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10 Colleges With Full-Ride Scholarships

As an academically motivated high school student who’s making college plans, you might want to depend on scholarships to offset the cost of university. Attending university is definitely an investment and can rarely be affordable for all. 

So, we have curated a list of full-ride scholarships and their respective universities – programs that will cover four years of tuition, housing and more. Some of these scholarships have specific eligibility requirements, while some are open to all. A full-ride scholarship is more than financial aid – it’s a strategic asset for students carving their future academics and career. Beyond the monetary aid, these scholarships also enhance students’ CV, opening doors to impactful experiences.

The University of Notre Dame collaborates with the Stamps Scholars Program, offering multi-year tuition scholarships along with enrichment funds to further students’ academic and professional growth. The Notre Dame Stamps Scholars Program is designed for high-achieving students with qualities of leadership, service, scholarship, innovation, and character. Finalists are determined through the Merit Scholar Selection Visit interview weekend at Notre Dame and an additional interview with the Strive Foundation.

Scholarship amount: An annual scholarship that covers tuition and fees as well as the estimated cost of books, personal expenses, and transportation. Additionally, a $12,000 enrichment fund is provided along with the faculty advising.

Location: University of Notre Dame

Application deadline: January 1, 2024

Eligibility: The top 5% of the freshmen class at University of Notre Dame is chosen for the scholarship process. 

The Stamps Family Charitable Foundation Scholarship Program aims to acknowledge and honor outstanding students who can demonstrate qualities of leadership, resilience, scholarship, community service, and innovation. To identify Stamps finalists, the UCLA faculty committee selects scholars based on academic achievements, essay quality, extracurricular participation, recommendation letters, personal achievement rankings (assessed by the Admissions Office), life challenges, and other notable personal accomplishments. The final results are announced following a comprehensive interview process.

Scholarship amount: Full financial support for the full cost of attendance for four years and an enrichment Fund of up to $12,000.

Location: University of California, Los Angeles

Application deadline: Applications close in the first week of February.

Eligibility: Top 1.5% of the freshman class at UCLA is chosen for the scholarship process.

The Stamps President's Scholarship, presented annually, is a prestigious financial award for the top one percent of high school seniors across the country who wish to study at Georgia Tech. This scholarship invites exceptionally promising students from diverse backgrounds, nurturing their growth as scholars, leaders, and community contributors. Through purposeful programming, mentoring, and enhanced educational opportunities, the scholarship supports the comprehensive development of these individuals. Among the 100 finalists, 40 are awarded the Stamps President's Scholarship, while the remaining 60 receive the Gold Scholarship (up to 8 semesters of funding). 

Scholarship amount: Full financial support covering tuition, mandatory fees, housing, meal plan, books and academic supplies, personal expenses, a stipend during the first year for a laptop and an enrichment fund of up to $12,000 along with the faculty mentorship.

Location: Georgia Institute of Technology

Application deadline: October 16, 2023 (GA residents) | November 1, 2023 (Non-GA residents)

Eligibility: Only new first-year students who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States or citizens of the United Kingdom are eligible. Citizens of the Republic of Ireland may be considered as well. Transfer applicants are not eligible.

The Robertson Scholars Leadership Program serves as a portal to academic and leadership prospects for students. In partnership with Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill, the program aims to cultivate individuals dedicated to creating a substantial impact. To be considered for the scholarship, applicants must complete an online application form. Following that, there are two interview rounds conducted for the selection process.

Scholarship amount: Full tuition, room and board, and most mandatory fees for Scholars at Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill. Additional funding for up to three summer experiences, funding for conferences throughout the academic year, and for two semesters of study abroad.

Location: Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill

Application deadline: Applications typically open in August and close in November.


  • Students must apply for undergraduate admission to Duke University and/or UNC-Chapel Hill the same year they apply to the Robertson Scholars Leadership Program.

  • Students must apply to the school(s) of their choice by the respective early or regular deadlines.

  • Admission to Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill are separate processes. All forms and correspondence dealing with admission to these institutions should go directly to their respective Offices of Undergraduate Admissions.

  • International students are eligible to apply for the Robertson Program, as long as they are able to obtain a visa to study in the United States.

  • Students on a gap year who have already been admitted to UNC-Chapel Hill or Duke University are not eligible to apply until they matriculate to their respective institution.

  • Transfer students are not eligible to apply.

The John B. Ervin Scholars Program is a commitment to excellence, leadership, and community impact. It transcends traditional scholarship frameworks and empowers scholars to make meaningful contributions to both the academic and societal realms. The scholarship is renewed each year for the duration of the degree program, provided you progress academically and uphold the high standards of character required of scholars.

To apply, you will be required to write two short essays (200-250 words) on the topics given on their application portal

Scholarship amount: Full-tuition scholarships with a $2,500 stipend.

