Merit Scholarships: How to Get 6-FIGURES in Scholarships for College!

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!

Merit Scholarships

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

SchoolMerit ScholarshipsAwardLinkAre int'l students eligibleTest Scores (if stated)GPANomination or Rec?FAFSA Req'd?CSS Req'd?Nat'l Merit?Leadership?Add'l Essay?
28+ schoolsThe Stamps ScholarshipUp to full tuitionLinkSometimes-- check with school--------
Agnes Scott CollegePerry Presidential Scholarshipsfull rideLinkYesNoNoNoNoYesNo
American UniversityFrederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars Programfull rideLinkYes3.8NoNoNoNoYesYes
Boston CollegeGabelli Presidential Scholars Programfull tuition/meets full needLinkYesNoNoNoNoYesNo
Boston UniversityTrustee Scholarshipfull tuition and feesLinkYes4NoNoNoNoNoYes
Carthage CollegePresidental Scholarship ProgramUp to full tuitionLinkNoNoNoNoNoYesYes
Catholic University of AmericaArchdiocesan Scholarshipfull rideLinkYes3.8NoNoNoNoNoNo
Claremont McKenna CollegeInterdisciplinary Science Scholarshipsfull tuitionLinkYesNoYesYesNoYesNo
ClemsonNational Scholars Programfull rideLinkNo1510Top 1% of high school classNoNoNoNoYesNo
Davidson CollegeBelk Scholarshipfull rideLinkYesYes- nominationNoNoNoYesYes
Drake UniversityNational Alumni Scholarshipfull tuitionLinkYes3.8 OR top 5% of classNoNoNoNoYesYes
Duke & UNC-CHRobertson Scholarsfull rideLinkYes2 letters of recNoNoNoYesYes
Emory UniversityEmory Scholars ProgramUp to full tuitionLinkYesNoNoNoNoNoNo
Florida public universitiesBenacquisto Scholarship ProgramUp to full in-state tuitionLinkNoNoNoNoYesNoNo
Fordham UniversityCunniffe Presidential Scholarshipfull rideLinkYesGenerally top 1-2% of classNoNoNoNoYesNo
Furman UniversityDuke Scholarshipfull rideLinkYesNoNoNoNoYesNo
George Washington UniversityPresidential Academic Scholarship, Stephen Joel Trachtenberg ScholarshipUp to full rideLinkYes, for Presidential ScholarshipYes for SJTNoNoNoNoNo
Harvey Mudd CollegePresident's Scholars Programfull tuitionLinkNoNoNoNoNoYesYes
Hendrix CollegeHays Memorial Scholarshipfull rideLinkYesNoNoNoNoNoNo
Illinois Institute of TechnologyDuchossois Leadership Scholars Programfull rideLinkNo3.5YesNoNoNoYesYes
Indiana University BloomingtonWells Scholarsfull rideLinkYes1430+/32+ recommendedtop 5%/3.9YesNoNoNoNoNo
Lewis and Clark CollegeBarbara Hirschi Neely Schholarshipfull tuitionLinkNo
Loyola Marrymount UniversityArrupe ScholarshipUp to full tuitionLinkYesNoNoNoNoNoNo
Miami University (Ohio)Presidential Fellows Programfull rideLinkYesNoNoNoNoYesYes
Michigan State UniversityAlumni Distinguished Scholarshipfull rideLinkNoNoNoNoNoNoYes
North Carolina A&T State UniversityNational Alumni Scholarshipfull rideLinkNo3.75YesEncouragedNoNoNoYes
North Carolina State UniversityPark Scholarshipfull rideLinkNoA averageYesNoNoNoYesYes
Northeastern UniversityTorch Scholars Programfull rideLinkNoYesYesYesNoNoNo
Oglethorpe UniversityJEO, Civic Engagement Scholarshipfull tuitionLinkYesNoNoNoNoNoNo
Ohio State UniversityEminence Fellows, Morrill ScholarshipUp to full rideLinkNoNoNoNoNoYesYes
Providence CollegeRoddy Scholarshipfull rideLinkNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Rollins CollegeAlfond Scholars Programfull rideLinkYes1450/323.8NoNoNoNoNoNo
St. Lawrence UniversityTrustee Scholarshipfull tuitionLinkNoNoNoNoNoYesNo
Saint Louis UniversityPresidential Scholarshipfull tuitionLinkYes3.85NoNoNoNoNoYes
Southern Methodist UniversityPresident's Scholars Programfull tuitionLinkYesoptional- 1500 recommendedTop 10% of graduating classNoNoNoNoNoNo
