Looking for Full Tuition/Full Ride Scholarship

Looking to make a list of schools where my dd might be competitive for full tuition or full ride scholarships. She is kid 2 of 8 (we have a 1 yo). This is our 2nd time thru the process. We do not qualify for any financial aid at even the most expensive schools even with more than 1 kid in college.

She’s premed, so I think she’s maxed out what she can do at community college, since she can’t take her science there.

We have some college savings, but if she can get a full ride, we can use them to help her with med school.

Affordability is our top priority, followed by fit.

We’re in Texas.

-1440 SAT (2nd try, not planning to retake)
-4.0 UW (these are homeschool grades, but she also has a 4.0 in classes taken at community college)
-ECs: captain of soccer team, 2 selective science/premed programs, 2 national
Latin exam gold medals, president’s volunteer award, volunteer assistant at science museum summer camps, lots of community service, church youth group leadership team, referee job, summer camp counselor job

Schools I’ve identified so far:
-University of Alabama
-University of Arkansas
-Ohio State University
-UT Dallas
-University of Houston
-UT San Antonio
-University of Missouri
-University of Miami

Any other ideas?

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University of Mississippi (Ole Miss). An SAT score of 1450 (the highest qualifying score needed is 1450, but 1440 gets a generous award) would have resulted in an even more generous automatic scholarship award. Ole Miss offers so many scholarships that it is difficult to accurately assess an award amount for a particular applicant. Can receive multiple scholarships, I believe.


Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas awards merit scholarships.

https://miamioh.edu/admission/merit-guarantee/ Miami University of Ohio.

Washington & Lee University offers full ride merit scholarships.

University of South Carolina Honors College.

Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee offers several scholarships in the amounts of $32,000 to $35,000 per year.

Wake Forest University, Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, & Duke University.

Definitely check out Vanderbilt University & Emory University.

Not a full tuition, but University of Denver offers up to $30,000 per year ($27,000 toward tuition & $3,000 toward housing).


Not a full ride but look at University of Alabama-Huntsville

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Also Spelman has competive.

Also check list

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Definitely look into the financial merit awards from Ole Miss and from the University of South Carolina; I know several kids who have done well in terms of receiving merit money from these two schools. UNC-CH is hard to get merit money from if you are an OOS applicant.

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Mississippi State University
Texas Tech
Baylor (maybe)
University of New Mexico

Full ride will be awfully hard. You may, depending on stats be able to get it down to less than the cost of room and board based on automatic merit scholarships. You would then need to look at any possible additional scholarships offered by the University.

Best wishes, you should be proud of your daughter.

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Thanks, everyone, for the suggestions so far!

Question: Does she have a chance at scholarships at highly ranked schools like Duke, Emory, and Vanderbilt? Given her SAT scores, I thought schools like this might be a reach for even getting admitted.

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Thank you for saying this! I am very proud of her, and I need to keep that at the forefront of my mind as she goes thru this competitive process!

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Are you close to Houston? Posse Foundation gives full-tuition scholarships.


If you’ve got Baylor on your list, I’d definitely look at TCU - they have the Chancellor’s full tuition scholarship. Very very competitive, but it’s an option. The average SAT is a 1500, but I’m sure with a 1440 your D would still be competitive.

There’s also Temple, Tulane, Marquette, Syracuse, Fordham, LSU

There’s no full tuition or full ride scholarships, but Nebraska offers good money.


Generally speaking, highly ranked schools give very few (if any) merit scholarships, because nearly all of the students attending those schools are outstanding and because the schools don’t need to offer merit aid to lure high-achieving students; instead, they focus their resources on providing need-based aid. To obtain meaningful merit aid, students should look for schools where they’ll be among the top 10-20% of applicants. For in-state public schools, that may mean applying to campuses other than the flagship.

Incidentally, if you haven’t already done so, it might be worth running the net price calculator for a couple of highly ranked schools that are very generous with need-based aid, just to confirm that you don’t qualify for need-based aid. At a few of the Ivies, for example, many kids with family incomes in the 150-200k range essentially receive free tuition. Of course, the odds of getting into those schools are slim for everybody, so students should focus first on finding affordable safeties…


You are correct in that major scholarships at Duke, Vanderbilt, & Emory are tough to get. And, yes, all are reach schools, but reachable for your daughter.

I would be careful of overreaching in the current environment. Certainly take a shot at one or two (it could not hurt). But, realistically, your daughter is in the midst of the admissions profile of these schools. So, while a scholarship at these schools is possible it may not be probable.


I would also investigate some of the western state schools. U of Arizona, Arizona St., U of New Mexico, and U of Utah all have merit aid available for strong out-of-state students, up to full tuition in some cases. Arizona actually publishes a chart on the website showing what aid will be given based upon GPA - not sure how they would treat homeschool GPA, but worth a try. Utah also has the Eccles program, which I believe is a true full ride. Very competitive, but this student would be a solid candidate.


In past years, Utah’s expectations for full tuition were 4.0 and 33+ ACT so that SAT score was on the low side, probably just under the cutoff. This year they were test optional but wanted to see a full IB or 8-10+ APs instead. There’s not enough detail from OP to determine whether the 4.0 comes with that level of course rigor, but I think it will be very difficult to qualify with mostly homeschooled grades if there aren’t any AP exams.

The last two years it has been extraordinarily difficult for OOS students to even get shortlisted for Eccles. They cut the budget from 30 to 25 students per year in 2019 (for admissions from fall 2020) and I suspect also reduced the amount set aside for OOS fees. I don’t think this or any other OOS student could therefore be considered a “solid candidate”.

None of this is to be down on Utah, which we love, and D has had a wonderful time. But it’s important to be realistic about expectations of merit.


Whether or not one will be competitive for a major scholarship depends upon the factors considered important by the school; such factors can & often do include URM status.

My D is a URM. It’s a myth that URM without the stats gets any special consideration. The URMs winning the competitive scholarships are high stats in-demand URMs. URM is at most a tip. It is not a substitute for everything else. I can’t tell you how many people think because my D won a lot of competitive scholarships that their URM is also competitive. Then they realize they were mistaken. You mention Ole Miss a lot. My D won the Stamps at Ole Miss. 2 other URMs were also offered Stamps that year. My D just learned (because she’s kept in touch with the other URMs who accepted and attended) that they were the first Black Stamps at Ole Miss. Between the 3 of them, their average SAT was over 1500. FFR at UGA? Same. I can go on. An URM with a 1440 may have a shot at some full rides but not the ones listed above or similar.


But the kids need to be nominated by their school or a civic organization. Still worthwhile looking into, though.

Also, students are also recruited from Dallas for the Virtual Posse Program.

Ole Miss scholarships are automatic based on one’s SAT / ACT & GPA.

Stamps is a different competition. I never mentioned Stamps.

Anyone who asserts that URMs do not get extra consideration is just dealing in a different world.

OP: Quit if you want. Or try for something that is possible, but not guaranteed.

OP: In my first post in this thread, I directed you to the appropriate website for Ole Miss scholarships. This is not about another poster’s child; this is about your family members. I assure you that they are very likely to receive multiple awards from Ole Miss.