UPDATE: The new Gates Scholarship will replace the Gates Millennium Scholarship Program. We’ve updated this guide and will keep making edits as more information becomes available!
5 YEARS of FULL funding for ANY U.S. accredited college or university!
I went through a process of applying for fellowships for graduate school and can relate to those of you who are applying for Gates. Luckily for me, there is quite a collection of example essays, hints and guides out there for pre-doctoral fellowships, but none that I’ve seen for Gates. As a Gates outreach ambassador, I’ve heard lots of questions that I think many of you out there will also have.
I haven’t seen answers to some of these questions on the web, so here goes my suggestions for those who are applying for a Gates Scholarship blessing!
Suggestion 1: APPLY!
The biggest problem that I see in terms of Gates Scholarship applications is that people don’t apply. The worst that can happen is you write essays and gather paperwork that you can use for applying to colleges!
Suggestion 2: Make sure you meet all the eligibility requirements
Before you start the application process, please check that you have met all the eligibility requirements. A list of these requirements can be found on the FAQ page, but some are also broken down here:
Students are eligible if they meet the following:
Requirement: Are African American, American Indian/Native Alaskan, Asian Pacific Islander American, or Hispanic American
- If you claim that you are American Indian/Native Alaskan, you will be asked for proof of tribal enrollment or certificate of descent if you are selected as a finalist.
- If you can claim origins from the “Far East, Southeast Asian, the Indian subcontinent, or the Pacific Islands” you are eligible to apply.
Requirement: Will enroll for the first time in an accredited college or university located in the U.S. or Puerto Rico in the fall of the year following your application
- To determine if your school is accredited, go to this site and search for your school
- If you graduated from high school a year or more from the point in which you are applying for GMS, it is ok!
Requirement: Have demonstrated leadership ability
- If you can show that you have leadership capability through participation in community service, extracurricular or any other activities, you qualify
- A note about this: I am not entirely sure that capacity in which you need to demonstrate leadership to make you competitive so if you have leadership at all, APPLY!
Requirement: Meet Federal Pell Grant eligibility criteria
- This site has a short list of basic requirements. Make sure you meet them!
- Here is another site that explains the process of determining Pell eligibility.
- Most applicants ask what the income cutoff is and no one I know has been able to answer this question. I know some people with total family incomes up to $60,000 and have qualified. If you are in doubt, APPLY!
Requirement: Have completed and submitted all three required forms as part of your application
- The exact application hasn’t been published. We will update this as information becomes available
Suggestion 3: Remember that the deadline for submission is 11:59 PM EST on September 15, 2017!
This means start as early as you can and DO NOT wait till 11:59:00 PM of the deadline date to submit your information!! This also means:
- You need to check and double-check that you have submitted all the required documents
- DO NOT WAIT till the last-minute because the submission site will have high traffic near the deadline and you do not want to be the person who experienced technical difficulties…because then the difficulty on your behalf is that you technically did not apply!