7 Colleges That Offer Full Scholarships for a Free Bachelor’s Degree

Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print to help you understand what you are buying. Be sure to consult with a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the financial institution.

full ride scholarships
Logo

We’ve got your back! Student Loan Hero is a completely free website 100% focused on helping student loan borrowers get the answers they need. Read more

How do we make money? It’s actually pretty simple. If you choose to check out and become a customer of any of the loan providers featured on our site, we get compensated for sending you their way. This helps pay for our amazing staff of writers (many of which are paying back student loans of their own!).

Bottom line: We’re here for you. So please learn all you can, email us with any questions, and feel free to visit or not visit any of the loan providers on our site. Read less

Tuition rates continue to increase across all types of higher-education institutions. Today, the average cost of a four-year private college for an undergrad is a whopping $129,640.

But what if you could cover the entire cost of tuition with a full ride scholarship?

Below you’ll find seven private colleges that award full ride scholarships every year to undergraduate students. Some even cover other college costs like books, room and board, a semester abroad, and summer programs.

What are the requirements for full ride scholarships? Well, they’re typically merit-based. They’re also very competitive, but definitely worth a shot if you’re a strong student. Here are seven to get you started on your search.

U.S. private colleges with full ride scholarships

1. Boston University, Trustee Scholars Program

Boston University awards the prestigious Trustee Scholarship to about 20 students each year.

To qualify, you need to have a record of academic and extracurricular achievements. You’ll also write a 600-word persuasive essay on one of Boston University’s given prompts.

Besides the Trustee Scholarship, Boston University also awards Presidential Scholarships. These merit-based scholarships go to five percent of entering freshmen. They cover $20,000 in tuition every year.

2. American University, the Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars Program

American University awards students for their academic excellence and commitment to solving social problems through their Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars program.

It covers tuition, room, board, books, student fees, and a semester abroad for recipients.  So if you feel committed to a “lifetime of giving,” then this scholarship is for you.

Students who are first in their families to attend college get preference. You’ll also stand out if you’re committed to working in communities of color in the U.S.

Most recipients have at least a 3.3 unweighted grade point average and an 1190 on the SAT.

3. Indiana University, the Wells Scholars Program

Indiana University’s Wells Scholarship tends to go to students in the top five percent of their class. They also have a history of community involvement and leadership.

The program includes full tuition, a summer internship, and four years of mentorship.

To get this full ride scholarship, your school needs to nominate you. So if you’re interested, you should talk to your school counselor about submitting a nomination.

4. Ohio State University, Eminence Scholarship and Program

Students with academic distinction, a sense of social responsibility, and a desire to solve societal problems can apply to become Eminence Fellows.

The application process requires a thoughtful essay. Finalists also interview on-campus at Ohio State University.

5. Louisiana State University, Stamps Scholarship

The Stamps Scholarship covers the cost of attendance at Louisiana State University (LSU) for four years. Beyond tuition, it offers up to $14,000 for supplemental learning experiences.

LSU is able to give this scholarship because of its partnership with the Stamps Foundation.

The foundation has given over 1,000 scholarships to students across the country. Besides LSU, the Stamps Foundation partners with over 30 other colleges and universities.

6. University of Texas at Austin, Forty Acres Scholars Program

In addition to a full ride scholarship, the Forty Acres Scholars Program also has a sweet community component. Recipients learn and grow with their Forty Acres community throughout their four years at University of Texas, Austin.

Qualifying candidates have a strong academic record and show leadership potential. And if you get this great scholarship, you’ll also get a stipend for living, books, and various enriching experiences.

7. University of Richmond, Richmond Scholars Program

The Richmond Scholars Program is a full ride scholarship that you don’t have to apply for. The University of Richmond automatically considers all applicants for the scholarship and awards students with leadership skills, a desire to serve society, or exceptional artistic talent.

In addition to tuition, the program grants you a $3,000 stipend for the activity of your choice. Richmond Scholars also get special tickets for cultural events and priority course registration.

These seven schools are just a few of the ones that offer full ride scholarships to incoming students.

To learn more, check out College Board’s scholarship search engine or other resources around the web. You can also find the requirements for full ride scholarships on college websites themselves.

How to get a full ride scholarship for college

Essentially, private colleges award most full ride scholarships to students at the top of their class.  Therefore, scholarship committees are looking for students with excellent grades, high SAT scores, and community involvement.

If you’re a top student, you may have your sights set on a highly selective school, like Harvard or Princeton. However, it may be in your best interest to consider another college where you could get a full ride scholarship.

You’ll still get an outstanding education, and you could be part of a motivated, inspiring community. Rather than choosing the most highly ranked school, consider striking a different balance. You could find a school that offers both a top-notch education and scholarship money.

