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What Does Full-Ride Scholarship Mean?

what does full ride scholarship mean

Scholarships are the financial aid that provides financial assistance to the students. Various kinds of scholarships are available in the United States for the welfare of students including full-ride and partial scholarships. Every scholarship has its own importance and is offered based on the rules and regulations of the institutions. Now here, we will explore the meaning of the full-ride scholarship, the types of full-ride scholarships, the costs covered under the full-ride scholarship, the application process, and the impact of the full-ride scholarship on students and families. 

Understanding The Full-Ride Scholarships

The full-ride scholarships are financial awards that provide comprehensive coverage for the cost of attending college. A full-ride scholarship covers all the expenses of the education and assures the student that they will not require any additional financial aid. The range of expenses covered under this scholarship program includes tuition and fees, books, room, transportation, and additional expenses such as personal expenses. There are different types of full-ride scholarships available that we will discuss in the below section including prestige scholarships, athletics scholarships, government scholarships, and many more. Not every college or university offers full-ride scholarships and some colleges only follow the system of full-ride scholarships. 

Types Of Full-Ride Scholarships

In several fields of study, full-ride scholarships are available. Students can qualify for these scholarships by following the rules and regulations of the colleges and by maintaining their academic, athletic, leadership, and extracurricular performances. Let’s understand its types.

1. Athletic Full-Ride Scholarship

Athletic full-ride scholarships are only available in some divisions of the schools including division 1 and division 2. These scholarships do not apply to every sport and are offered only for men’s football and basketball and women’s basketball, football, tennis, gymnastics, and volleyball. 

2. Merit-Based Full-Ride Scholarship

Most of the time merit-based scholarships are full-ride scholarships that cover the full amount of the course. For this, students need to maintain their academic excellence including the GPA, SAT, and ACT scores. Only with the combination of these three academic points, students can qualify for the scholarships. 

3. Government Full-Ride Scholarships

Government scholarships that provide 100% coverage are available only for the students who enroll for studies at the military academy and ROTC students. Therefore, these scholarships are eligible for the selected students. 

4. Prestige Full-Ride Scholarship

Prestige full-ride scholarships are awarded to candidates who have exceptional skills including academic and leadership excellence. The students who are dedicated to their studies and maintain good academic grades will get full-ride scholarships.

5. Need-Based Full-Ride Scholarship

The scholarships are awarded based on academic skills and financial need. For this scholarship, some providers evaluate the students based on the prestige or merit-based scholarship eligibility criteria. Mostly, the lower income group students are considered eligible for this scholarship. 

Therefore, these are the full-ride scholarship programs available in almost every college or institution in the United States. To get eligible for these scholarships, students need to follow the eligibility criteria and the list of requirements that may vary from college to college. 

Costs Covered Under The Full-Ride Scholarships

The list of the costs that are covered under full-ride scholarships is as follows. As you all know the full-ride scholarship provides 100% coverage for the cost of education which means it provides support to the students to pursue their careers in a reputable college without the burden of financials. 

1. Cost of Tuition and Fees

The cost of tuition and fees include all the costs that occur in the colleges for providing educational services. Additionally, it includes the costs of the services that are used in the classroom such as technology, student services, and other miscellaneous expenses. All these expenses increase the entire cost of the course. Under the full-ride scholarship, students do not need to pay any of the cost from their own pocket. 

2. Books and Other Study Material

This scholarship provides funding for the books and study materials including the textbooks, course materials, pens, notebooks, and other technology devices that are useful for the academic course. With this support, students can access any kind of study material that is required for their course.

3. Room and Board

The full-ride scholarship covers the cost of living including accommodation and meals. These costs may vary depending on the location but students do not need to incur any additional cost on the living as it is covered under the scholarship program.

4. Transportation Cost

It also includes the cost of transportation. Sometimes, students need to attend workshops and seminars at other places where they need to incur transportation costs. In this case, they do not need to spend anything on travel because these costs are also covered under the scholarship program. 

5. Personal Expenses

The full-ride scholarships provide coverage with the personal expenses as well in which the miscellaneous items are covered. It includes the cost that occurs on the comfort of the student including clothing, toiletries, etc.

6. Other Expenses

In addition to all these costs, any kind of expenses related to research, academics, special programs, events, and many more are covered under the full-ride scholarship. Therefore, the students can easily achieve their career goals with the help of scholarships and without taking any financial burden. 

Application Process For The Full-Ride Scholarships

The application process is not that difficult for full-ride scholarships. Students only need to follow the eligibility criteria of the institutions in which they need to submit academic performance receipts, personal essays, test scores on SAT and ACT, residency certificates, citizenship certificates, letters of recommendation, etc. All these things may vary from institution to institution. Along with all these things, they need to follow the deadlines. For the renewal of the scholarship amount, a student is required to maintain their academic performance and interest to achieve the academic goals based on the scholarship objectives. 

Impact Of Full-Ride Scholarships On Students And Families

The full-ride scholarship provides 100% financial assistance to the students which makes a positive impact on the lives of the students and their family members. It makes a life-changing impact on the students because they can easily accomplish their academic goals by alleviation of financial burden. They do not need to take any financial loan and can easily grasp personal and professional growth opportunities. Sometimes, the financial burden distracts the students and affects their academic performance. Hence, the full-ride scholarship helps students boost their confidence which improves their academic performance. 


On the whole, the full-ride scholarships provide financial assistance to the students that provide full coverage of the cost of education. It includes the cost of tuition and fees, room and board, books and other study materials, transportation costs, personal expenses, and other relevant expenses. It reduces the financial burden on the students and their family members. Students do not need to take any loans for their education due to the full-ride scholarship which helps them to focus on their academic goals. The full-ride scholarships are awarded based on academic merit, financial need, and extracurricular achievement and awards. So, by maintaining academic performance, students can win full-ride scholarships in reputable colleges in the United States.