Location: Washington University in St. Louis (St. Louis, Missouri)

Application deadline: January 3, 2024

Eligibility: The Ervin Scholars Program is open to only U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and undocumented or DACA students living in the U.S.⁠ Students admitted into any of WashU’s undergraduate divisions.

The Jefferson Scholars Foundation attracts motivated undergraduate students to the University of Virginia through two scholarship programs–the Jefferson Scholars Program and the Walentas Scholars Program. These programs cultivate academically exceptional students, providing them with financial support to pursue their passions, develop their talents, and encourage their community involvement. Both programs provide generous financial packages, enrichment opportunities, and access to the JSF network of Scholars, Fellows, alumni, and volunteers. A maximum of 36 scholarships are awarded each year. 

The Jefferson and Walentas Scholarships recognize individuals with a strong record and potential for impact, determined through a rigorous three-step selection process: Nomination, Regional Review, and Final Selection.

Scholarship amount: Full tuition, fees, room and board, books, an enrichment program, and personal expenses. Additionally, it provides coverage for supplemental enrichment experiences.

Location: University of Virginia (Charlottesville, Virginia)

Application deadline: Applications typically close in August.

Eligibility: Candidates who plan to attend a full-time undergraduate program at UVA.

The Forty Acres Scholars Program is a merit-based scholarship administered by the Texas Exes. This scholarship program offers a rich college experience that provides academic, leadership, professional, and cultural opportunities within an intimate cohort of fellow scholars, with an aim to nurture the next generation of leaders for the benefit of society.

Scholarship amount: This scholarship covers full tuition and offers stipends for living, books, and enrichment activities.

Location: University of Texas at Austin

Application deadline: December 1, every year

Eligibility: High school seniors applying to UT Austin who are US citizens or permanent residents can apply. Transfer and international students are not eligible 

The Morehead-Cain Scholarship was the first merit scholarship program established in the US, at the first public university in the US. Inspired by the Oxford University Rhodes Scholarship, it provides a top-notch, fully-funded, four-year undergraduate experience. Uniquely, it pioneered a strategic summer enrichment program and a discovery fund for each scholar.

It is open to students from a designated nominating school. Current nominating schools are located all across the globe.

Scholarship amount: This scholarship covers full tuition, fees, housing, books, meals, books, a laptop, supplies, and funding for research and summer opportunities.

Location: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Application deadline: January 15, 2024

Eligibility: Schools must be approved by the program to be able to nominate their students. Students outside of North Carolina, Canada, or the United Kingdom must attend a nominating school or affiliate program to be considered 

The Stephen Joel Trachtenberg (SJT) Scholarship program, founded in 1989, provides academically talented D.C. high school seniors with a full, four-year scholarship covering tuition, room and board, books, and fees at the university. Scholars are chosen based on academic performance, leadership, community service, and extracurricular activities. The selection process includes an essay, teacher recommendations, and an evaluative interview by the Admissions Committee. Scholarships are renewed yearly, contingent on meeting the university's academic standards.

Scholarship amount: Full tuition, fees, room and board, and a book allowance.

Location: The George Washington University (Washington, DC)

Application deadline: January 5, 2024, or if nominated by their high school counselor, January 11, 2024

Eligibility: Students who are residents of Washington, DC, who have attended an accredited high school in the area, and who are applying for financial aid.

The Torch Scholars Program stands as a forward-thinking and innovative endeavor, offering students the chance to explore their interests and broaden their international perspectives. Through a nomination and comprehensive review process, the program identifies talented students nationwide who have overcome challenges and achieved success, yet have untapped academic potential. Torch Interview Day (first stage) takes six hours, and includes an individual interview, a group interview, and a support figure interview. After this, each Torch finalist must submit three essays about his or her motivation and personal value system. This is followed by the Non-Cognitive Assessment which is the last stage. 

Scholarship amount: Full-scholarship program that covers tuition, room, board, books, and fees for up to eight undergraduate semesters, as well as all costs for a six-week Summer Immersion Program

Location: Northeastern University (Boston, Massachusetts)

Application deadline: January 1, 2024

Eligibility: First-generation college students who are U.S. citizens and permanent residents from low-income households

Bonus - Lumiere Research Scholar Program

If you are passionate about research, you could also consider applying to the Lumiere Research Scholar Program, a selective online high school program for students I founded with researchers at Harvard and Oxford. Last year, we had over 4000 students apply for 500 spots in the program! You can find the application form here.

Stephen is one of the founders of Lumiere and a Harvard College graduate. He founded Lumiere as a Ph.D. student at Harvard Business School. Lumiere is a selective research program where students work 1-1 with a research mentor to develop an independent research paper.

Image Source: University of Virginia logo



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