How To Get a Full Ride Scholarship

One of the biggest hurdles of college is often the cost. The price tag of college can be daunting and can make or break your decision for where to pursue higher education. But the hope of scholarships can help with that. There are certain requirements to aim for when it comes to applying for scholarships – especially a full ride scholarship. There are several main parts of an application: transcript, GPA, class rank, resume, references, and writing sample. Grades, test scores, essays, athletics, and legacies are some of the best places to focus when it comes to securing a full ride scholarship.  Here are a few tips for turning those opportunities into realities.

How to get a full ride scholarship

There are several different ways someone can get a full ride scholarship. The two main categories are academics and athletics.

  • Academics: Your GPA and test scores are usually the first place colleges look when awarding scholarship money. This category can take years of planning and dedication to your studies to achieve a full ride academic scholarship.
  • Athletics: Another popular area of scholarship is sports. Many college athletes receive financial support through athletic scholarships. But this also is not achieved overnight. Becoming a college athlete on a full ride requires a special skill set and years of practice. It also takes  a willingness to compete at a whole new level to keep that scholarship.

How hard is it to get a full ride scholarship?

Getting a full ride scholarship is obviously hard work, but it is not impossible. According to Accredited Schools Online, less than 1% of students receive a full ride scholarship. While that statistic might not be super encouraging to hear, let it be motivating. Because you can be part of that 1%.

While this is a national average, you might also consider doing research for your specific schools. It is always possible that your college-of-interest offers full ride scholarships on a more frequent basis.

Schools will have different requirements for ACT or SAT scores. This means a certain test score may get a full ride scholarship at one college but only a partial scholarship at another. For example, a 32 on the ACT may earn a full ride at one school but a partial scholarship at another.  Also, different sports will have different opportunities. This means you may have a better chance to fill a certain need at a certain school. For example, a well-developed football program may be less likely to give out a scholarship than a women’s golf team with three open spots.

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How to get a full ride scholarship as a transfer student:

Getting a full ride scholarship as a transfer student is a bit harder than it is for an incoming freshman. Most of the time the eligibility requirements will differ. For example, as a transfer student, the academic focus is on the grades from college classes and usually not grades from high school or ACT scores.

Transfer students can help their chance for a scholarship by sharpening their leadership skills. Getting involved in leadership in your school or in your community is a great place to get started.

The best thing to do as a transfer student seeking a full ride scholarship is to reach out to your specific college to find out what they are looking for. The eligibility requirements change from school to school. Getting information from your direct source first can help you find a smoother transfer process that earns as much money as possible.

This process may look different depending on whether you are transferring from a junior college or a four year university. At some institutions, they rank transfer scholarships for junior colleges higher. This is another reason to call an advisor from your school to get as much  information as you can before you start the transfer process. 

How to get a full ride academic scholarship:

Each school will have a standard set of eligibility requirements that must be met to receive a full ride academic scholarship. These requirements often include a certain ACT or SAT score, a place in the top percentage of your graduating class, and a high GPA. So, we have two main pieces of advice for you when it comes to academic scholarships: 

  • Study study study. It is never too early to start putting in the hard work when it comes to grades. Study for your high school classes, take harder classes to boost your GPA. Take a review course to help you study for the ACT or the SAT.
  • Apply apply apply. If you aren’t already decided on one certain school, then send in an application to anyone and everyone. The more places you apply, the more chances you have of finding the school that is looking for what you have. There are also lots of essay scholarship opportunities, so use those academics that you earned to write some winning essays.

Let us help you reach for a full ride

Whether college is around the corner or several years away, today is a good day to take steps toward your financial goals for college. And we want to help! Here at College Raptor, we offer tools that can help you find scholarships or create a college savings plan. Either way, we are here to assist as you prepare for what comes next, apply for the next chapter of your life, and achieve your hopes and dreams.



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