Are you looking to get $100,000 or more in scholarship money for college? Let’s talk about how to chase down the money! In this blog, we’ll discuss where to find merit scholarships that offer full ride or full tuition scholarships.
Below, we have a large table of merit scholarships available to incoming freshmen. Because they are based on merit, all of these scholarships require strong academic talent. Many of them recommend or require certain test scores and GPAs. If you’re looking for links to these scholarships, check out the table!
Most merit scholarships are linked to a specific university or institution. This helps universities keep their stats up and climb the rankings on the US News and World Report. However, most elite, Ivy League institutions aren’t giving out full ride merit scholarships. Instead, these schools have aid packages that cover the full cost of attendance to students with financial need. Of course, these are still affordable options for many people because they meet 100% of demonstrated need.
Merit scholarships, for the most part, are not given out based on your financial situation. Instead, they are based on your achievements.
Scholarships Not Specific to Universities
The first scholarship we’ll talk about is the Stamps Scholarship. This scholarship is available at 28 or more schools including Purdue, Boston College, Notre Dame, and many others. This scholarship offers up to full tuition depending on the university it’s partnered with. The application requirements also change depending on which school you’re applying to. You should check out the specific school’s scholarship page to make sure you know what you need.
Other scholarships not linked to institutions are the Cameron Impact Scholarship, the Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship, and the Dr. Pepper Tuition Giveaway. These scholarships can offer $100,000 or more, and they can cover up to full tuition. For these types of big money scholarships, community service can help you. Even though community service isn’t as important for admissions, it can really help with scholarships. Scholarships are often concerned with cold hard numbers. They want to see if you have the right GPA and test scores, and then they may also like leadership and community service experience.
Top 50 Schools Offering Full Ride Scholarships
Full ride scholarships cover tuition, housing, and any extra fees you would need to pay to attend. One great scholarship opportunity for both UNC Chapel Hill and Duke students is the Robertson Scholarship. This program is offered through a third party program called The Robertson Scholars Leadership Program. If accepted, you would attend either Duke or UNC. However, during your Sophomore year you would participate in a campus switch. During this switch, you would take classes at the other school’s campus.
Other top 50 schools that offer full ride merit scholarships are UNC Chapel Hill (again), Emory, Ohio State, UT Austin, Wake Forest, Northeastern, and the University of Virginia. In addition to full ride scholarships, some of these schools may offer lesser merit scholarships as well.
Top 50 Schools Offering Full Tuition Scholarships
These schools will fully cover your tuition for 4 years. They include USC, Boston College, University of Georgia, University of Rochester, Tulane, Vanderbilt, WashU, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and William & Mary.
Top 50-100 Schools Offering Scholarships
Although these schools might be less competitive for normal admission, keep in mind that these merit scholarships are all still very competitive. Top 50-100 schools with full ride scholarships include American University, Clemson, public Florida Universities, Fordham University, George Washington University, Indiana, NC State, Miami University of Ohio, Michigan State, Stevens Institute of Technology, and the University of Alabama.
Top 50-100 Schools offering full tuition scholarships include Syracuse, Southern Methodist University, Texas Christian University, and Loyola Marymount University. In addition to these schools, there are also a lot of flagship state schools that offer great merit aid. Flagship schools are the most well known state school in your state, and they are often the first school ever founded. This is a great option for in state students.
Liberal Arts Colleges Offering Scholarships
Similar to universities, top ranked liberal arts schools probably won’t have a lot of merit aid. But when you get down the list a little bit, there are more options. There are full ride scholarships at Washington & Lee, University of Richmond, Davidson College, Furman University, and Hendrix College.
There are also some full tuition merit scholarships at liberal arts colleges. These include Harvey Mudd, Claremont McKenna, St. Lawrence, Lewis & Clark, and Oglethorpe University. This is not a complete list. There are plenty of other institutions with merit scholarships.
While we focused on scholarships available to domestic students, international students can also apply to many of these scholarships. Check out our table below!
