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Full-Ride Scholarships for US Residents and International Students to Apply for in 2024

Student Life

Sat, June 01

Full-ride scholarships offer high school students going to university or college tuition free of charge, sometimes even with room and board included. It is notably difficult to qualify for, as receiving one may change the course of your life.

This article will highlight some of the full-ride scholarships available in the United States for residents and international students.

The United States is well-known worldwide for its educational system. According to THE Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2024 of all Top 50 universities around the world, 22 of them are located in the United States. That's a whopping 44%. This makes the United States the country with most top 50 universities worldwide and explains why so many high school students are interested in studying in the United States.

Those who are considering studying in the United States for its unbeatable reputation in higher education can consider the United States institution scholarships for students going to college or university in this guide.

Full-Ride Scholarships by Private Institutions

#1 The Cameron Impact Scholarship

Details: The Cameron Impact Scholarship is a merit-based scholarship for 10-15 exceptional high school students who have demonstrated excellence in leadership, community service, extracurricular activities, and academics. Those 10-15 students selected for The Cameron Impact Scholarship show a desire to impact their communities and the world at large.

Eligibility:

  1. Be a citizen of the United States of America
  2. Maintain a minimum, cumulative, unweighted GPA of a 3.7/4.0 scale
  3. Be in the high school graduating class, planning to enroll in a full-time course of study toward a degree at an accredited four-year U.S. college or university for the full academic year following high school graduation
  4. Proven excellence in extracurricular activities, be motivated leaders with strong work ethic, demonstrate active participation in community service/civic-minded arenas
  5. There are also three additional components you have to submit.

Application Deadline: September 5th

Click to Apply for The Cameron Impact Scholarship

#2 Science Ambassador Scholarship

Details: The Science Ambassador Scholarship is a full-ride scholarship for undergraduate women and non-binary studying in areas of STEM. The scholarship is funded by Cards Against Humanity. To apply, you have to film a three–minute educational video of yourself explaining a STEM topic you're passionate about.

Eligibility:

  1. Open to international students of any nationality and residents
  2. Be a female or non-binary student
  3. Must be a high school senior or an undergraduate college student
  4. STEM must be the major field of study (not your minor), and the list of accepted fields

Application Deadline: December 13th

Click to Apply for the Science Ambassador Scholarship

#3 USDA 1890 National Scholars Program

Details: The USDA 1890 National Scholars Program aims to increase academic and career opportunities for students from rural or underserved communities in the United States studying agriculture, live-stock and food sciences.

Eligibility:

  1. Be a U.S. citizen
  2. Have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better (on a 4.0 scale)
  3. Have a minimum of 21 ACT or 1080 SAT
  4. Accepted for admission or currently attending one of the nineteen 1890 Historically Black Land-Grant Universities
  5. Study agriculture, food, natural resources, and other related disciplines
  6. Demonstrate leadership and community service

Application Deadline: March 1st

Click to Apply for the USDA 1890 National Scholars Program

#4 SMART Scholarship

Details: The SMART Scholarship-for-Service Program is a combined educational and workforce development opportunity for STEM students. SMART offers full tuition, annual stipends, and internships for students in exchange for a period of post-graduation service with the Department of Defense.

Eligibility:

  1. Open to residents or international students (citizens of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or the United Kingdom)
  2. In good standing with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  3. Studying a technical undergraduate or graduate degree in one of the 24 STEM disciplines
  4. Able to complete a summer internship with the DoD
  5. Willing to accept post-graduation employment with the DoD

Application Deadline: Applications are open annually from August 1st -December 1st.

Click to Apply for the SMART Scholarship

#5 WRNS Studio Foundation Scholarship Program

Details: The WRNS Studio Foundation Scholarship Program was established in 2021 and is open to African American or Black students in the United States who are studying architecture or design. The scholarship covers funding for tuition, fees, room, and board, along with an allotment for qualified educational expenses.

Eligibility:

  1. Be a United States resident
  2. African American or Black confirmed by both self-certification and within letters of reference
  3. A high school student planning to enroll in a NAAB-accredited architecture degree program; or a second-year college student in a NAAB-accredited architecture degree program; or a technical school or community college student with 12+ studio credits who has completed high school or its equivalent and intends to transfer to a NAAB-accredited architecture program

Application Deadline: March 15th

Click to Apply for the WRNS Studio Foundation Scholarship Program

#6 Coolidge Scholarship

Details: The Coolidge Scholarship is a full-ride scholarship that covers the full cost of tuition, room, board, and expenses for four years of undergraduate study. The scholarship can be used by recipients at any accredited college or university in the United States. Anyone of any background, pursuing any academic discipline of study, may apply to this non-partisan, need-blind, program.

