The Gates Millennium Scholarship Program is open to students who are of Hispanic American, Pacific Islander, Asian American, Alaska Native, American Indian or African American heritage. Established originally in 1999, it was first funded by a one billion dollar grant from the Gates Foundation.
This program is so much more than just a scholarship. It will give you a chance to save your life. The goal of the program is promoting excellence in academic areas and providing opportunities for bright minority students who need financial assistance in order to help them in reaching their greatest potential.
Reducing Financial Barriers and Increasing Minority Representation
The Gates Scholarship aims to reduce financial barriers often found by students in minority classes. Students who have a high level of leadership promise and are in good standing academically will have the chance to get help with their financial need.
The scholarship program seeks to increase the representation of minority groups, especially in the areas of sciences, public health, mathematics, engineering, education and computer science. These are areas where minority groups are in a state of severe under-representation.
Through their program, the Gates Foundation wants to develop a diversified group of America’s future leaders by aiding the successful completing of bachelor’s, doctoral and master’s degrees. They provide seamless support in undergraduate course work through complete doctoral programs for those students who have been selected to the program.
Eligibility for the Gates Millennium Scholars Program
To be eligible, you must be a United States citizen, or a legal national or permanent resident. Your cumulative GPA should be 3.3 or higher on a scale of 4.0. Alternately, you are qualified if you did not graduate from high school, but have your GED.
You must demonstrate leadership abilities through your participation in extracurricular activities or community service. You should meet the eligibility for the Federal Pell Grant, and be enrolling for the first time at an accredited college in the United States. The fall session of the year you apply should mark your first year of college.
Applications are not accepted past the deadline, which is January 13, 2016. In addition, there are forms you will need to send along. They include:
- An evaluation of your leadership activities and community service. This document is known as the recommender form.
- An evaluation of your academic record, known as the nominator form.
What Does the Gates Scholarship Provide?
The Gates Millennium Scholars Program gives support in education costs by offering self-help aid and money for financial need. The awards are renewable, for students who maintain a satisfactory GPA. If you are studying in high-need areas like public health & science, mathematics, library science, engineering, computer science or education, you can receive assistance through and beyond your graduate year.
Administration of the Gates Millennium Scholars Program
The Gates Scholarship program is administered by the United Negro College Fund (UNCF). The goal is reaching, coordinating with and supporting the target constituents. For this purpose, the UNCF is partnering with the Pacific Islander & Asian American Scholarship Fund, American Indian Graduate Center Scholars and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, who assist UNCF in implementing the scholarship program.
Additional information on the scholarship can be found at their website.