The GMS Program is more than just a scholarship. GMS offers Gates Millennium Scholars with Academic Empowerment (ACE) services to encourage academic excellence; mentoring services for academic and personal development; and an online resource center that provides internship, fellowship and scholarship information.
The total amount you’re eligible to receive will depend on your amount of unmet need. Unmet need is the difference between your school’s Cost of Attendance (room, board, tuition, fees, books, personal expenses) and the amount you’ve received in grants or scholarships. The larger your unmet need, the larger your scholarship award.
Your total scholarship amount will also depend on how long you’re able to renew the scholarship. If you meet renewal qualifications, you could theoretically receive the funds covering all unmet need for 4 years of undergrad AND for graduate school. 14% of GMS winners transition to a GMS-funded field for graduate school.
The average Gates Millennium Scholarship award between the 2001-2014 academic years was $12,492.
What Information Do You Need to Apply?
Before you get to work on your application, you’ll need to gather some important information.
From your guidance counselor, you’ll need:
- Your class rank
- Your class size
- Your full academic record
- Your cumulative GPA
You’ll also need to prepare names, dates, and descriptions of participation for the following:
- A list of your leadership roles and experiences
- A list of community service experiences
- A list of employment experiences
You’ll also need some family financial information, including:
- Your status as either a dependent or an independent student
- Your personal gross annual income from the past year
The application you’ll need to fill out is lengthy, with many open-ended questions. These questions ask you to comment on a variety of topics – here’s a list of all the essay questions you’ll need to answer:
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- Discuss the subjects in which you excel or have excelled. To what factors do you attribute your success?
- Discuss the subjects in which you have had difficulty. What factors do you believe contributed to your difficulties? How have you dealt with them so they will not cause problems for you again? In what areas have you experienced the greatest improvement? What problem areas remain?
- Briefly describe a situation in which you felt that you or others were treated unfairly or were not given an opportunity you felt you deserved. Why do you think this happened? How did you respond? Did the situation improve as a result of your response?
- Discuss your short and long-term goals. Are some of them related? Which are priorities?
- Discuss a leadership experience you have had in any area of your life: school, work, athletics, family, church, community, etc. How and why did you become a leader in this area? How did this experience influence your goals?
- Discuss your involvement in and contributions to a community near your home, school or elsewhere. Please select an experience different from the one you discussed in the previous question, even if this experience also involved leadership. What did you accomplish? How did this experience influence your goals?
- Other than through classes in school, in what areas (non-academic or academic) have you acquired knowledge or skills? How?
- Is there anything else you would like to tell us about that may help us evaluate your nomination (i.e., personal characteristics, obstacles you have overcome)?
- ONLY for Nominees who graduated from high school or earned their GED more than one year ago: Describe those activities in which you have participated since completing high school (e.g., community service, leadership, employment) that you believe qualify you for this scholarship.