The Gates Millennium Scholars Program

January 13, 2016
Maximum Award: 
Varies but substantial
High school seniors

The Gates Millennium Scholars Program (sometimes called the Bill Gates Scholarship) is funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It was established to give underserved students an opportunity to complete an undergraduate college education in any field of study. Scholars can even request funding for a graduate degree program in one of the following discipline areas: computer science, education, engineering, library science, mathematics, public health or science.

Every year, 1,000 talented students receive scholarships good until graduation to use at any college or university of their choice.

The nomination process for the GMS scholarship is a three-part effort.

  • a Nominee Form that is completed and submitted by the student
  • a Nominator Form that must be completed and submitted by an educator- Principal, teacher, guidance counselor or higher education representative
  • a Recommender Form that must be completed and submitted by any adult who is familiar with the Nominee’s community service and leadership activities, such as a supervisor at work or a community leader. If the person who serves as a Nominator is also familiar with the student’s non-academic activities, he or she may serve as a Recommender as well.  


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  • Are African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian Pacific Islander American or Hispanic American
  • Are a citizen, national or legal permanent resident of the United States
  • Have attained a cumulative high school GPA of 3.3 on an unweighted 4.0 scale or have earned a GED
  • Will enroll for the first time at a U.S. located, accredited college or university
  • Have demonstrated leadership abilities through participation in community service, extracurricular, or other activities
  • Meet the Federal Pell Grant eligibility criteria
  • Have completed and submitted all three required forms: the student’s application (Nominee Personal Information Form), an evaluation of the student’s academic record (Nominator Form) and an evaluation of the student’s community service and leadership activities (Recommender Form) by the deadline.