A person’s name may be the sweetest sound, but for college-bound seniors and their parents, “full ride” is a little better.  College expenses have skyrocketed and the prospect of going to college for free is one that few get to enjoy.  Getting a full ride requires both research and dedication; the scholarships won’t appear magically.  They often require students to have strong academics and write exceptional essays.  Additionally, a number require the recipient to major in a specific field.  Here are three major sources of full tuition scholarships to get your search started.


Reserve Officers’ Training Corps

The armynavy and airforce all offer sizable scholarships to students who study either STEM or foreign cultures and languages.  These aid packages often cover the cost of tuition while providing a small stipend for living and other school related expenses.  Obviously, this comes with a catch: you have to join the military for four to eight years after completing your degree.  That doesn’t mean you’ll be on the front line; many ROTC members join the National Guard or work in military technologies.  I have a friend who was a member of the ROTC and spoke very highly of the experience.  The rigors of training carried over to his academics.  In the past four years, he’s become one of the most disciplined, thoughtful people I know.  The program is clearly not for everyone, but if you have an interest in protecting our country, then the ROTC may be right for you.


Private Grants

An increasing number of technology companies offer sizable scholarships to students interested in STEM fields.  Microsoft and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation both give aspiring scientists full tuition scholarships which can last from a single year to graduation.  Similarly, JP Morgan gives a select few students attending schools in the New York area a full tuition subsidy as well as internship and job opportunities.  A great way to find similar scholarships is by searching the websites of major firms in your prospective field; you never know what you may find.


Honors Programs

A growing number of schools have honors programs which severely reduce the cost of tuition.  For instance, The CUNY system has the William E. Macaulay Honors College which offers free tuition to every in-instate student who is accepted.  Similarly, Northeastern University allocates significant financial aid resources towards its honors program.  Be on the lookout for similar ones at other schools throughout the country.  You need to be a stellar student to be accepted to any of these programs, but this just goes to show the excelling academically (literally) pays for itself.


Many of these full-ride scholarships are a long shot or come with heavy stipulations.  You should apply to as many as possible, but don’t lose sight of smaller scholarships and grants.  Use our blog post on finding financial aid to refine your portfolio, and don’t hesitate to reach out to Ivy Admissions for a free financial aid assistance consultation.