50 Colleges With Full-Ride Scholarships

If you’re a high-achieving student, you may be looking to apply to some of the top colleges in the nation. Unfortunately, these prestigious schools also be very expensive to attend. The cost of higher education is becoming increasingly prohibitive, and more and more families struggle to pay tuition.

 

However, some colleges offer full-ride scholarships, meaning all costs of attendance are covered—including housing, meals, transportation, and books. Other schools offer full-tuition scholarships, meaning that they cover everything but cost of living.

 

Keep in mind that these awards are usually recruitment tools for extremely competitive students who might otherwise enroll elsewhere. For that reason, full-ride scholarships become less common as a school moves up the ranks.

 

Wondering if the schools on your list offer full-rides? Here’s a list of 50 colleges where your education could be free.

 

1. Duke University

 

Robertson Scholars Leadership Program: This is a four-year scholarship that covers undergraduate tuition, mandatory fees, and room and board. In addition, you get unique access to the academic and extracurricular offerings at both Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill. You can also take advantage of three summers of domestic or international experiences, customized leadership and professional development opportunities, and an extensive community of other Robertson scholars, alumni, and staff.

 

2. Vanderbilt University

 

Ingram Scholarship Program: Ingram scholars have their tuition fully covered each year, plus a stipend for a summer service project. A student must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA and fulfill specific service requirements.

 

Cornelius Vanderbilt Scholarship: This scholarship also pays for 4 years of tuition, provided that recipients maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA. These students will also receive a stipend for an immersive summer experience to take place during sophomore or junior year.

 

3. University of Chicago

 

Stamps Scholarship: The Stamps Family Charitable Foundation partners with multiple universities to provide scholarships and grants to exceptional undergraduate students. The UChicago Stamps Scholarship offers enrichment grants to support experience-based learning opportunities for students in their final two years of college.

 

4. University of Notre Dame

 

Stamps Scholarship: The Stamps Family Charitable Foundation partners with University of Notre Dame to cover ten students’ tuition and fees for up to four years of undergraduate study. They will also have access to a yearly enrichment fund of $3,000 and a faculty mentor in their chosen field of study.

 

5. Virginia Tech

 

Stamps Scholarship: Virginia Tech Stamps Scholars receive funding for four years for tuition, fees, room, and board. They will also receive access to an enrichment fund for experiential learning and be admitted to Virginia Tech’s Honors College.

 

6. Washington University in St. Louis

 

John B. Ervin Scholars Program: This is a program meant to foster a more diverse campus at WashU. Ervin Scholars gain access to a comprehensive program that includes orientation, meetings with university and community leaders, academic support and advising, and special events. Ervin Scholars are also expected to engage in the campus community and participate in community service projects.

 

Annika Rodriguez Scholars Program: This full-ride scholarship recognizes students of exceptional merit, with noteworthy academic and leadership achievements, and a penchant for community service. Through this scholarship, students gain access to a special orientation, meetings with university and community leaders, academic support and advising, the Rodriguez First Year Seminar, other special events.

 

Danforth Scholars Program: Specifically for students passionate about community service, this scholarship may cover half or full tuition. These funds are renewable for each year of the student’s undergraduate study, provided that they maintain certain academic and character standards.

 

7. Emory University

 

Emory Scholars Program: This is a merit-based full scholarship. There are three different programs within this scholarship, namely the Emory Scholars Program, Oxford Scholars Program, and Goizueta Scholars Program.

 

8. University of Southern California

 

Mork Family Scholarship: With this award, undergraduates receive full tuition for four years plus an extra $5,000 in living stipends per year. You will also be paired with a dedicated academic advisor and gain access to special events.

 

Stamps Scholarship: This is a multi-year full tuition undergraduate scholarship, provided by the Stamps Family Charitable Foundation. Students also may use enrichment funds for experiential learning experiences.

 

Trustee Scholarships: This is a full-tuition scholarship, and with the number of awards varying by class. All undergraduate freshman will be automatically considered.

 

9. University of Virginia

 

Jefferson Scholarship: This award covers the costs of attending the University of Virginia for four years, with extra money for a supplemental enrichment experience. The total value of the scholarship is approximately $280,000 for non-Virginia residents and $150,000 for Virginia students.

 

10. Wake Forest University

 

Nancy Susan Reynolds Scholarship: Up to five recipients are chosen annually. Each scholarship covers the annual cost of tuition, room and board, plus $3,400 for personal expenses. These scholars can also apply for up to $5,000 in grants for experience-based learning projects.

 

Stamps Scholarship: This scholarship is given to ten entering first-year students. It annually covers the cost of tuition, fees, room, and board, and includes a $3,400 allowance for books and personal expenses. Students may also receive up to a $15,000 total over their four years of undergraduate studies for approved travel or study projects.

