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Full Ride Scholarship For International Students

full ride scholarship

When it comes to financing a college education, one of the most coveted options is the Full ride scholarship. This type of scholarship covers all your tuition and, in some cases, even additional expenses like room and board, books, and supplies. It’s the golden ticket to higher education without the burden of student loans. 

In this blog, we will explore the world of Full ride scholarships, how to secure one, the different types available, expert tips for winning them, and a list of 16 notable Full ride scholarships. Also, colleges with Full ride scholarships based on financial need you should consider.

What is a Full-Ride Scholarship?

A full-ride scholarship is a  financial award that sets itself apart from other scholarships by covering all expenses associated with a college education. This encompasses not just tuition but also housing, meals, textbooks, lab fees, and sometimes even living expenses. In terms of monetary value, full-ride scholarships can range from $20,000 to well over $50,000, contingent on the specific costs of the institution. 

Furthermore, some full-ride scholarships offer more than just financial support; they may include participation in exclusive leadership programmes, internships, and peer mentoring opportunities within the college community.

How To Attain A Full-Ride Scholarship?

Earning a full-ride scholarship is highly competitive, and the criteria for selection can differ widely. Scholarships may be awarded based on academic excellence, athletic prowess, leadership skills, or other forms of merit. Some full-ride scholarships do not consider financial need as a requirement. Therefore, it’s crucial to begin with a candid self-assessment like; What are your greatest strengths? What sets you apart from your peers?

While it’s challenging to provide a one-size-fits-all formula, you can enhance your chances of securing a full-ride scholarship by distinguishing yourself in one or more areas like:

1. Full-Ride Academic Scholarship: Achieve top-tier academic performance by maintaining an outstanding GPA, enrolling in AP or honours classes, and obtaining near-perfect SAT or ACT scores.

2. Full-Ride Leadership Scholarship: Leadership qualities are highly sought after by schools and organisations. You can stand out by holding positions such as a student class officer, club organiser, or active participant in community service, or by securing unique internships.

3. Full-Ride Athletic Scholarship: Excel in your high school sports team, often ranking among the top performers in your state, to attract the attention of colleges looking for exceptional athletes. Division 1 sports offer full-ride scholarships in six different sports, while other organisations support athletes in various disciplines.

4. Other Types of Full-Ride Scholarships: Some scholarships are awarded based on factors like being the first in your family to attend college, your specific heritage, or your ability to overcome significant life challenges. Certain universities, like the University of Virginia, offer full-ride scholarships based on financial need.

What Types of Full-Ride Scholarships Are Available?

Full-ride scholarships are typically granted by educational institutions or private organisations. Universities often use these scholarships to entice specific types of students to their campuses. These scholarships cover all college expenses and are awarded to high-achieving students in academics, athletics, leadership, or other areas of merit.

Type of ScholarshipExamples
College ScholarshipsJefferson Scholarship, Torch Scholars programme, SAT/ACT-based scholarships
Government programmesUSDA/1890 National Scholars programmeme, State-sponsored scholarships
Foundations and CompaniesJack Kent Cooke Foundation, Gates Scholarship, Strive Stamps Scholarship, Coca-Cola Scholars programme

Full Ride Scholarships For International Students

Here is the list of 16 Full Ride Scholarships for international students

Scholarship NameCountryLevel of StudyFundingDeadline (2023-24)
Fulbright ScholarshipUnited StatesUndergraduate, graduate, and researchFull tuition, round-trip travel, living expenses, health insurance, and language supportVaries by country
Boren AwardsUnited StatesUndergraduate and graduateFull tuition, living expenses, round-trip travel, language training, and an internshipVaries by programme
Gates Cambridge ScholarshipUnited KingdomGraduateFull tuition, living expenses, round-trip travel, and health insuranceOctober 12
Rhodes ScholarshipUnited KingdomGraduateFull tuition, living expenses, round-trip travel, and health insuranceAugust 1
Oxford Clarendon ScholarshipUnited KingdomGraduateFull tuition and a living allowanceNovember 21
Chevening ScholarshipUnited KingdomGraduateFull tuition, living expenses, round-trip travel, and visa costsNovember 1
Holland ScholarshipNetherlandsUndergraduate & graduatePartial to full tuitionFebruary 1
Erasmus Mundus Joint Master DegreesEuropeGraduateFull tuition, living expenses, and travel allowanceJanuary 15
Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship CommissionUnited KingdomUndergraduate, graduate, and PhDFull tuition, living expenses, round-trip travel, and visa costsVaries by country
DAAD ScholarshipsGermanyUndergraduate, graduate, and PhDFull or partial tuition, living expenses, and travel allowanceVaries by programme
Swiss Government Excellence ScholarshipsSwitzerlandGraduateFull tuition, living expenses, and health insuranceDecember 15
MasterCard Foundation Scholars programmeWorldwideUndergraduate and graduateFull tuition, living expenses, housing, and support servicesVaries by country

