How to Get a Full Ride Scholarship

Have you ever dreamt of winning a scholarship? Well, you are not alone. The average cost of education is rising at an alarming rate. As a result, many students are looking for opportunities that reduce financial burdens. There are different scholarships, but most leave you with a few bills to settle. Interestingly, there is a rare type of award that sounds too good to be true and changes the lives of the lucky few who won it. This article explains how to get a full-ride scholarship. 

What is a full-ride scholarship?

Full-ride scholarships are the holy grail of college funding. As the name implies, it is a full-ride covering every associated college expense. It includes tuition, room and board, books, fees, and possibly living costs. Some full-ride scholarships offer perks like funds for a new laptop, an opportunity to travel abroad, and corporate projects. 

Full-ride scholarships are not the same as full-tuition scholarships. Although they appear similar, the latter only covers the cost of schooling, whereas the former means you’ll pay $0 for schooling. The opportunity is one of the sweetest deals an undergraduate may win. As a result, they are rare, and fewer than 20,000 students win them yearly. This equals less than 1% of incoming freshmen. As you’d expect, the application process is equally intensive. Full-ride award applications are the same as other scholarships, including scholarship essays. 

The best way to draft a scholarship essay is to look at examples from past winners or pay an expert. If the second option suits you better, we strongly recommend hiring scholarship paper writers at Paperell and increasing your chance of entering a top university. A professional scholarship writing service will create a masterpiece essay without errors and plagiarism. In the meantime, focus on schooling and preparing for the award interview. 

What are the different types of full ride scholarships? 

Full-ride awards are open to students of different backgrounds and expertise. The most popular ways to obtain it are through leadership, merit, education history, or scholastic prowess. But the requirement differs from one institution to another. Below are the classes of full-ride scholarships you can apply to: 

  • Prestige: this type is offered to undergraduates who have portrayed excellent management ability and individuals who show great promise. 
  • Athletic: students with proficiency in sporting activities earn full-ride awards to Division I and II schools. It applies to football, basketball, volleyball, gymnastics, and tennis. 
  • State-sponsored: some state plans cover college costs at public universities. 
  • Government: ROTC students and individuals studying at a military academy often obtain full-ride scholarships from the government. 
  • Merit-based: this is one of the most popular full-ride scholarships. It is reserved for undergraduates with great records and is determined through ACT scores, GPA scores, Sat scores, or a combination of the three. 
  • Financial need-based: students with little or no financial backing can apply for this award. 

Ways to get a full ride scholarship

Getting a full-ride scholarship starts with planning. Not all colleges offer full-ride awards, despite equal chances for everyone. Each institution has its processes, and less than 1% end up with the coveted prize. As a result, you must properly plan your approach to increase your possibility of landing the scholarship. Follow these tips to win a full-ride award: 

Start on time 

The hotly contested full-ride award is not something you can apply for at the last minute. Start preparing before you start or finish high school. For example, to obtain the highest possible scores on SAT or ACT, you should enroll for prep classes, practice tests, and do other things necessary to hone your skills. Participate in communal activities, join a sports club, and take meaningful steps to set yourself apart from the competition. 

Improve your grades 

The next thing is to demonstrate academic excellence. Most colleges don’t set a minimum test score or GPA to win a full-ride award. So, you must perform as excellently as you can. If you’re struggling academically, sign up for extracurricular activities and seek help from teachers. Enroll for challenging classes, international baccalaureate, and Advancement Placement courses to boost your prospects. 

Assume and volunteer for roles 

Excel in extracurricular activities to increase the possibility of earning the award. Assume key positions, join certain sports and activities, roll up your sleeves, and volunteer for community work. These activities will help you gain invaluable experience and show dedication. 

Network and create relationships 

Mentors, teachers, and counselors will help you navigate high school, nominate you for awards, and draft a letter of recommendation. So, build a connection with them by regularly participating in class discussions, respecting them, and visiting them for advice. 

Submit an exceptional application 

Do the most to impress the review committee with your request. Draft an incredible essay and present killer reference letters. Ask your networks to proofread and provide feedback on improvements. Also, talk about your strengths and weaknesses without holding back and show why you deserve the award over someone else. Lastly, apply to as many institutions as possible. 


A full-ride award is the greatest thing that can happen to a student regarding cost. Look for prospects and start preparing in advance. Work hard, stay motivated, and stand out from other applicants. If you don’t think you’ll win a full-ride scholarship, apply broadly to many awards – the more, the better. Research local and targeted programs that are less competitive and complete the steps above to apply. Good luck!

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