 

11. The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

 

Stamps Scholarship: The Stamps Scholarship at The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, will cover the full cost of attendance, renewable every year for up to four years of undergraduate studies. In addition, scholars gain membership to the University of Michigan Stamps Scholar Society student organization, potential enrichment funding of up to $10,000 to support experiential learning initiatives, and the ability to network with Stamps Scholars at more than 40 colleges and universities.

 

12. UNC (University of North Carolina) Chapel Hill

 

Morehead-Cain Scholarship: The Morehead-Cain scholarship covers full tuition, student fees, housing, meals, books, a laptop, and Discovery Funds to be used for educational opportunities. Morehead-Cain Scholars also have access to a four-year Summer Enrichment Program.

 

Robertson Scholars Leadership Program: This four-year scholarship covers undergraduate tuition, mandatory fees, and room and board. It also gives unique access to the opportunities at both Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill, three summers of domestic and international experiences, customized leadership and professional development opportunities, and an extensive community.

 

13. Michigan State University

 

Alumni Distinguished Scholarship: These scholarships include tuition, fees, room and board, and an annual $1,000 stipend. This scholarship is awarded to incoming freshmen based on GPA, class rank, standardized test scores, or similar criteria.

 

Distinguished Freshman Scholarship: This is a subset of the Alumni Distinguished Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded to the 20 runners-up in the Alumni Distinguished Scholarship competition. It covers tuition and other fees for eight semesters.

 

14. Purdue University

 

Stamps Scholarship: The Stamps Scholarship at Purdue University covers the full educational costs of a bachelor’s degree. The scholarship also provides up to $10,000 in enrichment funds to cover expenses for experiential learning endeavors.

 

15. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

 

Stamps Scholarship: This award covers a student’s full cost of attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In addition, this scholarship grants $12,000 to support activities that propel a student’s academic and professional futures. Stamps scholars also gain access to a community of fellow scholars and professional development activities.

 

16. University of Houston

 

Tier One Scholarship: This award covers all tuition and mandatory fees for four years of undergraduate studies, on-campus housing, and meal plans for two years. Scholars also receive up to $3,000 in stipends, the opportunity to build community among other Tier One Scholars, and priority registration during all enrollment periods. Out-of-state students who win this scholarship will receive a waiver for non-resident tuition.

 

17. The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin)

 

Forty Acres Scholarship: Recipients are given funding to cover tuition, textbook costs, and enrichment activities. These activities may include community service, international experiences, and professional development.

 

18. Ohio State University

 

Eminence Fellows Scholarship: The Eminence Fellows Scholarship covers the full cost of attending Ohio State for four years of undergraduate studies. Eminence Fellows Scholars also receive a $3,000 enrichment grant accessible after the first year of successful study.

 

Morrill Scholarship Program: This program offers scholarship and educational enrichment opportunities for academically exceptional students who are committed to diversity and have demonstrated leadership and service. This scholarship is awarded at different levels:

  • Distinction: Covers the cost of attendance
  • Prominence: Covers the value of tuition
  • Excellence: Covers the value of in-state tuition

 

19. Clemson University

 

National Scholars Program: Students who are selected for the National Scholars Program are awarded a four-year merit-based scholarship. This scholarship covers tuition and fees of and gives a semesterly allowance for room, board, and supplies. Scholars may also participate in a  summer group study abroad experience after the first year.

 

20. Boston College

 

Gabelli Presidential Scholars Program: Every year, the Gabelli Presidential Scholars Program awards full-tuition scholarships to fifteen incoming freshmen who have applied Early Action. These scholars also gain the opportunity to participate in a GPSP-sponsored summer program.

 

21. College of William and Mary

 

College of William and Mary Stamps 1693 Scholarship: Scholars who are Virginia residents receive a full scholarship, and out-of-state recipients receive a partial award. This scholarship includes tuition, fees, and room and board. Awardees also receive $5,000 to support independent projects they have developed. They can also take part in special events and programs, and work closely with distinguished faculty mentors to plan their course of study. Finally, they are given priority registration for courses.

 

William and Mary Scholars: This award is reserved for select few who are academically distinguished and have overcome unusual adversity, or are members of underrepresented groups. The award covers in-state tuition and fees, and is renewable as long as the student remains in good academic standing.

 

22. Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech)

 

Stamps President’s Scholars Program: Recipients of Georgia Tech’s Stamps President’s Scholars Program receive annual awards that range from $5,400 to $75,000. Scholars also receive additional funds for enrichment activities such as study abroad, academic conferences, and leadership training.

