One of the most prestigious scholarships available to students in the United States is the Gates Millennium Scholarship. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation established the scholarship in 1999 with the goal of providing financial assistance to minority students pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Gates Millennium Scholarship

Gates Millennium Scholarship

Students who are African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian American/Pacific Islander, or Hispanic American are eligible for the scholarship.

The Gates Scholarship (TGS) is a last-dollar scholarship for outstanding minority high school seniors from low-income families.

Each year, the scholarship is given to exceptional student leaders in order to help them reach their full potential.


Scholars will receive funding for the full cost of attendance* that is not already covered by other financial aid, as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the methodology used by the Scholar’s college or university.

Tuition, fees, room and board, books, and transportation are all included in the cost of attendance, which may also include other personal expenses.


To apply, students must be:

  • A high school senior
  • From at least one of the following ethnicities: African-American, American Indian/Alaska Native*, Asian and Pacific Islander American, and/or Hispanic American
  • Pell-eligible
  • A US citizen, national, or permanent resident
  • In good academic standing with a minimum cumulative weighted GPA of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale (or equivalent),

Additionally, a student must plan to enroll full-time, in a four-year degree program, at a US-accredited, not-for-profit, private, or public college or university.

For American Indians and Alaska Natives, proof of tribal enrollment will be required.

Ideal Candidate

An ideal candidate will have the following:

  • An outstanding academic record in high school (in the top 10% of his or her graduating class)
  • Demonstrated leadership ability (e.g., as shown through participation in community service, extracurriculars, or other activities)
  • Exceptional personal success skills (e.g., emotional maturity, motivation, perseverance, etc.)

Benefits of the Gates Millennium Scholarship

1. The Gates Millennium Scholarship is a full-ride scholarship that covers the full cost of tuition, fees, room and board, and books for the duration of the student’s undergraduate and graduate education.

2. The scholarship also provides funding for other educational expenses such as study abroad programs, internships, and computer purchases.

3. The scholarship provides leadership development opportunities and mentoring to help students achieve their academic and professional goals.

4. The Gates Millennium Scholarship program aims to develop future leaders who will make a positive impact in their communities and the world.

5. Through various leadership development activities and mentoring programs, the scholarship helps students develop the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in their chosen fields.


Application Process

The application process begins in August of each year, and the application deadline is usually in December.

1. Students must create an account on the Gates Millennium Scholarship website and complete the online application.

2. The application requires students to provide information about their academic achievements, extracurricular activities, leadership experiences, and financial need.

3. Students must also submit several supporting documents, including transcripts, letters of recommendation, and essays. The essays are an essential part of the application and require students to demonstrate their writing skills and ability to articulate their goals and aspirations.

After the application deadline, the Gates Millennium Scholarship program reviews all applications and selects finalists.

Finalists are then invited to participate in an interview process, where they have the opportunity to showcase their leadership abilities and discuss their academic and professional goals.

The scholarship recipients are then selected based on their academic achievements, leadership potential, and financial need.

The Gates Millennium Scholarship is a highly prestigious scholarship that provides minority students pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees with financial assistance, leadership development, and mentoring.

The scholarship program is highly competitive, and the application process is rigorous, but the benefits outweigh the difficulties.