Schools That Offer Full Ride Scholarships On Financial Need

Several colleges and universities are committed to making higher education accessible to students with financial need. Here are a few Colleges that give Full ride scholarships:

Amherst CollegeAmherst, Massachusetts
Bowdoin CollegeBrunswick, Maine
Brown UniversityProvidence, Rhode Island
California Institute of TechnologyPasadena, California
Carnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Columbia UniversityNew York City, New York
Cornell UniversityIthaca, New York
Dartmouth CollegeHanover, New Hampshire
Duke UniversityDurham, North Carolina
Emory UniversityAtlanta, Georgia
Georgetown UniversityWashington, D.C.
Harvard UniversityCambridge, Massachusetts
Harvey Mudd CollegeClaremont, California
Johns Hopkins UniversityBaltimore, Maryland
Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridge, Massachusetts
Northwestern UniversityEvanston, Illinois
Princeton UniversityPrinceton, New Jersey
Rice UniversityHouston, Texas
Stanford UniversityStanford, California
Swarthmore CollegeSwarthmore, Pennsylvania
Tufts UniversityMedford, Massachusetts
University of ChicagoChicago, Illinois
University of Notre DameNotre Dame, Indiana
University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania
Vanderbilt UniversityNashville, Tennessee
Washington University in St. LouisSt. Louis, Missouri
Yale UniversityNew Haven, Connecticut

Other College Expenses To Consider

While securing a full-ride scholarship is a significant achievement, it’s essential to remember that there may still be other costs associated with college that you need to plan for. These costs can include:

  •  Room and Board: Even if your tuition is fully covered, you may still need to budget for housing and meals.
  •  Books and Supplies: Textbooks and other course materials can be expensive.
  •  Transportation: Depending on your school’s location, you may need to budget for transportation costs.
  •  Health Insurance: Some colleges require students to have health insurance, and this cost may not be covered by your scholarship.
  •  Personal Expenses: Budget for personal items like clothing, toiletries, and entertainment.

5 Best Tips For Winning Full Ride Scholarships

Winning a Full ride scholarship is highly competitive, but with the right approach, you can increase your chances significantly. Here are five expert tips to help you stand out from the crowd:

 1. Start Early: Begin your scholarship search as early as possible, ideally in your junior year of high school. This will give you ample time to identify opportunities, build a strong academic and extracurricular record, and prepare outstanding application materials.

 2. Customise Your Applications: Create your scholarship applications to the specific criteria and requirements of each scholarship. Highlight your achievements and experiences that align with what the scholarship committee is looking for.

 3. Seek Guidance: Don’t hesitate to seek advice from teachers, counsellors, and mentors. They can provide valuable insights, review your essays, and help you present your best self in your applications.

 4. Apply Widely: Cast a wide net by applying to multiple scholarships. Don’t limit yourself to just one or two opportunities. The more you apply, the greater your chances of success.

 5. Ace the Interview: If an interview is part of the selection process, practice your interview skills. Be confident, and articulate, and convey your passion for your chosen field of study or extracurricular activities.


In conclusion, Full ride scholarships are a fantastic way to pursue higher education without the financial burden of student loans. By following the steps outlined in this guide, customising your applications, and considering the various types of scholarships available, you can increase your chances of securing one of these life-changing opportunities. it’s essential to budget wisely and make the most of your college experience.


1. What expenses does a full ride scholarship typically cover? 

A full-ride scholarship typically covers the full cost of tuition, fees, room and board, and books. However, some full-ride scholarships may not cover all of these expenses.

2. What is the difference between a full ride scholarship and a merit-based scholarship? 

A full-ride scholarship covers the full cost of college, while a merit-based scholarship awards money to students based on their academic achievements, extracurricular activities, or other accomplishments.

3. Do I need to maintain a certain GPA to keep a full ride scholarship?

Yes, most full-ride scholarships require students to maintain a certain GPA in order to keep the scholarship. The required GPA typically ranges from 3.0 to 3.5, but it can vary depending on the specific scholarship.

4. How competitive are full ride scholarships? 

Full ride scholarships are extremely competitive. Thousands of students apply for each scholarship.

5. Can I combine multiple scholarships to get a full ride? 

Yes, you can combine multiple scholarships to get a full ride. In fact, many students who receive full-ride scholarships actually receive a combination of scholarships from different sources, such as their college, private organisations, and the government.

6. What are the eligibility requirements for full ride scholarships? 

Most full-ride scholarships require students to have strong academic credentials, extracurricular activities, and community service involvement. Some full-ride scholarships also have specific requirements based on ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, or major.

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Full Ride Scholarship For International Students

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