Merit Scholarships Chart
|School||Merit Scholarships||Award||Link||Are int'l students eligible||Test Scores (if stated)||GPA||Nomination or Rec?||FAFSA Req'd?||CSS Req'd?||Nat'l Merit?||Leadership?||Add'l Essay?|
|28+ schools||The Stamps Scholarship||Up to full tuition||Link||Sometimes-- check with school||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|Agnes Scott College||Perry Presidential Scholarships||full ride||Link||Yes||No||No||No||No||Yes||No|
|American University||Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars Program||full ride||Link||Yes||3.8||No||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Boston College||Gabelli Presidential Scholars Program||full tuition/meets full need||Link||Yes||No||No||No||No||Yes||No|
|Boston University||Trustee Scholarship||full tuition and fees||Link||Yes||4||No||No||No||No||No||Yes|
|Carthage College||Presidental Scholarship Program||Up to full tuition||Link||No||No||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Catholic University of America||Archdiocesan Scholarship||full ride||Link||Yes||3.8||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Claremont McKenna College||Interdisciplinary Science Scholarships||full tuition||Link||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|Clemson||National Scholars Program||full ride||Link||No||1510||Top 1% of high school class||No||No||No||No||Yes||No|
|Davidson College||Belk Scholarship||full ride||Link||Yes||Yes- nomination||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Drake University||National Alumni Scholarship||full tuition||Link||Yes||3.8 OR top 5% of class||No||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Duke & UNC-CH||Robertson Scholars||full ride||Link||Yes||2 letters of rec||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Emory University||Emory Scholars Program||Up to full tuition||Link||Yes||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Florida public universities||Benacquisto Scholarship Program||Up to full in-state tuition||Link||No||No||No||No||Yes||No||No|
|Fordham University||Cunniffe Presidential Scholarship||full ride||Link||Yes||Generally top 1-2% of class||No||No||No||No||Yes||No|
|Furman University||Duke Scholarship||full ride||Link||Yes||No||No||No||No||Yes||No|
|George Washington University||Presidential Academic Scholarship, Stephen Joel Trachtenberg Scholarship||Up to full ride||Link||Yes, for Presidential Scholarship||Yes for SJT||No||No||No||No||No|
|Harvey Mudd College||President's Scholars Program||full tuition||Link||No||No||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Hendrix College||Hays Memorial Scholarship||full ride||Link||Yes||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Illinois Institute of Technology||Duchossois Leadership Scholars Program||full ride||Link||No||3.5||Yes||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Indiana University Bloomington||Wells Scholars||full ride||Link||Yes||1430+/32+ recommended||top 5%/3.9||Yes||No||No||No||No||No|
|Lewis and Clark College||Barbara Hirschi Neely Schholarship||full tuition||Link||No|
|Loyola Marrymount University||Arrupe Scholarship||Up to full tuition||Link||Yes||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Miami University (Ohio)||Presidential Fellows Program||full ride||Link||Yes||No||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Michigan State University||Alumni Distinguished Scholarship||full ride||Link||No||No||No||No||No||No||Yes|
|North Carolina A&T State University||National Alumni Scholarship||full ride||Link||No||3.75||Yes||Encouraged||No||No||No||Yes|
|North Carolina State University||Park Scholarship||full ride||Link||No||A average||Yes||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Northeastern University||Torch Scholars Program||full ride||Link||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||No|
|Oglethorpe University||JEO, Civic Engagement Scholarship||full tuition||Link||Yes||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Ohio State University||Eminence Fellows, Morrill Scholarship||Up to full ride||Link||No||No||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Providence College||Roddy Scholarship||full ride||Link||No||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Rollins College||Alfond Scholars Program||full ride||Link||Yes||1450/32||3.8||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|St. Lawrence University||Trustee Scholarship||full tuition||Link||No||No||No||No||No||Yes||No|
|Saint Louis University||Presidential Scholarship||full tuition||Link||Yes||3.85||No||No||No||No||No||Yes|
