The Gates Millennium Scholars Program awards scholarships each year to African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian Pacific Islander American or Hispanic American students who plan to enroll full-time in a two-year or four-year college or university program. The scholarship is renewable and may be used in the freshman, sophomore, junior, senior or graduate years.
Students must have financial need and meet Pell Grant eligibility requirements. They must also maintain a grade point average of 3.3 and have a strong interest in leadership and community service. Students may attend any college or university they choose.
Established in 1999, the Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) Program is funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. GMS partners with four organizations to serve the needs of students in all states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Federated States of Micronesia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands: The American Indian Graduate Center Scholars (AIGCS), the Asian Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF), the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF), and the United Negro College Fund (UNCF).
The purpose of GMS is to prepare students to be leaders who can help build a stronger society. The organization supports students from groups who otherwise might not have an opportunity to earn a college education.
The deadline for this scholarship is usually in JANUARY of each year, and the award amount is usually $500 - $20,000.