How to get a full ride scholarship to college with average grades

How to Get a Full Scholarship for College with Average Grades


Getting a full scholarship for college with average grades can be challenging, as many scholarships are awarded based on academic merit or financial need. However, there are still options available for students with average grades to pay for college. Here are a few ways you can try to get a full scholarship:

Search for scholarships that are not based on grades: Many scholarships are awarded based on criteria other than grades, such as community service, special talents or skills, or membership in certain organizations. Look for scholarships that fit your unique strengths and experiences.


How to get a Full Ride Scholarship with a Low GPA

Most scholarships are academic based, and are awarded to students with at least a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA) on a scale of 4.0 or 3.5 GPA on a scale of 5.0. While it is difficult for some students to attain a high GPA, there are lots of competitions to academic based scholarships. This makes it difficult for students with low grades to stand a chance.

Thankfully, there are other methods of securing a scholarship even though your grade sucks. These methods are explained below:

1. Athletic Scholarships

If you are very good in sports, such as football, basketball, swimming, running, volleyball etc. you can look out for scholarships for athletes. Most athletic scholarships do not require your academic performances. That is, the selection criteria are not completely based on your school grades.

To apply for these scholarships, you need to document proof of your athletic performances such as videos, awards, etc. You can also get a reference letter from your school coaches or local coaches to strengthen your application.

Examples of scholarship for athlete students:

Bear in mind that some athletic scholarships may still require your academic performance and expect you to write an essay, usually between 500 to 1000 words on why you deserve the scholarship. A grade point average of 2.0 is the most common requirement based on academics.

2. Through Scholarship for Special Students

If you are a physically challenged student, That is you fall under the category of students suffering from physical conditions (spinal cord injury, loss of limb, birth defects, etc.) and psychological conditions (autism, post-traumatic stress etc.) Including cancer, you can get a fully-funded scholarship regardless of your academic grades. 

These programs are strictly based on supporting disabled students by ensuring they get proper education. However, to get a fully funded sponsorship, you must provide proof of diagnosis from a licensed physician about your condition. Additional requirements could include, need for financial assistance, proof of enrollment in a higher institution (e.g. college), school transcripts, recommendation letters.

Examples of Scholarship for Students with Disabilities:

3. Attend a Community College

Community colleges often have lower tuition costs than four-year colleges and universities. You may be able to earn credits at a community college and then transfer to a four-year institution, potentially saving money on tuition in the long run.


4. Work-study Programs

Many colleges and universities offer work-study programs, which allow students to work part-time on campus in exchange for a reduction in tuition costs. 
In some cases, there are limitations to the amount of hours you can work per week. However, this type of scholarship is not entirely a full ride because you still need to work to pay a certain percentage of your tuition. 

5. Military Services

Are you passionate in serving your country? Then worry no more about your academic grades, as some branches of the military offer full scholarships for college. This is usually done in exchange for a commitment to serve after graduation.

6. Get Solid Recommendation Letters

While your academic grades may be low, you may still stand a chance to win your dream scholarship by getting recommendations from high personalities. Imagining getting a letter of recommendation from a Professor, or a Governor or people with some high authority, don’t you think your application will stand out? 

The idea behind a recommendation letter is that a trustworthy person can vouch for you and take responsibility for a blame if you do not comply with the policies of the institution or organization. So, getting a strong recommendation letter can help boost your chances of receiving a scholarship even with average grades. It works, but not completely dependable.

7. Through Sweepstakes

Sweepstakes scholarships are lotteries that you can enter to win money. All you just need to do is apply early to the company’s website. Enter your basic information and educational background, then submit. It’s that easy to apply, however they receive thousands of applications which makes it competitive. 


You can’t entirely rely on sweepstakes because it is a lottery. Your chances of winning are based on uncertainty. However, they are easy-to-apply scholarships without need for your academic transcripts or performances. 

Examples of Sweepstake Scholarships:

8. Apply for Need-based Financial Aid

If you can demonstrate financial need, you may be eligible for need-based financial aid, which can include grants and scholarships. You can apply for need-based financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

How to Boost your College Grades

Obviously, you need to work on your school grades if you want to get the best out of your education. Getting average or poor grades could result in different factors such as your understanding capacity, retention rate, study plan, health, peer pressure etc.

To help boost your college grades, you should apply the following strategies.

  • Create a study plan which you can comfortably stick with. If you work and school, you have to create time to read, attend lectures and rest. Always ensure you have proper sleep. 6 to 8 hours sleep will help increase your learning rate.
  • Read immediately after receiving your lectures for the day. Do not wait until a few weeks to your examination before you start reading.
  • Do your assignments and understand them. When given an assignment, make sure you not only do it, but also understand the assignment. You can further by doing more research on the given topic to broaden your knowledge.
  • Lastly, join a study group. Meet your colleagues who are more intelligent and mingle with them to understand their logic. Don’t slack, nobody was born dull.


It’s also important to remember that grades are just one factor in the scholarship application process. Other factors, such as your personal statement, recommendations, and extracurricular activities, can also be important in determining whether you receive a scholarship. So, don’t give up! Keep searching and applying for scholarships, and consider seeking out opportunities to enhance your application by getting involved in your community and building up your resume.


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