Full-ride and full-tuition scholarships
With student loan debt totaling $1.75 trillion and college costs rising by an average of 6.8% per year, deciding to attend school and pursue higher education is a major life decision. Although earning a college degree can help you achieve your personal and professional goals, it can demand copious financial planning to avoid taking on student debt. After researching all the financial aid options available, you may decide that their best course of action is to apply for scholarships and grants. It’s important to know that you are not alone in your search: there are hundreds of universities and organizations providing aid to students like you.
Due to rising tuition, winning enough scholarships to cover all your educational costs can be a challenge. Luckily, more and more organizations and universities are offering full-ride and full-tuition scholarships to expand access to education and improve opportunities for lower-income and highly talented students.
The benefits of earning your degree without student debt are extensive. When you don’t need to worry about paying off loans, it allows you more room to be creative and innovative and pursue your passions after you graduate. Taking the time to apply for full-ride and full-tuition scholarships can provide you with life-changing funds. Your first step is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and have your eligibility for financial aid established.
What is the difference between full-tuition scholarships and full-ride scholarships?
A full-tuition scholarship covers 100% of your tuition costs and can be for one year or all years of an academic program. For example, if your tuition is $15,000 per year, a 4-year, full-tuition scholarship would be worth $60,000. Students who receive a full-tuition scholarship usually still need to pay for educational fees, room and board, textbooks, and more. However, having fewer expenses eliminates the need to take out student loans.
A full-ride scholarship, on the other hand, provides even more support for covering your educational expenses and often provides funding for each year of an academic program. Full-ride scholarships cover tuition, educational fees, room, and board. Some even offer additional monthly living stipends, funds for traveling between home and school, and money for textbooks and more. Students who receive full-ride scholarships have very few, if any, out-of-pocket expenses when attending school.
We have created the list of scholarships below to help you get started on your search for full-tuition and full-ride scholarships.
Each year, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation provides generous awards to minority students who demonstrate significant financial need. This scholarship covers all unmet financial need and is open to students studying computer science, education, engineering, library science, mathematics, public health, or science. The scholarship can be renewed each year if the student maintains satisfactory academic progress.
Scholarship amount: All unmet financial need
Official scholarship website: Gates Millennium Scholars Program
This full-ride scholarship covers all costs for tuition, fees, textbooks, room, and board. Additionally, students receive temporary employment with the USDA following graduation and may also be eligible for permanent positions. There are a wide range of qualifying majors, including agriculture, animal sciences, botany, home economics, nutrition, and soil conservation. Students need to be attending a participating school, such as South Carolina State University or Alabama A and M University.
Scholarship amount: Full tuition, fees, room, and board
Official scholarship website: U.S. Dept of Agriculture
This award is a scholarship-for-service program that provides summer internships and leads to guaranteed employment with the Department of Defense (DoD) following graduation. Recipients receive funds to cover full tuition, textbooks, health allowances, and annual living stipends ranging from $25,000 to $38,000. Undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral STEM students are eligible to apply.
Scholarship amount: Full tuition, plus annual living stipends, textbooks, and health allowances
Official scholarship website: Science, Math and Research for Transformation (SMART)
The Western Golf Association presents this annual scholarship to high-achieving caddies with demonstrated financial need, a strong academic record of success, and exceptional character. Both high school seniors and college freshmen can apply.
Scholarship amount: Full tuition, room, and board
Official scholarship website: Western Golf Association
New York City high school students interested in pursuing a career in financial services can apply for this full 4-year scholarship from JP Morgan Chase. Recipients work for the firm part time during the school year and full time in the summer. Students gain first-hand experience rotating through and working in various areas of the firm.
Scholarship amount: Full tuition, fees, room, and board
Official scholarship website: JP Morgan Chase
This generous scholarship fully covers the cost of tuition, fees, housing, and meals at any Arizona state university. Students also receive funding to attend a 3-week international summer seminar and an additional study abroad experience. In addition, the foundation provides mentorship from top faculty members and membership in a university honors college. Winners are selected based on academic performance.
Scholarship amount: Full tuition, fees, room, and board, plus funds for study abroad
Official scholarship website: Flinn Foundation
This full-tuition scholarship is awarded to 5 students per year who are attending a participating Historically Black College and University (HBCU), such as Alabama State University, Langston University, and Fisk University. Students need to be graduating high school seniors, and Atlanta or Houston residents. Recipients are required to also attend bimonthly college ready prep sessions, monthly cohort meetings, and demonstrate strong leadership potential.
Scholarship amount: Full tuition
Official scholarship website: 5 Strong Scholars
CIEE provides study abroad scholarships ranging from 10% of tuition to 100% of tuition based on financial need and academic performance. College freshmen, sophomores, and juniors can apply, and students are able to reapply each year if they did not receive the scholarship in previous years.
Scholarship amount: Up to 100% of tuition for study abroad
Official scholarship website: Council on International Education Exchange (CIEE)
This generous scholarship is awarded to students who have spent time in the foster care system. Applicants must complete the FAFSA and apply for at least 2 other scholarships, possess at least a 3.5 GPA, and demonstrate a passion for service. The award also includes one-on-one mentorship to support students in achieving their goals.
Scholarship amount: Up to $100,000 per recipient
Official scholarship website: Rezvan Foundation
This full-tuition, merit-based scholarship is presented to up to 15 students per year. Students must have at least a 3.7 GPA. Recipients are also required to attend the annual Cameron Impact Scholars Award Ceremony and Summit.
Scholarship amount: Full tuition, fees, and books for 4 years
Official scholarship website: Bryan Cameron Education Foundation
KHEAA awards full-tuition scholarships to Kentucky residents pursuing education in early childhood development. Recipients must be employed at least 20 hours per week at a participating early childhood facility or as a preschool associate teacher within a state-funded preschool program to be eligible. Students can attend any participating school, such as Bluegrass Community and Technical College, Sullivan University, and the University of Kentucky.
Scholarship amount: Full tuition and fees
Official scholarship website: Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority
The QuestBridge Match Scholarship provides students the opportunity to receive early admission and a full 4-year scholarship to a participating college. The scholarship includes all tuition, fees, room, board, books, supplies, and travel expenses. Participating colleges include Amherst College, Boston College, Duke University, University of Chicago, Vanderbilt University, and more.
Scholarship amount: Full tuition and fees, room, board, books, supplies, and travel expenses
Official scholarship website: Questbridge
Regardless of your major, location, or financial need, it is worth applying for full-ride and full-tuition scholarships. With major expenses covered, you will be able to graduate college without student debt and save money for your future. This is a great way to set yourself up for success and take the first step on the path towards achieving your goals. Be sure to check with your college or university and search online scholarship databases to find out about opportunities available to you.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Where can I find full-ride and full-tuition scholarships?
You can find a range of full-ride and full-tuition scholarships on the Degree Choices database, which allows you to search by major, demographics, and other criteria. In addition, the Petersons, Fastweb, and Cappex scholarship databases are a great resource. It is also important to get connected with your high school guidance counselor or university’s financial aid office to find out about even more opportunities, including school-specific scholarships.
Am I eligible for full-ride and full-tuition scholarships?
There are a wide range of full-ride and full-tuition scholarships available for students. Each scholarship has its own unique set of requirements. To find out if you are eligible, review the requirements on the scholarship website or reach out to the organization or school directly.
How much does a college degree cost?
How can I graduate college without student debt?
Applying for scholarships and grants is the best way to earn your college degree debt-free. A full-tuition or full-ride scholarship can make it even easier to graduate without debt by eliminating the need to receive multiple scholarships and ensuring that all your tuition costs, and even other fees and expenses, are covered.