 

23. Boston University

 

Trustee Scholarship: This award will cover a student’s full cost of undergraduate tuition plus any mandatory undergraduate student fees. This scholarship is renewable for four years provided that certain criteria are met. Note that in order to apply for this scholarship, you will need to satisfy an essay requirement.

 

24. Northeastern University

 

Torch Scholars Program: Designed to support talented, first-generation college students, this is an extensive full-scholarship program. The program includes a comprehensive summer immersion program, intensive academic planning and assessments, in-depth peer and professional mentoring, and a wide array of social events.

 

25. University of Buffalo

 

The Presidential Scholarship: This scholarship is valued at $15,000 annually and renewable for four years of undergraduate study. When combined with other scholarships and grants, this award may not exceed the cost of attending the University of Buffalo.  

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26. University of Maryland, College Park

 

Stamps Banneker/Key Scholars at University of Maryland: Recipients are awarded a full merit scholarship that covers the entire cost of tuition, room, board, and a book allowance for each of the student’s four years of undergraduate study. Each scholar also receives $5,000 to be used for experiential learning experiences including research, study abroad, and internships.

 

27. Indiana University Bloomington

 

Wells Scholars Program: This merit-based scholarship pays the full cost of attendance for four years of undergraduate study on IU’s Bloomington campus. This scholarship is also applicable should the scholar decide to spend one of their four years on one of the university’s overseas study programs.

 

28. University of Georgia

 

Foundation Fellowship: This program offers a stipend that approximates the cost of attendance, a post-first-year Maymester study abroad program at Oxford University, individual travel-study grants, spring group travel-study, research and academic conference grants, dinner seminars with distinguished university faculty, and a mentoring plan with a professor who shares the fellow’s interests.

 

Ramsey Honors Scholarship: The benefits to being a Ramsey Scholar are numerous. They include:

  • Participation in a distinguished community of scholars
  • Annual stipend of $6,160 plus the Zell Miller Scholarship for in-state students ($10,160). Out-of-state students also receive a tuition waiver
  • Housing supplement of $614 for in-state first-years and $1,228 for out-of-state
  • Domestic spring service trips
  • Individual travel-study grants of $3,000
  • Special seminars and book discussions with UGA staff
  • Faculty and peer mentoring
  • Twice-a-year all-scholar retreats

 

29. The University of Texas at Dallas

 

Eugene McDermott Scholars Program: This scholarship includes full UT Dallas tuition and fees, $1,400 monthly stipend year-round, $1,000 yearly textbook stipend, $12,000 fund for scholar-designed study abroad,  $3,000 fund for individualized professional development, travel expenses for cohort trips, tickets to various cultural events, and travel home twice yearly for domestic students (once yearly for international students). There are also additional benefits, which can be found on their website.

 

30. University of Mississippi

 

Multiple Scholarships: The University of Mississippi offers many awards that cover the full cost of tuition, such as the Stamps Scholarship. Any undergraduate student meeting certain requirements (such as being a veteran or majoring in a specific subject) is eligible. See their scholarship website for more details.

 

31. Loyola Marymount University

 

Multiple Scholarships: Loyola Marymount University offers multiple full-tuition scholarships for exceptional undergraduate students. See their website for more details.

 

32. Texas Christian University:

 

Chancellor’s Scholars Program: This program offers 249 students four-year scholarships, the value of which exceeds $170,680.

 

33. University of Rochester

 

Alan and Jane Handler Endowed Scholarship: This award covers four years worth of undergraduate tuition. It also offers individual mentoring, academic support, $5,000 to be put towards academic and professional enrichment opportunities, and access to a special alumni network of past Handler Scholars.

 

34. University of Wisconsin

 

Chancellor’s and Powers-Knapp Scholarship Program: Chancellor’s scholars receive a scholarship worth full tuition and a book stipend that amounts to $400 a semester. Powers-Knapp scholars are awarded the full cost of tuition for WI and MN residents and tuition remission for all others.

 

35. American University

 

Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars Program: This scholarship program is designed for underrepresented minority students, but any student may apply. Recipients are granted full tuition, mandatory fees, books, U-Pass, and room and board. It can be renewed each year provided that the student maintains a cumulative 3.2 GPA.

 

36. Providence Scholarship

 

Roddy Scholarship: Students aspiring to a career in the medical profession are eligible. This award covers tuition, fees, and room and board costs. It is based on outstanding achievement in high school.

 

37. Illinois Institute of Technology

 

Duchossois Leadership Scholars Program: These scholars receive full tuition coverage, paid room and board expenses, funding for a summer educational experience, the opportunity to attend a special fall retreat, and mentorship opportunities.

