Full Ride Scholarships

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A full ride scholarship is an award that covers the entire cost of attending college. Cost of attendance (COA) is tuition, room and board, text books, fees, meals and other things. For example, some full ride scholarships also pay for a laptop. Funds for personal expenses and stipend for enrichment are common too.

Where can you get a full ride scholarship? There are different sources that award full ride scholarships. The federal government, colleges, and private sources to list a few. As you might expect, they are very competitive, and many students’ dream.

10 Full Ride Scholarships You Should Apply for in 2021

Check out these full ride scholarships that you should apply for now Remember to submit your scholarship application before the deadline.

  1. Ingram Scholarship
  2. Act Six Chicago Pursue Scholars Program
  3. Union College Board of Trustees Scholarship
  4. Stamp’s President’s Scholars Program
  5. Gates Scholarship
  6. Nancy Susan Reynolds Scholarship
  7. The Robertson Scholars Leadership Program
  8. U.S. Air Force ROTC Scholarships
  9. Stephen Joel Trachtenberg Scholarship
  10. Boston University Trustee Scholarship

What is the Difference between a Full Ride and Full Tuition?

Many use full ride and full tuition to mean the same thing but this isn’t always so.

A full tuition scholarship covers only your college tuition. In other words, it may not cover your entire cost of attendance. You may likely need to pay room and board, textbooks, travel, laptop etc.

For example of a full tuition scholarship is the Posse Scholars Program. It is open to high school students who show academic potential. They also are leaders in their high schools and communities. Posse Scholars receive full tuition leadership scholarships from Posse’s partner colleges and universities. Specifically, Babson College, Cornell University, Villanova and many others.

In contrast, a full ride usually spans the entire cost of college. This includes books, meal plan, room and board, travel and other living costs.

One example of a full ride scholarship is the University of Virginia Jefferson Scholars Foundation. This award covers the entire COA for four years at the University. Tuition, fees, books, supplies, room, board, and personal expenses. It also pays for extra enrichment experiences.

or instance, the University of Oregon offers the Stamps Leadership Scholarship. It pays UO tuition, room and board plus up to $12,000 in enrichment funds for their four years at the university. The extra money may cover study abroad and unpaid internships.

How do you get a full ride scholarship?

Each scholarship details varies depending on who awards it. Colleges typically offer full ride once you are admitted into the school. Like merit based scholarships, they usually go to very talented and motivated students.

Many full ride scholarships determine eligibility based on:

  1. Test Scores: You may need specific scores on the PSAT, SAT, and/or ACT tests
  2. Skills and Interests: Many schools want to see that a candidate does more than get great grades. Things like leadership, initiative and volunteer experience may matter
  3. Letters of recommendation: A boss, teacher, mentor may need to write a reference letter to shed light on your personality
  4. Personal essay: You may need to write a stand out personal essay. One that goes into details about your goals and interests
  5. Grades: Good grades is important to maintain in order to receive a scholarship.

What GPA do you need to get a full scholarship?

The GPA you need to get a full ride scholarship varies. Some schools may either want a certain GPA (E.g. 3.5 or higher) or a particular class rank (E.g. top 5% or 10% in your class). You usually need to maintain the specified GPA while in a scholarship program to keep it going.


To know want a full scholarship is worth today, let’s look at the average cost of attending college. Full scholarships are available at a wide range of colleges and universities. Some cost more than others to attend.

In addition, the average cost of pursuing an undergraduate degree at a public institution is $16,757 per year. It costs $43,065 at private nonprofit institutions. Private for profit institutions cost $23,776. These prices reflect tuition, fees, room, and board.

A typical bachelor’s degree takes four years. So, a full ride scholarship at these schools may be worth averages of $67,028 (public), $172,260 (private nonprofit) and $95,104 (private for profit). Of course, if it is a full ride, it may provide funds for other expenses too.

What Percentage of students get a full ride scholarship?

Full ride scholarships are rare. About 19.9 million students enrolled in one of the nation’s colleges and universities last year. Recent figures also show that only 0.2% of students got $25,000 or more in scholarships per year.

