12 Full Ride Scholarships in Texas

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The full ride scholarships in Texas show that everything is really bigger in Texas. We can’t write this article for most states because, well, most states don’t have 12 full ride scholarships to choose from!

Full ride scholarships are different than full scholarships in that they cover tuition, fees, often books, room, and board, and sometimes even provide a stipend. These scholarships often come with unique access to professors and student resources, and sometimes even extend to graduate school.

A few (but not all) of these scholarships require students to be National Merit Finalists. If you do happen to be a National Merit Finalist, you might want to check our review of 27 guaranteed full ride scholarships for National Merit Finalists.

If you aren’t a National Merit Finalist… sorry to rub salt in that wound. Let’s make things better by checking out these other full ride options!

If you’re interested in going out of state, we’ve also reviewed 4 full rides in California, another 6 full ride scholarships in Florida, and Colorado also has 6 full ride scholarship programs available.

There’s also Arizona, which offers full scholarships at their three highly-ranked state universities.

All right, on to the list! We aren’t ranking the scholarships this time, so we’ll review them alphabetically.

12 Full Ride Scholarships in Texas

Houston Community College – Eagle Promise Free Degree Program

Okay, this one doesn’t technically count because it’s a two-year scholarship at a two-year college, but hey, a full ride is a full ride. Through the program, students receive:

  • Tuition
  • Fees
  • A book allowance of up to $500 per semester
  • Priority class registration

Requirements include Texas residency in an HCC taxing district and an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) under $10,000.

The residency requirement and EFC limit mean many students won’t qualify for this scholarship, but on the other hand, the academic requirements are much lower than for some of the other scholarships on our list.

Lone Star College – Honors College Chancellor’s Fellows

Our alphabetical listing just happened to put two 2-year colleges first, and the Lone Star College offers a similar package including:

  • Tuition and fees (up to 15 credit hours of in-district tuition per semester)
  • Book allowance (up to $600 per semester)
  • An allowance ($600 per semester) to pursue a course of study culminating in an Honors AA or AS degree.

Students in this program may also be “selected for conference presentations and international travel opportunities”, with travel scholarships to fund these experiences.

Rice University Merit Scholarships

Rice University doesn’t publish much about their merit scholarships, but at least occasionally they will offer generous scholarship packages up to the full cost of attendance.

The “full cost of attendance” includes everything—tuition, fees, books, room and board, and sometimes even more.

According to their website, past recipients have included:

  • political and community service leaders
  • math/science competition winners
  • creative and performance artists
  • entrepreneurs
  • scholar-athletes
  • exceptional writers

All students are considered for these scholarships upon admission, so there’s no way to know in advance what your chances are of receiving a scholarship, or how much that scholarship will cover.

A full ride is possible, though, and you may be one of the fortunate students to attract a generous offer.

Southern Methodist University – President’s Scholars Program

This exclusive program includes full-tuition and fees for “eight consecutive fall and spring academic semesters or graduation, whichever comes first”.

In addition, “President’s Scholars receive travel expenses and tuition for study abroad, choosing from more than 100 programs throughout the world.”

Other benefits include:

  • An annual retreat at the SMU-in-Taos campus
  • Dinner discussions at faculty members’ homes
  • Opportunities to interact with corporate and community leaders
  • Opportunities to meet world leaders on campus for the Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series.

Southern Methodist University pulls out all the stops to draw the best students to their campus, with an impressive array of financial and experiential benefits.

Southwestern University – Brown Scholars

Southwestern University’s scholarships are closely related to students’ academic performance in high school, specifically with GPA and class rank.

Their most prestigious (and competitive) scholarship is the Brown Scholarship, paying $36,000 per year.

To apply, “candidates must rank minimally in the top 5% of their high school class or, if high school does not rank, have the equivalent of a 3.8 GPA on an unweighted 4.0 scale.”

The process also includes interviews which conclude in early February, and then an in-person scholarship event in March.

Terry Scholars – 11 Partner Universities

The Terry Freshman Scholarship is an exclusive private scholarship which can be used at one of the following public universities in Texas:

  • The University of Texas – Austin
  • Texas A&M University
  • University of Houston
  • Texas State University
  • The University of Texas – Dallas
  • The University of Texas – San Antonio
  • Texas Tech University
  • University of North Texas
  • Texas Woman’s University
  • The University of Texas – Arlington
  • The University of Texas – El Paso

The Terry Foundation is “the largest private scholarship provider in the state of Texas”. While they don’t promise specific amounts for accepted students, the overall amounts given to the various universities are pretty impressive.

For example, the 52 Terry Scholars at UT Dallas were awarded $1,423,500, equating to an average of $27,375 per student.

While the application process may be rigorous, the scholarship amounts are well worth the trouble.

Texas A&M University

We’ve actually written a whole article on the 8 best TAMU scholarships right here. We’ll give you a spoiler—the most prestigious and generous of those scholarships are the Craig and Galen Brown Foundation Scholarships.

The Brown EnMed Scholarship is one example of a Brown Scholarship, covering $100,000 in undergraduate costs, $60,000 in graduate costs for engineering and medical studies, and $10,000 for a research trip near Florence, Italy.

