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How To Get a Full Ride Scholarship

How To Get a Full Ride Scholarship


Do you know that a full ride scholarship is quite different from a full-tuition scholarship? If you want to know how to get a full ride scholarship, you have come to the right place. A full ride scholarship simply refers to a scholarship that covers all study expenses. If you are one of the many students that cannot afford college tuition for one reason or another, then you should read this article.

Before committing to one method, college students should give careful consideration to all of the available alternatives for financing their education. Student loans, despite their widespread use, might make it challenging to achieve the desired level of financial autonomy after graduation.

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The amount of money awarded for each different type of grant and scholarship is different. They might help offset some of the costs, but it’s possible that they won’t cover all. This article will go through the actions that need to be taken to obtain a full ride scholarship, which is a once-in-a-lifetime financial opportunity that has the potential to change the way the recipients’ futures will play out.

What is a Full Ride Scholarship?

Many students believe that receiving a “full ride scholarship” simply implies that they will not have to pay any money toward their college tuition or living expenses; however, this may be an unrealistic expectation.  To put it more plainly, a full-ride scholarship is a scholarship that pays for a student’s whole college education. This type of grant is extremely rare. Students no longer need to worry about the significant financial burden that is imposed by the cost of their education, which is welcome news. That’s rather unbelievable, isn’t it?

In addition, the purpose of a full-ride scholarship is to provide financial assistance for all of a student’s educational costs. This indicates that all of your living expenses, including board and tuition, will be covered in full. Scholarship awardees who obtain full financing will not be required to fulfil any financial commitments and will be able to focus their whole concentration on their academic pursuits.

This is only the beginning of things to come. The person who wins the prize might earn money to cover their living expenses, money to participate in a leadership or study abroad program, or even money to buy a brand-new laptop computer. This all depends on the specific award.

Different Types of Full Ride Scholarships

Yes, there are indeed a variety of full ride scholarship options to choose from. The qualifications required of students are determined by their existing knowledge, experience, and prior accomplishments. Although scholastic achievement, excellence, athletic ability, and/or leadership are frequently cited as the reasons for a student’s selection as a recipient of one of these scholarships, these are not the only ways that a student can obtain a scholarship that pays for their whole education.

  • Merit-based: Full-ride merit scholarships are awarded to students who have shown extraordinary academic performance, usually in the form of high-grade point average (GPA), SAT or ACT scores.
  • Athletic: These scholarships are only available to high school seniors who have distinguished themselves in the sports of football, basketball, gymnastics, volleyball, or tennis.
  • Prestige: Students who have demonstrated exceptional leadership or service to their community, or who have excelled in another area, may be eligible for one of these honours.
  • State-sponsored: There are programs available at the state level that will cover the costs of higher education, typically at public colleges that have been specifically recognized.
  • Financial need: Students who originate from families with lesser incomes and/or those who meet the requirements for prestige and merit awards have a chance of being chosen for these honours.
  • Government: There is a wide range of government scholarships available to students, the majority of which are designated for students enrolled in the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) and individuals who are intending to attend a military academy.
  • Other paths: 

List of Full Ride Scholarships Available

The majority of the time, a school or a private organization will be the one to bestow these scholarships. When colleges and universities are attempting to recruit students with particular characteristics, they often sweeten the pot by offering merit-based scholarships like these. Businesses or organizations can provide them for students in certain fields of study, like STEM, or even for those who belong to a particular association. The following are only a few examples; for a more comprehensive listing, use a free scholarship database such as Scholarship Search:

  • Colleges with Free Ride Scholarships: These types of programs are available at a variety of universities, including the University of Virginia (through the Jefferson Scholarship) and Northeastern University (through the Torch Scholars Program). Some universities, such as Alabama State University and Notre Dame University, have merit-based scholarship programs.
  • Private Organizations:  The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation has scholarships for students with financial needs in any field of study. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation offers The Gates Scholarship for use at any U.S.-accredited college. And the Strive Foundation awards Stamps Scholarships that are good at 36 colleges around the country. And Coca-Cola has a Scholars Program.
  • Government: There is a scholarship available through the United States Air Force ROTC that can be used at any private college that has an ROTC affiliation. (The Navy provides comparable options.) Students attending historically Black land-grant colleges and universities are eligible to apply for prizes under the USDA/1890 National Scholars Program. These awards are given to students who are pursuing degrees in agriculture or disciplines linked to agriculture. In addition to that, citizens of certain states are eligible for scholarships.
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Are you interested in particular universities or locations of employment (like Microsoft!)? Find out if they provide students with this kind of financial assistance if you decide to enrol. The following are examples of well-known scholarships that cover one’s entire education expenses.

1. Microsoft Tuition Scholarship:

students who are currently enrolled as undergraduates and are majoring in computer engineering, computer science, or a field that falls within the umbrella of STEM. Make sure you submit your application for the Microsoft Tuition Scholarship.

