What Colleges Offer Full Ride Scholarships

What Colleges Offer Full Ride Scholarships

The pursuit of higher education is often accompanied by financial concerns, particularly the daunting cost of tuition and associated expenses.

However, amidst the financial hurdles, a beacon of hope emerges in the form of full-ride scholarships, offering a transformative opportunity to achieve academic dreams without the burden of financial constraints.

What Colleges Offer Full Ride Scholarships

These scholarships, provided by various colleges and universities, cover the entirety of tuition costs and, in some cases, extend to cover room, board, and other expenses, alleviating the financial strain on students and their families.

Types of full-ride  scholarships

Merit-based scholarships: These scholarships are awarded to students who have demonstrated exceptional academic achievement. Examples include:

  • The National Merit Scholarship Program: This program awards scholarships to about 1,600 high school seniors each year.
  • The Coca-Cola Scholars Program: This program awards scholarships to 500 high school seniors each year who demonstrate leadership, service, and academic excellence.
  • The Gates Scholarship: This program awards scholarships to 300 African American, Hispanic American, Native American, and Asian American high school seniors each year who demonstrate academic achievement and leadership potential.

Need-based scholarships: These scholarships are awarded to students who demonstrate financial need. Examples include:

  • The Federal Pell Grant: This grant is awarded to over 8 million students each year. The amount of the grant is based on the student’s financial needs.
  • The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG): This grant is awarded to about 1.5 million students each year. The amount of the grant is based on the student’s financial needs.
  • The State Grant: This grant is awarded to students by their state government. The amount of the grant varies from state to state.

Identity-based scholarships: These scholarships are awarded to students from specific groups, such as minorities, women, or students from underserved communities. Examples include:

  • The Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF): This organization awards scholarships to over 5,000 Hispanic students each year.
  • The American Indian College Fund (AICF): This organization awards scholarships to over 4,000 Native American students each year.
  • The Asian American Scholarship Fund (AASF): This organization awards scholarships to over 1,000 Asian American students each year.

Athletic scholarships

Athletic scholarships are awarded to student-athletes who compete in varsity sports. These scholarships are designed to help student-athletes pay for the cost of college while they are competing in their sport. The amount of an athletic scholarship varies depending on the sport, the school, and the student’s athletic ability.

Some student-athletes receive full-ride scholarships, which cover the entire cost of attendance. Others receive partial scholarships, which cover a portion of the cost of attendance. To be eligible for an athletic scholarship, student-athletes must meet certain academic and athletic requirements. They must also be recruited by a college or university to play on their varsity team.

What is a full-ride scholarship?

A full-ride scholarship is a financial award that covers the entire cost of attending college. This includes tuition, fees, room and board, books, and supplies. Some full-ride scholarships also cover additional expenses, such as travel and research costs. Full-ride scholarships are highly competitive, and they are typically awarded to students who have demonstrated exceptional academic achievement, leadership potential, and a commitment to community service.

Some benefits of full-ride scholarships include:

  • Allows students to attend college without worrying about the financial burden. This can allow students to focus on their studies and get the most out of their college experience.
  • Reduces the amount of student loan debt that students will have to repay after graduation. This can free up students to pursue their desired careers without being weighed down by debt.
  • Opens up doors to new opportunities. Full-ride scholarship recipients often have access to exclusive networking and internship opportunities that can help them launch successful careers.

List of schools that offer full-ride scholarships

Schools that offer full-ride scholarships include, but are not limited to:

1) Duke University (Durham, NC) – Robertson Scholars Leadership Program

This four-year scholarship is offered to incoming college freshmen, including international students.

2) Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN) – Ingram Scholarship Program

Recipients also receive funding for on-campus housing. Additionally, Vanderbilt offers the Cornelius Vanderbilt Scholarship. This award comes with a one-time summer stipend.

3) Washington University (St. Louis, MO) – John B. Ervin Scholars Program

Students receive not only full tuition but also a yearly $2,500 stipend. Likewise, Washington University also offers the Annika Rodriguez Scholars Program and the Danforth Scholars Program. Each scholarship requires supplemental essays.