The bad news is that students must be National Merit Semifinalists just to apply, but thankfully TAMU has other great scholarships with easier requirements. You can check them all out in the article we linked above!

Texas Christian University – Chancellor’s Scholarship

Texas Christian University can be generous with the financial aid, and their most prestigious scholarship is the Chancellor’s Scholarship.

Listing out the individual benefits takes a while since there are so many, but here’s the breakdown:

“The four-year value of the scholarship for each first-year scholarship recipient is more than $215,920, not including additional programming activity costs for the group. In 2021-2022, the total academic-year investment in the 227 Chancellor’s Scholars exceeds $11.3 million.”

In addition to the dollars, Chancellors Scholars at TCU receive other benefits from the university including:

  • Special opportunities to interact with the Chancellor, TCU faculty/staff and their peers
  • Events including a new Scholars retreat, social activities, and a dining etiquette and interview skills dinner
  • Participation in a unique international experience
  • Special recognition at Commencement for graduating students

Schools like TCU host these prestigious programs to draw the best students, and TCU goes above and beyond to roll out the red carpet for Chancellor’s Scholarship recipients.

Trinity University – Multiple Scholarships

Trinity University offers multiple scholarships providing full tuition or more.

  • The Trinity Tower Scholarship provides full tuition through a competitive event
  • The International Student Scholarship provides up to the full cost of attendance
  • The Semmes Distinguished Scholar Award provides a full-tuition scholarship and $5,000 research stipend for STEM majors

While none of these quite compare to the full rides offered by other schools, they still offer a minimum of full tuition, so they’re certainly worth looking into if you’re interested in attending Trinity University.

University of Houston – Tier One Scholarship

Tier One Scholars at the University of Houston receive an impressive array of benefits:

  • All tuition and mandatory fees for four years of undergraduate studies (Architecture students receive five years of benefits)
  • On-campus housing and meal plan for the first two years at UH
  • $1,000 stipend to support undergraduate research and guidance in competing for national and international scholarships and fellowships
  • $2,000 stipend to support learning abroad
  • Opportunities to build community among other Tier One Scholars, National Merit Scholars, and other high-achieving students
  • Priority registration during all enrollment periods
  • Out-of-state students will receive a waiver of non-resident tuition, which represents over $40,000 in savings over four years

With the room and board included during the first two years and plenty of generous stipends, the Tier One Scholarship is on par with the best full ride scholarships in Texas, and is a great choice for the fortunate students who receive the scholarship.

University of Texas at Austin – Forty Acres Scholarship

The “premier full-ride, merit-based scholarship for The University of Texas at Austin”, the Forty Acres Scholarship includes:

  • Full tuition at a world class university
  • Living stipend
  • Book and supply stipend
  • Enrichment funds for interests and opportunities outside the classroom
  • Customized programming
  • Cultivated connections with UT alumni and faculty
  • Steadfast support of dedicated Forty Acres Scholars Program staff

This is a prestigious scholarship at a world-famous university, with unique opportunities that will enrich your career and life for years to come.

Also, who couldn’t use some “enrichment funds”? We don’t exactly know what enrichment funds are, but they sound pretty sweet.

With everything you could ask of a scholarship program, this just might be the best full ride in Texas, and the competition will be fierce.

University of Texas at Dallas – Eugene McDermott Scholars Program

Awarded to “students with records of outstanding academic achievement and outstanding leadership and service”, up to 20 McDermott Scholars each year will receive:

  • Required tuition and mandatory fees
  • Stipends for housing and living
  • Development resources, including:
    • Leadership training through seminars and cohort experiences
    • Funding for study abroad and other engagement
    • Program staff
  • Membership in the University’s Hobson Wildenthal Honors College and its Collegium V academic honors program

Like the other top-tier full ride scholarships in Texas, the McDermott Scholars Program goes above and beyond to provide both financial and experiential benefits for its members.

This exclusive scholarship at an exceptional school offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience for UT Dallas students.

UT Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) Luminary Scholars

Okay, this isn’t quite on the level of the prestigious UT Austin, UT Dallas, and Texas A&M scholarships we just covered. Nonetheless, the Luminary Scholars Program can be as life-changing as it is generous.

In fact, the UTRGV Luminary Scholars Program beats out most of these other scholarships by providing a full scholarship for up to 8 years, including undergraduate and graduate studies!

Luminary Undergraduate – Graduate Program Scholars receive $10,000 for tuition and fees each undergraduate year, $8,500 for room and board for 2 years, and $9,000 each year for a 2-year graduate degree.

School of Medicine Scholars can receive even more, up to $137,000 over 8 years.

We hope this info helps you score one of these sweet full ride scholarships in Texas, and we have more resources to help you save money in college, including the 9 easiest CLEP tests.

Tuition reimbursement can also cover up to the whole cost of tuition with some employers, and we’ve reviewed the best part-time college jobs with tuition reimbursement.

Thanks for visiting College Guidepost, and we wish you the best in your scholarship hunt!