Stevens Institute of TechnologyAnn P. Neupauer Scholarshipfull rideLinkNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Stevenson UniversityPresidential Fellowshipfull tuitionLinkYes3.7NoNoNoNoYesYes
Syracuse University1870 Scholarship, Coronat Scholarsfull tuitionLink1870- Yes1480 mean4.15 meanNoNoNoNoNoNo
Texas Christian UniversityChancellor's Scholars Programfull tuitionLinkYesNoNoNoNoNoNo
Tulane UniversityDeans' Honor Scholarship, Paul Tulane Awardfull tuitionLinkYes1400/31+ recommendedNoNoNoNoNoYes
University of AlabamaAcademic Elite ScholarshipsUp to full rideLinkYes1420/323.8YesNoNoNoNoYes
UCLAUCLA Alumni ScholarshipUp to $20,000/yrLinkNoNoNoNoNoNoYes
University of GeorgiaRamsey Honors Scholarship/Foundation Fellowshipfull tuitionLinkYesNoNoNoNoYesYes
University of HawaiiRegents Scholarshipfull tuitionLinkYes1340/293.5NoNoNoNoNoYes
University of HoustonTier One Scholarsfull rideLinkYes1400/30Top 10% of classYesNoNoNoYesYes
University of KentuckyPresidential, Singletary Scholarshipfull tuitionLinkNo1390/31With test- 3.5, test optional- 4.0NoNoNoNoNoNo
University of LouisvilleBrown Fellows Programfull rideLinkYes1230/263.5YesNoNoNoYesYes
University of MarylandBanneker/Key ScholarshipUp to full rideLinkYesNoNoNoNoNoNo
University of MiamiSinger/Hammond/Weeks/Jenkins Scholarshipfull tuitionLinkOnly SingerNoNoNoNoNoNo
University of North Carolina at Chapel HillMorehead-Cain Scholarshipfull rideLinkYesYesNoNoNoYesYes
University of North Carolina at CharlotteLevine Scholars Programfull rideLinkNoYesNoNoNoNoYes
University of North TexasUNT Excellence ScholarshipsUp to $12,000/yrLinkYesNoNoNoNoNoNo
University of PittsburghChancellor's Scholarshipfull rideLinkNoNoNoNoNoNoYes
University of RichmondRichmond Scholars Programfull rideLinkYesNoNoNoNoNoNo
University of RochesterAlan and Jane Handler Endowed Scholarship"More-than-full-tuition"LinkYesYesYesYesNoYesNo
University of Southern CaliforniaTrustee Scholarshipfull tuitionLinkYesNoNoNoNoYesYes
University of Texas at AustinCR Smith Endowed ScholarshipUp to full tuitionLinkNoNoYesNoNoNoNo
University of Texas at AustinForty Acres Scholars Programfull rideLinkNoNoNoNoNoYesYes
University of Texas at DallasEugene McDermott Scholars Programfull rideLinkYesYesNoNoNoYesYes
University of TulsaPresidential Scholarsfull tuitionLinkNo4.0 or top 5% of classYesNoNoYesYesYes
University of VermontGreen and Gold Scholars Awardfull in-state tuitionLinkNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
University of VirginiaJefferson or Walentas Scholars Programfull rideLinkNoYesNoNoNoYesNo
University of Wisconsin-MadisonChancellor's Scholarshipfull tuitionLinkYesNoYesNoNoNoYes
Vanderbilt UniversityIngram, Vanderbilt Scholarshipsfull tuitionLinkYesNoNoNoNoNoYes
Wake Forest UniversityNancy Susan Reynolds Scholarshipfull rideLinkYesNoNoNoNoNoNo
Washington and LeeJohnson Scholarshipfull rideLinkYesYesNoNoNoNoYes
Washington University in St. LouisErvin, Rodriguez, Danforth ScholarsUp to full tuitionLinkYesYesNoNoNoYesYes
William & MaryWilliam & Mary Scholarsfull tuition and feesLinkNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
Wofford CollegeRichardson Family Scholarshipfull rideLinkYesYesNoNoNoYesYes
NACameron Impact Scholarshipfull tuitionLinkNo3.7YesNoNoNoYesYes
NAJack Kent Cooke Scholarship ProgramUp to $55,000/yrLinkNo3.5YesNoNoNoYesYes
NADr. Pepper Tuition GiveawayUp to $100,000 in tuitionLinkNoNoNoNoNoYes

Leo improved 380 points on his SAT & got accepted into Harvard!


Colby scored a 35 on his ACT. Get your best score, too!


Leaving so soon?

Sign up for our newsletter to receive updates and discount offers on our ACT and SAT prep courses!

Leaving so soon?

Sign up for our newsletter to receive updates and discount offers on our ACT and SAT prep courses!