Full Ride Scholarships
In the 2010-2011 academic year, students at private, not-for-profit institutions could expect to pay $36,300 in tuition, while those students attending private, for-profit institutions might face a $23,500 bill, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. That’s a huge amount of money for almost anyone to pay, and sometimes fears about costs keep low-income students from applying to the colleges and universities that could give them the tools they’d need to build a better, more profitable, life.
Scholarships can help, as students who participate in a scholarship program are given funds that they never have to pay back, but it’s a little rare for students to find one scholarship that can cover the entire cost of their educational experience.
Understanding the Full Ride
When a scholarship is comprehensive enough to cover all of the fees a student might rack up due to tuition, it’s known as a “full ride.” This is the sort of scholarship that almost any student would love to have, as it ensures that students can get the education they need without experiencing any sort of financial hardship in the process.
- Athletic prowess
- Race or ethnicity
- Severe economic need
- Participation in the military
Unfortunately, these sorts of scholarships are also quite rare. In fact, in an analysis printed by CBS News, experts suggest that fewer than 20,000 students obtain a free ride scholarship on a yearly basis. These just aren’t the sorts of products that get handed out frequently.
Selection and Alternatives
Just because these scholarships are rare doesn’t mean that they’re completely unavailable. In fact, some public institutions and private entities do provide scholarships that can cover the entire cost of a student’s participation in school, and a little digging could help students to find these products and apply for them.
But students should also consider looking for, and applying for, scholarships that have a somewhat smaller monetary award. Many of these smaller scholarships don’t come with exclusion clauses, so students can apply for many different scholarships and piece together a full ride from a variety of different donors. There’s more work involved from a student’s perspective, of course, as each scholarship may come with its own application form and requirements, but those students who put in the effort could find that they don’t have to put a dime forward in order to pay for school.