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The Gates Scholarship is a highly selective, full scholarship for exceptional, Pell-eligible, minority, high school seniors. Starting in 2018, the scholarship will be awarded to 300 top student leaders each year. Eligible students must be members of one or more of the following ethnic minorities: African American, American Indian/Alaska Native*, Asian and Pacific Islander American, and Hispanic American.


*For American Indian/Alaska Native, proof of tribal enrollment will be required.

The first applications for The Gates Scholarship will open in July 2017. The first scholarships will be awarded in April 2018.

Starting in 2018, the scholarship will be awarded to 300 top student leaders each year. 

An ideal candidate will demonstrate:

  • Outstanding academic performance (Students in the top 10% of his/her graduating class)
  • Leadership ability (e.g., as shown through participation in community service, extracurricular, or other activities)
  • Exceptional personal success skills (e.g., emotional maturity, motivation, perseverance, etc.)

Scholars will receive funding for the full cost of attendance* that is not already covered by other scholarships and the expected family contribution, as determined by FAFSA.

*Cost of attendance includes tuition, fees, room, board, books, and transportation, and may include other personal costs..  

Scholarship recipients will receive funding for a maximum of five (5) years of study, with the expectation that s/he will complete a bachelor’s degree during that period. 

However, should the need arise, a student may seek approval to defer the next period of study, for up to one year. No scholarship funds would be disbursed to the student for that period. Failure to enroll full-time after the one-year deferment period will result in forfeiture of any further funding from The Gates Scholarship.

We encourage students on deferment to work with The Gates Scholarship Scholar Advocates, and to utilize on-campus academic support services, to remain engaged and to help facilitate re-enrollment and graduation. 

No. The program does not provide funding for graduate school.  

The Gates Scholarship is  an all-expense paid scholarship, meaning that it is designed to cover the full “cost of attendance”—i.e., all of a Scholar’s expenses that the college/university, or additional scholarships, do not pay, and over and above what the students’ parents can afford to pay. That includes tuition, fees, room, board, books, and transportation, and may include other personal costs.


Since each school may define cost of attendance slightly differently, we recommend the student contact his/her college’s financial aid office with specific questions about exactly which expenses are included by that institution.  

Yes. In addition to funding, The Gates Scholarship will provide a number of online support services that will help Scholars excel in their degree programs, graduate, and make a successful transition to their chosen careers. These technology-enabled services include mentoring; academic support; career and internship guidance, advice, and opportunities; financial literacy; and others.


There is a networking component, as well. Gates Scholars will be connected to a network of accomplished peers they can tap into for support and advice.

The Gates Scholarship program does not disclose confidential information about our Scholars to third parties, including parents, unless previously authorized by the Scholar.

The Gates Scholarship program does not offer other scholarships. However we encourage you to visit the following websites for additional scholarship resources:


  • American Indian Graduate Center Scholars –
  • Asian Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund –
  • Hispanic Scholarship Fund –
  • United Negro College Fund (UNCF) –

The following are the eligibility requirements:  

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

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 Indian/Alaska Native, proof of tribal enrollment will be required.

The application will only be open to high school seniors.

No. Students who have a GED diploma instead of a high school diploma are not eligible to apply for The Gates Scholarship.  

Although we are unable to assist you, we hope the following websites may be helpful: , and

The Gates Scholarship funds can be used at any US accredited, four-year, not-for-profit, public or private college or university, to support the pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in any major or fields of study.  

Yes. A student must attend a US accredited, four-year, not-for-profit, private or public college or university. 

No.  It will only be awarded to high school seniors who matriculate at a four-year program, directly after graduating from high school, without interruption. 

Yes. However, the student must show evidence that s/he is/will enroll(ed) full-time as a freshman, in a four-year, bachelor’s degree program at a community college. 

Yes. Students can attend a US accredited, not-for-profit, private or public university in Puerto Rico. 

To remain eligible, students must submit:

  1. A completed FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) prior to each academic year.
  2. Transcripts showing that they are continuing to meet their institution’s academic requirements, at the beginning of each academic year.
  3. Enrollment Verification forms dated the day after the start of each new term.
  4. A copy of their Financial Aid Award Letter, every year.
  5. The Gates Scholarship Survey, when requested, every semester.

A nationwide search will identify the top high school seniors who qualify for this prestigious scholarship.  These students will then be invited to apply. Students must create a MyTGS Profile in order to apply.


Online applications will open in July 2017. The first scholarship cohort will be selected in April 2018, with awards disbursed in the fall.


  • July 2017

- Application, Phase 1 opens.

  • September 2017

- Deadline for Application, Phase 1.

  • November 2017

- Semi-finalists announced.

  • November 2017

- Application, Phase 2 opens (semi-finalists only).

  • January 2018

- Deadline for Application, Phase 2.

  • March 2018

- Finalists announced.

  • March 2018

- Finalists interviews.

  • April 2018

- Inaugural class of Scholars announced.

  • Fall 2018

-Financial awards are disbursed

To apply, a student must first create a MyTGS profile, which will serve as his/her personal portal to all The Gates Scholarship resources, for the life of the scholarship. Prior to the application open date, students can complete their MyTGS profile, but will not have access to The Gates Scholarship application. 

The MyTGS Profile is your portal for everything related to The Gates Scholarship.  This includes the application, and – if selected as a Scholar – all associated support services, such as mentoring and academic support; career and internship guidance, advice, and opportunities; financial literacy; and others.

Recommenders and interviewers will also need to create MyTGS profiles.

In fact, anyone who wishes to volunteer for events or in any aspect of The Gates Scholarship program, will also need to create a MyTGS profile. You can create your MyTGS profile by clicking here.

Once the student names you as a recommender, you will receive an email inviting you to create a MyTGS profile. You will be able to complete the recommendation in your MyTGS recommender dashboard. You can create your profile at any time by clicking here.

The student will need to upload the following documents, which will be requested at different times during the application process. 

  • A copy of his/her most recent transcript(s)
  • Student Aid Report (SAR), once the FAFSA has been completed
  • Financial Aid Award Letter
  • Letter of admission to a four-year bachelor’s degree program at a not-for-profit, private or public university
  • Enrollment Verification
  • Headshot photo (Optional)
  • Resume (Optional)

The Gates Scholarship will facilitate in-person interviews with Finalists.  Online virtual interviews will be arranged when interviewers are not within a reasonable distance of Finalists. 

Students are responsible for their transporataion costs to attend an interview.