Imagine your ideal college experience. It most likely involves a combination of meeting new friends, joining clubs, or playing sports, and of course attending compelling, interesting classes that will prepare you for a successful life. It’s doubtful that you care to give much thought to how you’re going to pay for all of it—either now or later.
Though worried about financing a college education is unavoidable for most people, a few people are either lucky enough to (a) have parents who foot the entire bill and will do the worrying for them, or (b) win a full-tuition scholarship. Since I can’t give you any tips on adopting richer parents, let’s jump right to full-tuition scholarships.
While there aren’t that many private full-tuition scholarships available, the good news is that many colleges offer full-ride scholarships to students who meet specific criteria. If you think you’ve got the smarts to land a merit-based, full-ride scholarship from your college, make sure you’re taking challenging high school courses—colleges and scholarship programs value those more than simply getting straight A’s—and involving yourself in extracurricular activities and volunteering.
Before narrowing down your college choices, check out what different schools are offering in terms of scholarships. How many full-ride scholarships do they give out every year? What do they look for when determining who gets a full-tuition scholarship? Will the amount increase with tuition?