 

38. Oberlin College

 

Stamps Scholarship: This merit scholarship that assists with the cost of tuition and fees and a $5,000 enrichment fund.

 

39. Mercer University

 

Stamps Scholarship: Mercer University Stamps Scholars receive an award that covers the full cost of attendance (tuition, fees, room, board, and books), and a $16,000 stipend to be used over four years for enrichment activities (such as study abroad or research).

 

40. North Carolina State University

 

Park Scholarship: The Park Scholarship is valued at up to $110,000 for in-state students and $200,000 for out-of-state students. This scholarship covers tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, travel, and personal expenses. It also includes grants to fund professional and personal enrichment experiences. Students also receive early course registration and the opportunity to join the University Scholars Program.

 

41. University of Alabama

 

Academic Elite Scholarship: Seven Academic Elite recipients receive a scholarship that covers tuition, one-year of on-campus housing at the regular room rate, an $8,500 yearly stipend, and a $2,000 book scholarship. The top Academic Elite Scholarship recipient receives the full cost of tuition, one year of on-campus housing at the regular room rate, an $8,5000 stipend for the first year, an $18,500 stipend for years 2-4, and a $5,000 study abroad stipend.

 

42. University of Kentucky

 

Presidential Scholarship: This award covers the full cost of tuition for in-state and out-of-state students.

 

Patterson Scholarship: Scholars receive full cost of tuition for in-state students and out-of-state students, plus a housing stipend.

 

Governor’s Scholar Presidential Scholarship: This scholarship covers the full cost of in-state tuition.

 

Otis A. Singletary Scholarship: Recipients are granted the full cost of out-of-state tuition plus a housing stipend.

 

43. University of Louisville

 

Brown Fellows Program: A Brown fellow receives a scholarship award that includes full tuition, room, board, and an allowance for textbooks. Each fellow may also apply for funding from the Brown Foundation to support their individual enrichment plan, up to a $6,000 award per project.

 

44. University of North Carolina, Charlotte

 

Levine Scholars Program: Levine Scholars are awarded a four-year scholarship that includes tuition, room, board, textbook costs, mandatory fees, and an $8,000 service grant. Levine Scholars also have unique access to four summer experiences.

 

45. University of Richmond

 

Richmond Scholars Program: The benefits of the Richmond Scholars Program include full tuition, room and board, a one-time $3,000 grant for a student-selected activity that enhances the academic experience, priority course registration, guaranteed on-campus housing, faculty mentorship, special ticket vouchers to selected cultural events in the Modlin Center for the Arts, and special professional development and advising opportunities.

 

46. University of Hawaii

 

Regents and Presidential Scholarships: Regents Scholars receive a full tuition waiver for four years of undergraduate study, and Presidential Scholars receive a full tuition waiver for two years of undergraduate study. All scholars receive $4,000 a year and a one-time travel grant of $2,000.

 

47. Southern Methodist University

 

President’s Scholarship: The President’s Scholarship will cover tuition and fees for eight consecutive fall and spring academic semesters (plus one summer education abroad) or until graduation, whichever comes first. For first-year President’s Scholars, the President’s Scholarship will pay for the round-trip transportation and campus room and board for the SMU-in-Taos retreat.

 

48. Drake University

 

National Alumni Scholarships: Awards include 2 full-ride (tuition, room, and board) Alumni scholarships, 3 full tuition George Carpenter Scholarships, and a $3,000 trustee scholarship to all students who fulfill all qualifications and participate in one of the two National Alumni Scholarship Days.

 

49. Elizabethtown College

 

Stamps Scholarship: Elizabethtown College Stamps Scholars receive a full-tuition scholarship for eight semesters, access to a $6,000 enrichment fund, and a personal mentor that best aligns with the student’s background and goals.

 

50. Rollins College

 

Alfond Scholars Program: The Alfond Scholars Programs annually awards up to 10 full scholarships—including tuition, room, and board—to entering first-year students in the College of Liberal Arts at Rollins College.

 

For More Information

 

Interested in hearing more about scholarship opportunities that could help fund your undergraduate education? Check out these blog posts:

 

12 Community Service Scholarships For Students Who Give Back

How Your SAT Scores Can Help You Earn Scholarships

Scholarships For First-Generation College Students

10 Weird College Scholarships You Should Consider

 

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Sadhvi Mathur
Senior Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
Sadhvi is a sophomore at the University of California, Berkeley, double majoring in Business Administration and Media Studies. Having applied to over 8 universities, each with different application platforms and requirements, she is eager to share her knowledge now that her application process is over. Other than writing, Sadhvi's interests include dancing, playing the piano, and trying not to burn her apartment down when she cooks!