That said, if you are trying to get the most money for college, you may want to start with federal aid. Filling out a FAFSA is the first step. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is an official form. Its purpose is to ask for federal, state and school help in paying for college.

If you get a scholarship, the financial aid office can subtract that amount from your COA. Other financial aid you are eligible for may cover any amount left over. This isn’t technically a full ride, but an option to think about. One that may make one of your dream schools within reach.


Check out our list of full ride scholarships below. We have 4,194 awards worth $36M.

Act Six Chicago Pursue Scholars Program

This full-tuition scholarship to Taylor University (IN) is open to Chicago residents who graduated from high school in 2018 or 2019 or will graduate in 2020 and are not yet enrolled in a four-year college. Students should display strong academic potential and must be Christians or open to learning about the Christian faith.
Award Amount

Total:  $962500

Awards:  7


Deadline:  November 05

Columbia College of Missouri Presidential Scholarship

This award is for U.S. and international high school students who are planning to attend Columbia College of Missouri. Students must have a grade point average of 3.6 or higher and an ACT score of 26 or higher (or equivalent SAT score); minimum test scores are not required for transfer students.
Award Amount

Total:  $439000

Awards:  5


Deadline:  January 11

Union College Board of Trustees Scholarship

This full-tuition scholarship is open to U.S. and international entering freshmen at Union College (NE). Students must have a grade point average of 3.9 or higher (or GED score of 750 or higher), and an ACT score of 32 or higher or an SAT score of 1500 or higher.
Award Amount

Total:  $2210000

Awards:  26


Deadline:  April 01

Family Fellowship Program

This full tuition scholarship is open to U.S. high school seniors and graduates who are 17 to 23 years of age and are/were in public or private foster care, adopted or placed into legal guardianship from foster care, or orphaned. Students must be living or attending school in Texas, and must have a grade point average of 2.5 or higher.
Award Amount

Total:  $1350000

Awards:  15


Deadline:  May 01

Bruce Fishkin Scholarship Fund

This award is for high school seniors who reside in Chicago, IL, or surrounding areas; Las Vegas, NV, or surrounding areas; Fairfield, Greens Farms, Redding, or Westport, CT. Students must have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher and an ACT composite score of 22 or higher.
Award Amount

Total:  $1200000

Awards:  6


Deadline:  October 06

Stamp’s President’s Scholars Program

A Stamps President’s Scholarship (SPS) covers all tuition, meals, housing, funds for personal expenses and books. An extra $12,000 over four years is also provided toward enrichment activities. An eight-day outdoor leadership trip your first year is also provided with a $1,100 stipend for the purchase of a laptop.
Award Amount

Total:  $7834240

Awards:  40


Deadline:  October 15

Robert W. Woodruff Scholarship

The Robert W. Woodruff Scholarship is the founding and signature merit scholarship of Emory University. It honors Robert W. Woodruff who headed the Coca Cola company for many years and also, supported EU. Incoming freshman students at Emory University are eligible. Tuition and fees at Emory University is $53,306 per year.
Award Amount

Total:  $53070

Awards:  1


Deadline:  November 15

Mork Family Scholarship

The Mork Family Scholarship is available for incoming freshman at the University of Southern California. Scholars will receive full tuition, housing, and an additional stipend for living expenses. $5,000 living stipends are provided per year.?Tuition and fees at USC are $56,225 per year.
Award Amount

Total:  $2250000

Awards:  10


Deadline:  December 01

Northeastern University Torch Scholars Program

This award is available to U.S high school students who are planning to attend Northeastern University, MA. Each applicant must be a first-generation college student who has overcome exceptional odds and who demonstrates the potential to excel academically.
Award Amount

Total:  $72932

Awards:  1


Deadline:  January 01

The University of Notre Dame Stamps Scholarship

The University of Notre Dame Stamps Scholarship is available for admitted students at the University of Notre Dame. Applicants must demostrate a record of leadership, perseverance, scholarship, service, and innovation. Click here to learn more and apply today!
Award Amount

Total:  $400000

Awards:  4


Deadline:  January 01