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Top Full Ride Scholarships for High School Students in September 2023

A full ride scholarship is a comprehensive scholarship that covers tuition, room and board, expenses for books and other fees, and oftentimes money for expenses such as a laptop. Some even include bonus money that will help fund a research or study abroad experience over the summer.

Some colleges and universities may also award full ride scholarship recipients other benefits including the opportunity to be part of an honors program or preferential residence hall selection.

If you are wondering how to get a full ride scholarship, you are in the right place! Keep on reading to learn about how you can find and win full ride and full tuition scholarships!

How do you win a full ride?

The specific requirements of each full ride scholarship will vary according to the college or organizing awarding the scholarship. However, like most competitive merit scholarships, full ride scholarships will be looking for high-achieving students.

Specifically, the following factors will be considered by nearly all full ride scholarship selection committees:

Some full ride scholarships may also include an interview component where you will meet with members of the scholarship selection committee.

What colleges give full-ride scholarships?

There are many different types of colleges that offer full ride scholarships. These range from large, public universities like the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to highly selective private universities like the University of Southern California.

Below you will find a list of some of the top colleges and universities that offer full ride scholarships for students.

We are constantly updating this list, so check back for more colleges and universities. In order to be as complete as possible, we have also included some colleges that offer full tuition scholarships (as these scholarships may be combined with need-based financial aid to cover the complete cost of attendance).

Private full ride scholarships

While many private scholarships will award between $1,000 and $10,000 to students, some will cover full tuition, room, and board to students. The great thing about these private scholarships is that they are not generally tied to a specific college or university so you have more flexibility!

Both the Questbridge Scholarship and the Cameron Impact Scholarship are worth checking out if you are a high school student. The Coolidge Scholarship is another amazing community that provides students with a full ride to any accredited college or university. The program selects recipients during their junior year of high school, so be sure to start your application early if you are interested!

Like college-specific full ride awards, these private scholarships are highly competitive. They typically take into account your academic achievement, demonstrated leadership skills, community service, extracurriculars, and background. Some take financial need into account whereas others are entirely merit-based scholarships.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket

Full ride scholarships are very alluring because they take care of all your college expenses and pretty much put an end to your scholarship hunt. However, at the end of the day, a very small percentage of students go to school on a full ride scholarship.

So, it’s important to apply to many different scholarship and financial aid opportunities. So, be sure to fill out the FAFSA, apply for local scholarship programs, and look for college scholarships at the specific schools you’re applying to. Higher education is expensive, but even small scholarship awards add up to help reduce your student debt over the four years of school.

Frequently asked questions about full scholarships

Below are some of the most common questions that students ask about full ride and full tuition scholarships.

What's the difference between a full ride and a full tuition scholarship?

While a full ride will cover all educational and living expenses when you are in college, a full tuition scholarship will only cover tuition. This means that you will be responsible for covering the rest of your cost of attendance through scholarships, need-based grants, ISAs, and student loans.

What GPA do you need to get a full ride scholarship?

This is tricky to answer, because GPA is not the only factor that the scholarship committee will be considering. So while a strong set of grades will help your case, the scholarship committee will likely be assessing your test scores, essays, activities, and leadership. Chances are the college or organization awarding the scholarship will have a set of criteria. Here is some more information about what matters when being considered for a full ride.

Do valedictorians get full scholarships?

Not necessarily. While there aren’t full scholarships for students who are simply the valedictorian of their high school, this is a factor that will help you win scholarships. If a student is a valedictorian, they have a great set of grades and have likely taken very challenging classes. These factors–high grades and a rigorous academic schedule–will help, but not guarantee students applying for scholarships.

What ACT score gets you a full tuition scholarship?

In college admissions and scholarships there are rarely any absolutes. This goes for GPA, but also ACT and SAT scores. Generally, the higher your test scores, the better. However, test scores are not everything and other factors like grades, classes, essays, activities, and interviews are likely to be considered.

When do you apply for a full ride scholarship?

Most full ride scholarships are available to high school students in their junior or senior year of high school. Since these scholarships are so substantial, some have application processes that stretch between students’ junior and senior years, such as the Posse Scholarship.

Top Easy Scholarships of September 2023

Scholarship
Amount
Deadline
Apply Link
Scholarship:
$10,000 “No Essay” Scholarship
Amount:

$10,000

Deadline:

06/30/2024

Apply
Scholarship Details +

Easy scholarship open to all US-based high school, college, and graduate students

Scholarship:
Niche $25,000 No Essay Scholarship
Amount:

$25,000

Deadline:

09/27/2023

Apply
Scholarship Details +

Easy scholarship open to all students

Scholarship:
$2,000 Sallie Mae Scholarship
Amount:

$2,000

Deadline:

09/30/2023

Apply
Scholarship Details +

Open to high school juniors and seniors, college, community college and graduate students

Scholarship:
$25k “Be Bold” No-Essay Scholarship
Amount:

$25,000

Deadline:

10/01/2023

Apply
Scholarship Details +

Easy scholarship open to all students

Other scholarship lists to explore