Aiming to provide greater access and opportunity to higher education for outstanding students from underrepresented backgrounds, the Gates Millenium Scholars (GMS) Program was established in 1999. Funded by a $1.6 billion grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the program provides scholarships to 1000 students each year.
The program promotes academic excellence and encourages students to pursue and complete an undergraduate education in all discipline areas and graduate education. This is especially given to those students who would like to pursue studies in computer science, mathematics, life or physical sciences, engineering, education, public health, library science and/or information science.
The Gates Millenium Scholars Program supports its beneficiaries in a variety of ways including but not limited to personal, leadership, and professional development opportunities, networking and mentorships opportunities, as well as financial and academic funding. One of the goals of this program is to prepare its scholars for excellence in their professions and leadership in their own communities.
The GMS Scholarship Award provides the following:
- Support for education cost of the scholars by covering unmet need and self-help aid
- Renewable awards for Gates Millennium Scholars upholding adequate academic advancement
- Funding for Graduate school cost for ongoing Gates Millennium Scholars in the fields of computer science, education, engineering, library science, mathematics, public health or science
- Provisions of leadership development platforms with distinctive personal, academic and professional growth opportunities
Interested applicants for the scholarship program should meet the following criteria:
Eligibility Requirements. You should have a minimum GPA of 3.3 on 4.0 scale.
Ethnicity. Applicants should be African-American, American Indian-Alaska Native, Asian & Pacific Islander American, or Hispanic American.
Residency Status. You should be a U.S. Citizen, permanent resident or foreign national
Academic Classification. One should be a high school senior, GED recipient, or high school graduate entering an accredited college for first time as a full-time, degree-seeking, first-year student.
Financial Need. Applicants must meet Pell Grant eligibility criteria.
1000 applicants are selected each year to become the beneficiaries of the Gates Millenium Scholars Program. These applicants have the freewill to pursue graduate studies after college. As stated in the provisions of the program, the cost of graduate school will be funded by GMS.
To note, the application deadline for students entering college in the 2013-2014 academic year has passed. For those who are interested to apply for the 2014-2015 scholarship program, the scholarship opens August 15 2013 and the deadline is January 17 2014. You can apply at Gates Millennium Scholarship website.