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The Gates Millennium Scholarships


You may be lucky enough to be one of the 1,000 students selected each year as a Gates Millennium Scholar. The program is more than just a scholarship. Each scholar chosen through an application process receives, in addition to good-through-graduation scholarship money, personal and professional development in a leadership program, and academic support throughout his or her college career.

The program, established in 1999, was initially funded by a $1 billion grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Its goal is to "promote academic excellence and provide an opportunity for outstanding minority students with significant financial need to reach their highest potential."

Eligibility requirements include:

  • Minimum GPA: 3.3
  • Ethnicities: Afrcian American, American Indian-Alaska Native, Asian Pacific Islander American, Hispanic American
  • Residency Status: U.S. citizen, U.S. permanent resident/foreign national
  • Academic Classification: High school senior, GED, high school graduate

The application process includes:

  1. Student application (completed by the student)
  2. Educator's evaluation of the student's academic record (this is called the nominator form)
  3. Evaluation of the student's community service and leadership activities (this is called the recommender form)

Visit gmsp.org for more information.

The following four funds provide 1,000 annual scholarships:

1. UNCF (United Negro College Fund)

UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at over 900 colleges and universities across the country. It has 38 member colleges and universities, and administers more than 400 programs, making it the nation's largest and most effective minority education organization.

2. Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF)

In its 33-year history, HSF has awarded in excess of 86,000 scholarships, worth more than $250 million, to Latinos attending nearly 2,000 colleges and universities in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

3. American Indian Graduate Center Scholars (AIGCS)

This fund is specifically designed for graduate students. Established in 1969, founders Robert L. Bennett (Wisconsin Oneida) and John C. Rainer (Taos Pueblo) crated the scholarship to assist American Indian college graduates in continuing their educations at the master's, doctorate, and professional degree levels.

4. Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF)

This scholarship provides outstanding low-income Asian and Pacific Islander American students with an opportunity to complete an undergraduate college education in any discipline they choose.

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