Even though DD20 is my 3rd and last child I am still learning new things every day throughout this process. In looking through some of her acceptances/merit/scholarships, reviewing possible RD acceptances/possible scholarships TBD and thinking back about some of the acceptances that D09 received years ago, I am discovering that some schools and people are using these terms interchangeably. In my head I considered a full ride as tuition & room/board and maybe some extras such as books etc, yet I see tuition only scholarships being referred to as full rides. I've also seen "Full tuition & Fees" or just "Full tuition". D09, received what I thought was a full ride from one school, he chose to attend elsewhere but looking back at the paperwork now it appears that it was full tuition only (not that it's not a great scholarship also). Perhaps, had he chosen this particular school I would have noticed as I am know for noticing the little things and reading the small print.
This may be common knowledge/common sense to some but not everyone one on CC is an expert and can easily over look something in all of the excitement. Please read your Merit/financial aid offers thoroughly and get clarification if needed so there are no surprises later on. I wish the best to anyone who has/will receive either/or because it is an amazing gift.