for the Arts. Selection is based on several factors, including outstanding and engaged scholarship, commitment to the creation and discovery of new knowledge, leadership skills, service, excitement about learning from different types of people, and exceptional artistic talent. All applicants to the university who apply by December 1 are considered for the scholarship. A maximum of 25 awards are given out each year.

 

University of Texas at Austin (Austin, Texas)

Forty Acres Scholarship

This scholarship covers full tuition and offers stipends for living, books, and enrichment activities (which include a community component, a global experience, and professional growth opportunities). It is awarded to students who excel academically and engage in leadership roles, extracurricular activities, and community service. Interested students must fill out and submit a supplemental scholarship application by December 1.

 

University of Texas at Dallas (Dallas, Texas)

Eugene McDermott Scholars Program

This scholarship includes full tuition and fees, a $1,400 monthly stipend (given year-round) for housing and living expenses, a $1,000 annual book stipend, up to $12,000 for an international experience, up to $3,000 for a professional development experience, paid trips with other scholarship winners, and paid travel home (twice a year for domestic students and once a year for international students). Selection is based on exceptional academic performance; community volunteerism and leadership in school; broad and eclectic interests in science, literature, and the arts; and social skills. Applicants must have a 1490 or higher on the SAT or a 33 or higher on the ACT. Most students are also in the top 5% of their high school classes.

 

Washington and Lee University (Lexington, Virginia)

Johnson Scholarship

This scholarship covers full tuition and room and board, as well as $7,000 for summer experiences. Selection is based on academic and personal accomplishments, essays, and a performance at an in-person scholarship competition (travel expenses are paid by the university for all finalists). This scholarship is awarded to about 10% of each year's incoming class.

 

Wofford College (Spartanburg, South Carolina)

The Richardson Family Scholarship

This scholarship covers full tuition, fees, room and board, a monthly stipend for books and miscellaneous expenses, a laptop, summer internships (one overseas), and a January travel experience.

 

West Coast Schools

 

Lewis and Clark College (Portland, Oregon)

Barbara Hirschi Neely Scholarship

This scholarship grants full tuition and fees plus a $2,000 enrichment stipend. Selection is based on academic achievement and distinctive personal accomplishment. Special preference is given to students who plan on studying the sciences or who have an interest in intercultural and international issues. Up to five Neely Scholarships are offered each year.

 

Loyola Marymount University (Los Angeles, California)

Arrupe Scholarship

The Arrupe Scholarship program is for international students and offers awards from $12,500 annually to full tuition.

Trustee Scholarship

This scholarship covers full tuition in addition to room and board. All freshman applicants are considered for the scholarship, with 10 scholars selected each year. Finalists are invited in late January and early February to attend Scholars Weekend for on-campus interviews.

 

Soka University of America (Aliso Viejo, California) 

Global Merit Scholarship

This scholarship covers the cost of full tuition, fees, room and board, transportation, books, supplies, and personal expenses. Winners must maintain a 3.0 GPA to keep the scholarship.

 

University of Hawai'i (Honolulu, Hawaii)

Regents Scholarship

This scholarship awards full tuition, a $4,000 annual stipend, and a $2,000 travel grant. Applicants should have a high school GPA of at least 3.5, scores of at least 29 on the ACT or 1380 on the SAT, and remarkable extracurricular involvement. Each year, 20 scholarships are awarded to incoming freshmen.


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What Do You Need to Get a Full-Ride Scholarship?

Many full-ride scholarships have similar eligibility requirements, so making yourself a great candidate for one will often make you a great candidate for multiple scholarships. While the specific details they require can vary between scholarships, most require or recommend the following qualities:

  • GPA: Good grades are required for practically every full-ride scholarship. Most will require either a certain GPA (like 3.5 or higher) or a certain class rank (like top 5% or 10% in your class).
  • Test Scores: Many full-ride scholarships also require a certain score on the PSAT, SAT, and/or ACT to be eligible.
  • Extracurriculars: Many schools look for skills and interests outside the classroom. Leadership and volunteer experience are particularly highly valued.
  • Personal Statement: For some scholarships, you may also need to provide a personal statement or respond to essay prompts as part of the requirements. Many schools require this so they can get a better sense of your personality and goals.

 

What's Next?

Make sure you stay on top of your high school GPA while taking rigorous classes to be considered for these kinds of scholarships. You should also know how to get a high score on the SAT and ACT!

Not sure how much college will cost without a free ride? Check out the real cost of attending college.

If you can't get a full ride, don't give up! There are a lot of other scholarships out there based on extracurriculars, such as community service, instead of on academics. 

 

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Mary Ann Barge
About the Author

Mary Ann holds a BA in Classics and Russian from the University of Notre Dame, and an MA from University College London. She has years of tutoring experience and is also passionate about travel and learning languages.



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