Eligibility:

  1. A citizens or legal permanent residents of the United States of America
  2. Open for all junior high school students to apply
  3. Intend to enroll full-time as an undergraduate in a college or university for the first time in the fall
  4. Cannot be the immediate family member of any current employee or trustee of the Coolidge Scholars Program or the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation.

Application Deadline: January 18th

Click to apply for the Coolidge Scholarship

#7 Onsi Sawiris Scholarship

Details: Through the Onsi Sawiris Scholarship Program, Orascom Construction provides fully funded scholarships for Egyptian students to pursue bachelor’s degree programs in fields that will promote the economic prosperity of Egypt. The Onsi Sawiris Scholarship is only available for students studying at the University of Chicago, Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Eligibility:

  1. Be an Egyptian national, who is a resident of Egypt
  2. Have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 / 90%
  3. TOEFL iBT® test with a minimum total score of 100 or IELTS test with a minimum overall score of 7.5
  4. Minimum SAT I Score: 1450 (Taken within 2 years) or Minimum ACT Score: 32
  5. Studying or accepting an offer to study: Engineering, Economics, Finance or Management
  6. Have been involved or are currently involved in extracurricular activities
  7. Be committed to coming back to Egypt for two years after the successful completion of a bachelor's degree

Other important notes to consider

Application Deadline: July 31st

Click to Apply for the Onsi Sawiris Scholarship

#8 Cooke College Scholarship Program

Details: The Cooke College Scholarship Program is an undergraduate scholarship available to high-achieving high school seniors with financial need who seek to attend and graduate from the best four-year colleges and universities in the United States. Cooke College scholars should show the following qualities: a strong academic record and outstanding recommendations from teachers, showing a desire to be challenged, and demonstrating enthusiasm for learning to motivate others.

They should also display initiative, contribute positively to the community, exhibit determination when faced with obstacles, be goal-oriented, and confronts challenges with an ability to adapt to change.

Eligibility:

  1. Resident of the United States
  2. Earn a minimum, cumulative unweighted GPA of 3.5 or above
  3. Graduate in a US high school in spring and intend to enroll in an accredited four-year college beginning of fall
  4. Demonstrate finical need

Application Deadline: November 16th

Click to Apply for the Cooke College Scholarship Program

5 Tips to Increase the Chances of You Wining a Full-ride Scholarship

1. Start Early

You should start as soon as possible, ideally during your junior year of high school or even earlier. Look for scholarships that match your academic, extracurricular, and personal qualifications.

2. Maintain a Strong GPA

Almost all full-ride scholarships prioritize your grades. Focus on maintaining a high GPA and take challenging courses, such as AP courses or IB courses to demonstrate perseverance and a passion for learning. Prepare for SATs and ACTs and achieve a score preferability over the 75th percentile.

3. Give Back to Your Community

Most of the full-ride scholarships require their applicants to be “global citizens" who are able to impact society positively. Some scholarships also specify leadership skills and work experience. Volunteering for an NGO is a great way to boost your chances of winning a free-ride scholarship.

4. Be Organized

Make sure you have all the application documents submitted before the deadline. As full-ride scholarships are highly competitive missing some supporting documents can automatically disqualify you from winning. Be sure to double-check you have the relevant documents attached (eg. copies of test scores & transcripts) before you submit your application.

5. Ask for Help When Needed

Lastly, don't be afraid to seek guidance and support when you need it. It's better to ask than to be wrong! Talk to your teachers or your school's guidance counselor about the scholarship.

You can ask a teacher if they want to review your application and they may give some insight based on their experience. Last but not least, don't hesitate to email the organization that sponsors the full-ride scholarship if you have any concerns.

*The application deadline in this article is for 2024, application deadlines may vary each year.

Ethan Yau
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Writer since May, 2024 · 3 published articles

Ethan is an eleventh grader at an international school in Macau. He enjoys spending his spare time reading, writing, and exploring the city. His favorite books include Fahrenheit 451 and Shoe Dog. He is an active member of the arts community in his school and was previously an editor of his school magazine. Beyond academia, Ethan is a competitive swimmer, representing Macau in swimming championships and meets across Asia.

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