In the end, you could save thousands of dollars in student loans. And, once you graduate, you’ll be able to hit the ground running, debt-free!

Where else can you find scholarship money? Check out these 10 wacky and unusual scholarships that will help pay your tuition.

Need a student loan?

Here are our top student loan lenders of 2020!
LenderVariable APREligibility 
* The Sallie Mae partner referenced is not the creditor for these loans and is compensated by Sallie Mae for the referral of Smart Option Student Loan customers.

1 Important Disclosures for College Ave.

CollegeAve Disclosures

College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.

(1)All rates shown include the auto-pay discount.  The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as a valid bank account is designated for required monthly payments. Variable rates may increase after consummation.

(2)This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a freshman borrower who selects the Deferred Repayment Option with a 10-year repayment term, has a $10,000 loan that is disbursed in one disbursement and a 8.35% fixed Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $179.18 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $21,501.54. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary.

(3)As certified by your school and less any other financial aid you might receive. Minimum $1,000.

Information advertised valid as of 11/4/2019. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation.


2 Sallie Mae Disclaimer: Click here for important information. Terms, conditions and limitations apply.

3 Important Disclosures for Discover.

Discover Disclosures

  1. Students who get at least a 3.0 GPA (or equivalent) qualify for a one-time cash reward on each new Discover undergraduate and graduate student loan. Reward redemption period is limited. Please visit DiscoverStudentLoans.com/Reward for any applicable reward terms and conditions.
  2. View Auto Reward Debit Reward Terms and Conditions at DiscoverStudentLoans.com/AutoDebitReward.
  3. Aggregate loan limits apply.
  4. Lowest rates shown are for the undergraduate loan and include an interest-only repayment discount and a 0.25% interest rate reduction while enrolled in automatic payments. The interest rate ranges represent the lowest interest rate offered on the Discover Undergraduate Loan and highest interest rates offered on Discover student loans, including Undergraduate, Graduate, Health Professions, Law and MBA Loans. The fixed interest rate is set at the time of application and does not change during the life of the loan. The variable interest rate is calculated based on the 3-Month LIBOR index plus the applicable Margin percentage. The margin is based on your credit evaluation at the time of application and does not change. For variable interest rate loans, the 3-Month LIBOR is 2.250% as of October 1, 2019. Discover Student Loans will adjust the rate quarterly on each January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1 (the “interest rate change date”), based on the 3-Month LIBOR Index, published in the Money Rates section of the Wall Street Journal 15 days prior to the interest rate change date, rounded up to the nearest one-eighth of one percent (0.125% or 0.00125). This may cause the monthly payments to increase, the number of payments to increase or both. Please visit discover.com/student-loans/interest-rates for more information about interest rates.
Discover's lowest rates shown are for the undergraduate loan and include an interest-only repayment discount and a 0.25% interest rate reduction while enrolled in automatic payments.

4 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.

CommonBond Disclosures

Offered terms are subject to change and state law restrictions. Loans are offered through CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS #1175900).

  1.  Rates are as of July 1, 2019 and include auto-pay discount. All loans are eligible for a 0.25% reduction in interest rate by agreeing to automatic payment withdrawals once in repayment. Variable rates may increase after consummation.

5 Important Disclosures for Citizens.

Citizens Disclosures

Undergraduate Rate Disclosure: Variable rate, based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of December 1, 2019, the one-month LIBOR rate is 1.70%. Variable interest rates range from 2.80% – 11.06% (2.80% – 10.91% APR) and will fluctuate over the term of the loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a co-signer. Fixed interest rates range from 4.72% – 12.19% (4.72% – 12.04% APR) based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a co-signer. Lowest rates shown requires application with a co-signer, are for eligible applicants, require a 5-year repayment term, borrower making scheduled payments while in school and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change. Please note: Due to federal regulations, Citizens Bank is required to provide every potential borrower with disclosure information before they apply for a private student loan. The borrower will be presented with an Application Disclosure and an Approval Disclosure within the application process before they accept the terms and conditions of the loan.

Please Note: International Students are not eligible for the multi-year approval feature.

2.84%
10.97%
1
Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents

Visit College Ave

2.87% – 10.75%*,2Undergraduate and Graduate

Visit SallieMae

2.80%
11.37%
3
Undergraduate and Graduate

Visit Discover

3.52% – 9.50%4Undergraduate and Graduate

Visit CommonBond

2.80% – 11.06%5Undergraduate and Graduate

VISIT CITIZENS

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print to help you understand what you are buying. Be sure to consult with a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time.

Published in Spend Less, Student Loans