2. USDA 1890 National Scholars Program:

Scholarships are given out every year, and recipients are required to use the money they receive at one of 1890 historically black land-grant universities. Each scholarship award covers the recipient’s housing and board expenses in addition to their full tuition for the duration of the scholarship. If the recipient maintains a satisfactory academic performance and keeps making progress toward their bachelor’s degree, they will be eligible to have their scholarship renewed each year.

3. U.S Airforce ROTC:

Through the Air Force ROTC program, which is available at over 1,100 schools, the United States Air Force and the United States Space Force can train future leaders and recruit them into their ranks as officers. You can make friends for the rest of your life in AFROTC, and there’s a chance you could win a scholarship to help pay for college. Most importantly, after you graduate from college, you won’t be stuck like so many of your peers.

4. Regeneron STS Scholarship:

Since its founding in 1942, Regeneron STS has been at the forefront of spotting the STEM fields’ up-and-coming stars. Apply online for a chance to earn up to $250,000 if you are a graduating high school senior in the United States or a permanent resident of the United States who has completed an independent research project.

5. The Robertson Scholars Program:

Scholars who participate in the Robertson Scholars Leadership Program get free tuition, lodging and board, and coverage of the majority of their necessary expenses for a total of eight semesters at Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill. In addition, Robertson scholarship scholars have access to considerable financing for up to three different summer programs, support for conferences held throughout the academic year, and funding for two different semesters spent studying abroad.

6. Boston University: (Trustee Scholarship)

Available to students with exceptional academic credentials, most of the Trustee Scholarship recipients have a perfect 4.0 GPA in high school. Students who earn this scholarship also demonstrate creativity, experience and achievement. This scholarship is offered to about 20 students each year and is renewable for four years.

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7. Thomas G. Labrecque Smart Start Program:

The Smart Start Program gives New York City high school seniors a full ride scholarship to school, along with a paid internship at JP Morgan. Applicants must be from New York City, and they should have an interest in a career at a financial services firm.

8. Vanderbilt University: Cornelius Vanderbilt Scholarship

Named after the founder of the school, the Cornelius Vanderbilt Scholarship offers full tuition as well as a one-summer stipend for immersion, such as studying abroad. This is awarded to students who show a combination of academic and leadership achievement.

9. John B. Ervin Scholars Program:

Washington University in St. Louis is the host institution of The John B. Ervin Scholars Program which combines intellectual, leadership and service achievement with Washington University’s commitment to diversity. This scholarship offers full tuition as well as a $2,500 stipend, and it is renewable each year.

10. Goizueta Foundation Scholarship:

Focused primarily toward Hispanic/Latina women who demonstrate significant financial need, the Goizueta Foundation Scholarship has a four-year value of $208,000 – more than enough to cover tuition, room and board. Preference is also given to students that show academic and/or leadership achievement.

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11. University of Miami: George W. Jenkins Scholarship

Awarded to students that have overcome adversity to succeed, the George W. Jenkins Scholarship emphasizes financial need. The scholarship covers tuition, room and board, health insurance, a meal plan and a laptop stipend, as well as the potential for additional stipends for books, transportation and personal expenses.

Other Full Ride Scholarships Includes: 

  • Alan and Jane Handler Endowed Scholarship
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation: Gates Millennium Scholars Program
  • Flinn Foundation: Flinn Scholarship Program
  • Jack Kent Cooke Foundation: College Scholarship Program

How Hard Is It To Get a Full-Ride Scholarship?

You can probably guess that a lot of students harbor the dream of receiving a scholarship that pays for their whole education, but how often are these kinds of opportunities? There are some discrepancies in the percentages reported by various writers, but the general opinion is that less than one per cent of pupils receive one.

The competition for full-ride scholarships is fierce (even transfer students from the community or two-year colleges may qualify). Students need to remember not to take it personally if they are not selected. They ought to just get some emergency funding, put their best foot forward, and keep their fingers crossed.

How Much Is A Full Ride Scholarship?

The value of the reward that students receive from a scholarship that covers their complete tuition is determined by the cost of attending the institution. There is no predetermined total amount. It is essential to differentiate between a scholarship that covers full ride costs and one that covers full-tuition costs when discussing scholarships.

A scholarship that covers full tuition will often pay for all of the student’s educational expenses, including books, fees, and tuition. A scholarship that covers all costs, including tuition, lodging and board, and even sometimes things like travel and living expenses, is called a full ride.

How To Get a Full Ride Scholarship

Students should do everything in their power to distinguish themselves from other candidates while applying for scholarships of any kind. They obviously can’t ignore the fundamentals for too long. Confirming your eligibility, the application date, and the resources that are required to apply should be the first thing you do. Please read the guidelines very carefully to ensure that nothing of significance is overlooked!

