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  • Writer's pictureHarpal Kochar

Full-ride scholarship strategies

Many full-ride scholarships have similar eligibility requirements, so making yourself a great candidate for one will often make you a great candidate for multiple scholarships. While the specific details they require can vary between scholarships, most require or recommend the following qualities:


  • GPA: Good grades are required for practically every full-ride scholarship. Most will require either a certain GPA (like 3.5 or higher) or a certain class rank (like top 5% or 10% in your class).

  • Test Scores: Many full-ride scholarships also require a certain score on the PSAT, SAT, and/or ACT to be eligible.

  • Extracurriculars: Many schools look for skills and interests outside the classroom. Leadership and volunteer experience are particularly highly valued.

  • Personal Statement: For some scholarships, you may also need to provide a personal statement or respond to essay prompts as part of the requirements. Many schools require this so they can get a better sense of your personality and goals.

What's Next?

Make sure you stay on top of your high school GPA while taking rigorous classes to be considered for these kinds of scholarships. You should also know how to get a high score on the SAT and ACT!

Not sure how much college will cost without a free ride? Check out the real cost of attending college.

If you can't get a full ride, don't give up! There are a lot of other scholarships out there based on extracurriculars, such as community service, instead of on academics.

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