The Gates Scholarship

On the lookout for scholarships? If you’re a minority, you’ll definitely want to look into the The Gates Scholarship. Here’s what you need to know about its history, how you can apply, and more.

What is The Gates Scholarship?

The Gates Scholarship is a “highly selective, last-dollar scholarship for outstanding, minority, high school seniors from low-income households.” Launched in 2017, it is the successor to the Gates Millennium Scholarship and was created by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

300 students are chosen from the applicant pool as “student leaders.” Winners will receive funding totaling the full cost of attending college that isn’t already covered by financial aid offers and the expected family contribution. And that amount isn’t just tuition. It includes room and board, books, transportation, fees, and other college related costs.

Winners, also known as Scholars, will also have additional resources and assistance made available throughout their entire college experience and as they enter the career field.

The scholarship continue until 3,000 Scholars have been named.

How Can You Apply to the Gates Scholarship?

What Are the Eligibility Requirements for the Award?

 In order to be eligible to apply for the Gates Scholarship, students need to be

  • A senior in high school
  • From one of these ethnicities: African American, Asian & Pacific Islander American, Hispanic American, and American Indian/Alaska Native. (Proof of tribal enrollment required for American Indians/Alaska Natives)
  • Pell eligible
  • A US Citizen, national, or permanent resident
  • In good academic standing
  • Have a minimum GPA of 3.3
  • Planning to enroll full-time
  • Enroll in a four-year program
  • Planning to attend an accredited school in the United States

What is the Scholarship Looking for in Applicants?

Apart from the basic requirements, the Gates Scholarship is looking for specific qualities in their applicants. Although you don’t need these qualifications to apply, it is how the award program defines their “ideal candidate.”

  • The student has an outstanding academic record.
  • Top 10% of their graduating class
  • They have demonstrated the ability to lead.
  • Community service, extracurriculars, clubs, or otherwise
  • They show personal skills such as emotional maturity, motivation, and more.

How Do You Complete the Application?

The Gates Scholarship application process takes over a year to complete. It opens each year to new applicants on July 15th and closes on September 15th. Students will enter the semifinalist phase in December and January, and finalist interviews are conducted between March and April. Selections are made in April, and scholars will be named and receive their awards between July and September.

When the scholarship application is available, students can apply here.

If you’re a minority and you’ve demonstrated your abilities throughout your high school career, the Gates Scholarship should definitely be in your sights. Make sure to set a reminder so you can apply this July!

Are you struggling to find scholarships you qualify for? Our Scholarship Search Tool makes finding them easier than ever. Make sure to sign up here.