How To Get a Full Ride Scholarship.
How To Get a Full Ride Scholarship.

1. Prepare Yourself:

Research is something students should get into the habit of doing as soon as they enter high school. They will have a far more impressive degree of devotion and experience, for example, if they begin participating in leadership or community service when they are freshmen as opposed to when they are seniors if they start participating for the first time then.
Keep grades up. The students should perform exceptionally well in their studies. While it is true that they want to do well on the SAT/ACT and have a fantastic GPA, they also want to push themselves academically so that they may become even more competitive.

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2. Find Strengths:

Students ought to put more effort into participating in activities that will aid in the development of what sets them apart from others. Allow them to showcase their unique skills and passions.
Create an outstanding application for the scholarship. It is not sufficient to simply follow all of the steps in the scholarship application process.

3. Valuable Experience:

Create connections with people who can act as mentors. When looking for academic, personal, and professional assistance, students should look for persons in their lives that they trust. Not only can they assist students in navigating the high school environment, but they also can put pupils forward for scholarships that cover the cost of attendance in full or provide letters of recommendation.

4. Competitive:

Take charge and lead. Scholarship committees want to invest in the future leaders of their communities; therefore, high school students should look for opportunities to develop their leadership skills while they are still in high school.
Get engaged. Students ought to roll up their sleeves and participate in volunteer work in their communities. They shouldn’t let an opportunity to pay it forward and give back slip through their fingers. They’ll be helping themselves while also benefiting those around them.

5. The Procedure For Applying:

Additionally, students must win over the review committee. They need to submit an application that is thoroughly proofread, have outstanding reference letters, and write an outstanding essay for the scholarship. Good luck, students!
Do you have any advice on how one can win a scholarship that pays for their entire education? Leave them in the comments! In addition, check out these excellent scholarships awarded based on merit.

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How to Apply For A Full Ride Scholarship

You need to make sure that you are aware of the application deadline, the specifics, and the backup materials that you need to qualify for this scholarship. It is in your best interest to thoroughly familiarize yourself with the requirements for the scholarship and to do so multiple times. Extra materials you’ll need include:

  • Official Transcript
  • One or more essays
  • Lists of your extracurricular activities
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Demonstrated financial need (if that’s part of the scholarship requirements)

Because the host university and the sponsors are different, it is possible that the standards that have been described above do not apply to all full ride scholarships. You must seek the guidance of a counsellor as soon as possible to ensure that you are not missing something important.

How Can I Get a Full Ride Scholarship?

It should come as no surprise that competition for full-tuition scholarships is fierce. It is not required that the recipient needs financial assistance; instead, the emphasis may be placed on the recipient’s academic performance, athletic ability, leadership qualities, or quality.

First and foremost, it is necessary to conduct a sincere assessment of one’s abilities. What do you consider to be your greatest advantages? What truly sets you different from the other students in your class and makes you the star that you are? It is difficult to generalize, but you can boost your chances by distinguishing yourself in one or more areas, and the sooner you can begin to cultivate these distinctive attributes, the better:

  • Full Ride Academic Scholarship: Be at the top of your class with a fantastic grade point average, enrol in AP or honours level programs, and achieve perfect or nearly perfect scores on the SAT or ACT. In addition to having academic merit, it is beneficial to have leadership abilities or be actively involved in the community.
  • Full Ride Leadership Scholarship: You may be a student class officer, create a club, devote your leisure time to community work, or have a unique internship if you have this quality, which is one of the fundamental characteristics that schools and organizations look for in applicants.
  • Full Ride Athletic Scholarship: For a college to want you badly enough for their squad, you’ll need to thrive on the team you play for in high school (and also rank near the top of your state) to compete there. Six different sports are eligible to get full scholarships to compete at the Division 1 level, but there are organizations for other sports as well.
  • Other Types of Full Ride Scholarships: This can include things like being the first person in one’s family to go to college, having a certain ancestry, or conquering big obstacles in one’s life. There are some universities, such as the University of Virginia, that offer full-tuition scholarships to students who demonstrate a significant financial need.


This article on how to get a full ride scholarship provides you with all of the information that you require concerning full scholarship funding. And as was mentioned earlier, this is significantly different from scholarships that cover the entire cost of tuition due to the reasons that were mentioned earlier.

You can get information regarding full-ride scholarships and other awards by searching for any one of a variety of websites that are currently available. These websites frequently produce articles each year to provide assistance and advice, such as this one on the Top Full-Ride Scholarships for High School Students or this list of 80 Colleges With Full-Ride Scholarships.

There are a variety of full ride scholarships available; if you want to win one of these scholarships, you need to make sure that you satisfy all of the eligibility conditions. You can apply for any of the scholarships that are listed here; applications are still being accepted, so take advantage of this opportunity and submit your application right away. Good luck!

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