4) Boston College (Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts) – Gabelli Presidential Scholars Program

Up to 18 incoming freshmen can be awarded. Fully funded summer programs are included.

5) Boston University (Boston, Massachusetts): Trustee Scholarship

6) University of Wisconsin (Madison, Wisconsin): Mercile J. Lee Scholars Scholarship

Recipients of this scholarship earn not only full tuition but also a $400 book stipend each semester.

7) Barry University (Miami Shores, Florida) – Barry Stamps Scholars Program

The expense of housing, funding for study abroad, and various research opportunities may also be awarded.

8) Northeastern University (Boston, Massachusetts) – Torch Scholars Program

Offered only to first-generation college students, this award covers the full cost of tuition, board, and supplies for over 8 undergraduate semesters.

9) Rollins College (Winter Park, Florida) – Alfond Scholars Program

Each year, up to 10 scholarships are awarded to incoming freshmen. Students are expected to live on campus throughout their study and participate in one significant off-campus experience.

10) Stevenson University (Stevenson, Maryland) – Presidential Fellowship

Recipients are expected to embody the college’s mission of leadership and community-based service. This award is available only to incoming freshmen.

11) 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 honours student studying the creative or performing arts.

12) 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.

13) University of Maryland, College Park (College Park, Maryland) – Banneker/Key Scholars Program

This scholarship covers full tuition, room and board, and books. Applications 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.

14) 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 counsellors. 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. Applicants must apply using Early Action or Early Decision 1 to be eligible. International students are also eligible for this scholarship.

Marta S. and L. Austin Weeks Scholarship

This scholarship offers full tuition. Applicants must apply using Early Action or Early Decision 1 to be eligible.

15) 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 freshmen 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, international experience, and assistance securing internships throughout college. Five outstanding graduates from Pennsylvania high schools are selected for the award each year.

16) Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge, Louisiana) – Stamps Scholars

In addition to full tuition coverage, the university allows for a $14,000 stipend for study abroad or research opportunities.

17) Mercer University (Macon, Georgia) – Stamps Scholars

This scholarship also covers the cost of textbooks and room and board. Additionally, a $16,000 stipend is awarded for study abroad or other enrichment opportunities.

18) North Carolina State University (Raleigh, North Carolina) – Park Scholarship

As part of the focus on leadership, recipients also attend retreats and receive individualized mentorship.

18) Southern Methodist University (Dallas, Texas) – President’s Scholars Program

Recipients of this award also receive funding for study abroad and on-campus housing.

19) University of Texas at Austin (Austin, Texas) – Forty Acres Scholars Program

Students from a variety of majors are eligible. Stand-alone applications are no longer required.

20) Washington and Lee University (Lexington, Virginia) – Johnson Scholarship

This scholarship also covers room and board and meals. Additionally, the university will award a $7,000 stipend for a study abroad experience.


Full-ride scholarships represent a lifeline for academically exceptional and financially constrained students, enabling them to pursue their educational aspirations without the weight of financial limitations.

These scholarships catalyze social mobility, fostering a more equitable and inclusive educational landscape. As students embark on their academic journeys, full-ride scholarships empower them to focus wholeheartedly on their studies, explore new horizons, and contribute meaningfully to society.


Does a full ride scholarship cover all 4 years?

The terms and duration for a full ride scholarship vary. So, you should always check the terms carefully to understand the details of a specific scholarship program. Some cover all four years, while others may only cover one, two or three years of school.

What is the most expensive scholarship?

Offered alongside several post-secondary awards given through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Gates Millennium Scholars Program is a $1.6 million initiative designed to support minorities pursuing a college education.

How much GPA is required to study in the USA with a scholarship?

While there is no fixed minimum GPA for all institutions, many top-tier universities may seek applicants with GPAs between 2.0 and 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. However, it’s essential to research and check the specific requirements of the universities and programs you are interested in.
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