|Southern Methodist University||President's Scholars Program||full tuition||Link||Yes||optional- 1500 recommended||Top 10% of graduating class||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Stevens Institute of Technology||Ann P. Neupauer Scholarship||full ride||Link||No||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Stevenson University||Presidential Fellowship||full tuition||Link||Yes||3.7||No||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Syracuse University||1870 Scholarship, Coronat Scholars||full tuition||Link||1870- Yes||1480 mean||4.15 mean||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Texas Christian University||Chancellor's Scholars Program||full tuition||Link||Yes||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Tulane University||Deans' Honor Scholarship, Paul Tulane Award||full tuition||Link||Yes||1400/31+ recommended||No||No||No||No||No||Yes|
|University of Alabama||Academic Elite Scholarships||Up to full ride||Link||Yes||1420/32||3.8||Yes||No||No||No||No||Yes|
|UCLA||UCLA Alumni Scholarship||Up to $20,000/yr||Link||No||No||No||No||No||No||Yes|
|University of Georgia||Ramsey Honors Scholarship/Foundation Fellowship||full tuition||Link||Yes||No||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|University of Hawaii||Regents Scholarship||full tuition||Link||Yes||1340/29||3.5||No||No||No||No||No||Yes|
|University of Houston||Tier One Scholars||full ride||Link||Yes||1400/30||Top 10% of class||Yes||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|University of Kentucky||Presidential, Singletary Scholarship||full tuition||Link||Yes||1390/31||With test- 3.5, test optional- 4.0||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|University of Louisville||Brown Fellows Program||full ride||Link||Yes||1230/26||3.5||Yes||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|University of Maryland||Banneker/Key Scholarship||Up to full ride||Link||Yes||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|University of Miami||Singer/Hammond/Weeks/Jenkins Scholarship||full tuition||Link||Only Singer||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill||Morehead-Cain Scholarship||full ride||Link||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|University of North Carolina at Charlotte||Levine Scholars Program||full ride||Link||No||Yes||No||No||No||No||Yes|
|University of North Texas||UNT Excellence Scholarships||Up to $12,000/yr||Link||Yes||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|University of Pittsburgh||Chancellor's Scholarship||full ride||Link||No||No||No||No||No||No||Yes|
|University of Richmond||Richmond Scholars Program||full ride||Link||Yes||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|University of Rochester||Alan and Jane Handler Endowed Scholarship||"More-than-full-tuition"||Link||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|University of Southern California||Trustee Scholarship||full tuition||Link||Yes||No||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|University of Texas at Austin||CR Smith Endowed Scholarship||Up to full tuition||Link||No||No||Yes||No||No||No||No|
|University of Texas at Austin||Forty Acres Scholars Program||full ride||Link||No||No||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|University of Texas at Dallas||Eugene McDermott Scholars Program||full ride||Link||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|University of Tulsa||Presidential Scholars||full tuition||Link||No||4.0 or top 5% of class||Yes||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|University of Vermont||Green and Gold Scholars Award||full in-state tuition||Link||No||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|University of Virginia||Jefferson or Walentas Scholars Program||full ride||Link||No||Yes||No||No||No||Yes||No|
|University of Wisconsin-Madison||Chancellor's Scholarship||full tuition||Link||Yes||No||Yes||No||No||No||Yes|
|Vanderbilt University||Ingram, Vanderbilt Scholarships||full tuition||Link||Yes||No||No||No||No||No||Yes|
|Wake Forest University||Nancy Susan Reynolds Scholarship||full ride||Link||Yes||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Washington and Lee||Johnson Scholarship||full ride||Link||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||No||Yes|
|Washington University in St. Louis||Ervin, Rodriguez, Danforth Scholars||Up to full tuition||Link||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|William & Mary||William & Mary Scholars||full tuition and fees||Link||No||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Wofford College||Richardson Family Scholarship||full ride||Link||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|NA||Cameron Impact Scholarship||full tuition||Link||No||3.7||Yes||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|NA||Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship Program||Up to $55,000/yr||Link||No||3.5||Yes||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|NA||Dr. Pepper Tuition Giveaway||Up to $100,000 in tuition||Link||No||No||No||No||No||Yes|