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To apply, students must be:

  • 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
  • In good academic standing with a minimum cumulative weighted GPA of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale (or equivalent

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.

Pell-eligibility is calculated by the U.S. Department of Education after a student submits the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  It is based on family contribution, status as a full-time student, and the student’s academic plans. The household income of Pell-eligible students varies. In recent years, 99% of Pell-eligible students came from households with income of $80,000 or less per year.

For more information regarding Pell-eligibility, visit the FAFSA Forecaster by clicking here.

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: www.fastweb.com , www.scholarships.com and www.fedmoney.org.

Yes. There are no restrictions on major. The program funds the completion of a bachelor’s degree in the Scholar’s choice of major. 

Yes. 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.. 

No. The scholarship is only awarded to high school seniors who matriculate in a four-year program, directly after graduating from high school, without interruption. 

Yes. However, the student must show evidence that s/he will enroll 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. 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 on July 15, 2019. The third scholarship cohort will be selected in April 2020, with awards disbursed in the fall.


  • July 15, 2019

- Application, Phase 1 opens.

  • September 15, 2019

- Deadline for Application, Phase 1.

  • December 1, 2019

- Semi-finalists announced.

  • December 1, 2019

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

  • January 15, 2020

- Deadline for Application, Phase 2.

  • March 1, 2020

- Finalists announced.

  • March 1 - 31, 2020

- Finalists interviews.

  • April 20, 2020

- Third class of Scholars announced.

  • Fall 2020

- Financial awards are disbursed

Applications for The Gates Scholarship will open on July 15, 2019. The third scholarship cohort will be selected on April 20, 2020. Online applications will open every summer, through 2026.


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; academic support; career and internship guidance, advice, and opportunities; financial literacy; and more, for the life of the scholarship. 

Yes. In order 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. 

Yes. In fact, we encourage parents to create a MyTGS profile. It will help you to stay informed about issues related to college access, and it will enable you to receive updates on important deadlines for The Gates Scholarship, as well as other college/financial aid resources and information. Please note, parents will not have access to The Gates Scholarship application. All applications must be completed by students. 

Students will need to upload the following documents, which will be requested at various points 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
  • Resume

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 transportation costs to attend an interview. 

The Gates Scholarship is a highly selective, last-dollar scholarship for exceptional, Pell-eligible, minority, high school seniors. Having launched in 2017, the scholarship is being awarded to 300 student leaders each year, over the life of the grant, with the intent of helping outstanding minority students who come from low-income backgrounds realize their maximum potential. 


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 opened in July of 2017. The first scholarships were awarded in April 2018.

Having launched in 2017, the scholarship will be awarded to 300 top student leaders each year. Each student awarded will be funded for a maximum of five (5) years to complete a bachelor's degree.  Online applications will open every summer, through 2026.

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, or the methodology used by a Scholar’s college or university.

*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. 


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.  

Funding from The Gates Scholarship Program will be disbursed directly to Scholars' colleges/universities. The program will not disburse funds directly to students or non-university third party vendors. 

Yes. Funding for off-campus housing will depend on what the Scholar's institution discloses in the cost of attendance.  We recommend that you contact your financial aid counselor to discuss educational expenses (including housing) and your full cost of attending that institution.   

Yes, but The Gates Scholarship funds can only be applied to these costs if:

  • The student remains enrolled in his/her US accredited home university;
  • The program occurs during the normal academic year; and
  • The student will receive US college credit towards his/her degree.

To qualify, a student must submit an Enrollment Verification form from his/her US accredited home university. Enrollment Verifications from institutions abroad will not be accepted.


A portion of each scholarship award may be considered taxable by the US Internal Revenue Service. Scholarship recipients are responsible for ascertaining tax liability for the scholarship, and for reporting the taxable portions of their scholarship as income. For details, please visit the IRS website and see publication 970, Chapter 1 (using the tab “Forms and Pubs” on the home page), and Topic 421 by entering “scholarships” in the search tool at the top of the home page. 

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 – AIGCS.org
  • Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholars – APIASF.org
  • Hispanic Scholarship Fund – HSF.net
  • United Negro College Fund – UNCF.org