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 2018!
|1 Important Disclosures for CollegeAve.
College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or Nationwide Bank, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.
Information advertised valid as of 11/1/2018. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation.
2 Important Disclosures for Discover.
3 Important Disclosures for Ascent.
Before taking out private student loans, you should explore and compare all financial aid alternatives, including grants, scholarships, and federal student loans and consider your future monthly payments and income. Applying with a cosigner may improve your chance of getting approved and could help you qualify for a lower interest rate. Ascent Student Loans may be funded by Richland State Bank (RSB). Ascent Student Loan products are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application, verification of application information and certification of loan amount by a participating school. Loan products may not be available in certain jurisdictions, and certain restrictions, limitations; and terms and conditions may apply. Ascent is a federally registered trademark of Turnstile Capital Management (TCM) and may be used by RSB under limited license. Richland State Bank is a federally registered service mark of Richland State Bank.
* Application times vary depending on the applicants ability to supply the necessary information for submission.
* 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.
4 = Sallie Mae Disclaimer: Click here for important information. Terms, conditions and limitations apply.
5 Important Disclosures for PNC.
PNC Bank is one of the nation’s largest education loan providers. For over 40 years, PNC has been committed to helping students and their families make possible the adventure of college.
6 Important Disclosures for SunTrust.
Before applying for a private student loan, SunTrust recommends comparing all financial aid alternatives including grants, scholarships, and both federal and private student loans. To view and compare the available features of SunTrust private student loans, visit https://www.suntrust.com/loans/student-loans/private.
Certain restrictions and limitations may apply. SunTrust Bank reserves the right to change or discontinue this loan program without notice. Availability of all loan programs is subject to approval under the SunTrust credit policy and other criteria and may not be available in certain jurisdictions.
SunTrust Bank, Member FDIC. ©2018 SunTrust Banks, Inc. SUNTRUST, the SunTrust logo and Custom Choice Loan are trademarks of SunTrust Banks, Inc. All rights reserved.
7 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Additional terms and conditions apply. For more details see LendKey
8 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
A government loan is made according to rules set by the U.S. Department of Education. Government loans have fixed interest rates, meaning that the interest rate on a government loan will never go up or down.
Government loans also permit borrowers in financial trouble to use certain options, such as income-based repayment, which may help some borrowers. Depending on the type of loan that you have, the government may discharge your loan if you die or become permanently disabled.
Depending on what type of government loan that you have, you may be eligible for loan forgiveness in exchange for performing certain types of public service. If you are an active-duty service member and you obtained your government loan before you were called to active duty, you are entitled to interest rate and repayment benefits for your loan.
A private student loan is not a government loan and is not regulated by the Department of Education. A private student loan is instead regulated like other consumer loans under both state and federal law and by the terms of the promissory note with your lender.
If your private student loan has a fixed interest rate, then that rate will never go up or down. If your private student loan has a variable interest rate, then that rate will vary depending on an index rate disclosed in your application. If the interest rate on the new private student loan is less than the interest rate on your government loans, your payments will be less if you refinance.
If you don’t pay a private student loan as agreed, the lender can refer your loan to a collection agency or sue you for the unpaid amount.
Remember also that like government loans, most private loans cannot be discharged if you file bankruptcy unless you can demonstrate that repayment of the loan would cause you an undue hardship. In most bankruptcy courts, proving undue hardship is very difficult for most borrowers.
9 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|3.94% – 12.78%1||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents|
|4.06% – 13.06%3||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|4.34% – 12.99%2||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|4.25% – 11.10%*,4||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|5.03% – 11.23%5||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|4.12% – 13.13%6||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|5.62% – 10.01%7||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|3.93% – 9.81%8||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents|
|4.26% – 12.13%9||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents|