Full Tuition Scholarships at Private Schools

Find out which schools offer a full ride

Phillips Exeter Academy
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Attending private school can be an expensive investment, especially when you consider that even day school tuitions might reach upwards of $30,000 a year. That's not to mention the many boarding schools who have tuition that goes well above $50,000 a year. But, thanks to financial aid and scholarships, including full-tuition scholarships, a private school education can be more affordable than you think.

While full scholarships are not necessarily the norm, they do exist. Families who are interested in having the full cost of a private school education covered should not only look for these coveted scholarships but also look at schools who offer generous financial aid packages. No, not every school will grant a full-tuition financial aid package; it's true that some schools require that all families contribute something to the cost of a private school education. But, there are many schools that are committed to meeting the full need of qualified families. 

Here are four east coast schools that offer full tuition scholarships and/or full financial aid. 

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Cheshire Academy

Cheshire Academy
  • College Prep Coed Boarding and Day School
  • Located in Cheshire, Connecticut
  • Serving grades 9-12 and Postgraduate

Cheshire Academy offers one full tuition scholarship to qualified day students from the Town of Cheshire, as well as financial aid to qualified students. Learn more about both here.

Established in 1937, the Town Scholarship at Cheshire Academy is open to students entering the ninth grade, and who live in the Town of Cheshire. The prestigious award provides the top candidate with a full tuition scholarship for all four years of his or her day student career at Cheshire Academy. Selection for the award is based on citizenship, scholarship, leadership demonstration and abilities, and potential to be a positive contributor to both Cheshire Academy and the greater community.

For Town Scholarship consideration, candidates must:

  • Be residents of Cheshire, Connecticut for more than a year
  • Complete the eighth grade by June 30 of the year prior to matriculation
  • Complete a personal interview and application
  • Submit the required Town Scholarship essay 
  • Take the SSAT 
  • The award is announced in March

A select number of partial scholarships are awarded to runners-up.

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Fenn School

Fenn School
Fenn School
  • Day School
  • Located in  Concord, Massachusetts
  • Serving boys in grades 4 through 9

The Fenn School offers 100% financial aid awards, which include tuition, transportation, tutoring, an iPad, summer camp, band, instrumental lessons, trips, social events for boys and families, as well as incidentals like new cleats, band instruments, blazer, etc. According to Amy Jolly, Director of Admission & Financial Aid at Fenn, the full scholarships make up about 7% of their financial aid students, and overall, 40% of the financial aid awards they offer to families are for more than 95% of the cost of attending Fenn. They even offer free gently used dress-code clothes for their financial aid students, but offer up the "store" to anyone in the school for a small fee. 

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Westchester Country Day School

Westchester Country Day School
Westchester Country Day School
  • College Prep Day School
  • Located in High Point, North Carolina
  • Serving students in Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12

Westchester Country Day School offers a number of scholarships, some that are full tuition scholarships and some that are a percentage of the full tuition.

The full tuition scholarships are done through their merit scholarship program, which was started in 2013. Full tuition scholarships are offered for one riding sixth-grade student and one rising ninth grade student. Both new and returning students are eligible for the scholarship, providing that the student demonstrates:

  • outstanding academic achievement
  • exemplary character
  • well-rounded participation in school and community

The scholarship funds full tuition and is renewable for the Middle or Upper school term provided that the student remains in good standing within his or her division. The application process begins as early as September the year before matriculation, with applications, essays, and interviews due as part of the application process. Recipients are notified in March.

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Phillips Exeter Academy

Phillips Academy Exeter
Phillips Academy Exeter. Photo © etnobofin
  • College prep boarding school
  • Located in Exeter, New Hampshire
  • Serving coed students in grades 9-12 and PG

In the fall of 2007, the school announced that for families whose incomes are $75,000 or less, qualified students would be able to attend the prestigious institution free of charge. This still stands true today, which essentially offers all qualified families a full-tuition scholarship, means that a vast majority of middle-income families would actually have the opportunity to send their children to one of the best boarding schools in the country, for free.

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Jagodowski, Stacy. "Full Tuition Scholarships at Private Schools." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, thoughtco.com/full-tuition-scholarships-at-private-schools-4063866. Jagodowski, Stacy. (2023, April 5). Full Tuition Scholarships at Private Schools. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/full-tuition-scholarships-at-private-schools-4063866 Jagodowski, Stacy. "Full Tuition Scholarships at Private Schools." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/full-tuition-scholarships-at-private-schools-4063866 (accessed June 4, 2023).