How to Apply to the Gates Millennium Scholarship
In 1999, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation started the Gates Millenium Scholarship. After reaching its goal of 20,000 scholars in 2016, it was replaced by the Gates Scholarship.
The scholarship program grants full academic scholarships to high-achieving ethnic minority students. To win, students must show a serious financial need. The program helps bring minority students to fields where they are very underrepresented.
Every year, there are 300 Gates Millennium scholars. They pursue any major of their choice, at any college or university across America.
Scholars who want to go to graduate school can request continued funding. They must study education, engineering, library science, math, public health, and science.
Read on to find out how to apply to The Gates Millennium Scholarship
The scholarship program helps scholars develop their leadership, academic, and social skills. The Gates Millenium scholarship stands out from other scholarships. It offers a strong support network and guidance to students.
Students may renew the scholarship for up to five years of their bachelor degree. This is true as long as they continue to meet qualifications every year.
To win, students must meet the following qualifications:
- Be a high school senior
- Have a minimum GPA of 3.3
- Be a US citizen or legal permanent resident
- Show leadership qualities
- Be African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian-Pacific Islander, or Hispanic American
- Be eligible for the Federal Pell Grant
- Have plans to enroll full-time in a four-year undergraduate program
How to Apply to the Gates Millennium Scholarship
The scholarship application has two parts. Each part has its own application process.
- Part one: All applicants must submit a questionnaire. The questionnaire takes around 30-45 minutes to complete. Students need to answer questions about their academic, employment, and leadership history. They also need to give financial aid information and personal information.
- Part two: Semi-finalists are selected from the first round of applicants. Semi-finalists must submit a second questionnaire. This questionnaire includes more thorough questions. In this part, students need to submit essays and letters of recommendation.
To apply, create an account on the Gates Scholarship website.
What to Include in Your Application
The scholarship application is very comprehensive. You must include the following information in your application:
- High school transcripts
- High school cumulative GPA
- High school class rank
- College Enrollment verification
- College acceptance letter
- Financial aid award letter
- SAT/ACT scores
You must also include information about your family’s finances. You will need to include the following:
- Your status as either a dependent or independent student
- Your personal gross annual income from the past year
Finally, you must include information about your experiences in leadership, community service, and employment.
Scholarship Application Timeline
- July: Part one of the scholarship application opens
- September: Part one of the scholarship deadline
- December: Semi-finalists announced
- January: Part two of the scholarship deadline
- March: Finalists announced, interviews conducted for finalists
- April: Scholarship winners announced
Tips on Winning
If you’ve made it past part one, you are moving on to the more serious part of scholarship application; part two. Here are some tips on increasing your chances of winning:
- Start as early as possible. There is a lot of information to gather, which takes time. You must write essays and get letters of recommendation. As soon as you receive notice that you’re a semifinalist, start talking to your recommender.
- Letters of recommendation: Get letters of recommendation from somebody who knows you well. This can be a teacher or school principal. It should be somebody who can vouch for your abilities and potential.
- Write killer personal statements: This is your chance to show off your character. What makes you stand out from other applicants? It is especially important that you follow the essay instructions. Don’t leave anything out.
- Show how the Gates Scholarship will help you. You can do this in your personal statement. It should be obvious how the scholarship will help you achieve your goals. Share your education and career goals. If you want to work in an underrepresented field or community, be sure to include this.
The Gates scholarship helps hundreds of minority students get a college education every year. If you are a high achieving, ethnic minority student with a financial need, this is a scholarship you should apply to.
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