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Good through graduation: the Gates Millennium Scholars Program

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Since 1999, the Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) Program has funded over 16,000 scholars in more than 1,800 colleges and universities. With student retention and graduation rates far higher than national averages, 10,315 Gates Millennium Scholars have completed degrees since the program’s inception.

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And they come from all over. The 2013 scholars represent 46 states (13 from Maryland and 12 from Virginia), the District of Columbia (4), and five U.S. Territories.

For 2014, GMS plans to add 1000 new names to the list of students receiving “good-through-graduation” scholarships at schools all over the country.

Funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the GMS program was established to reduce financial barriers for African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian Pacific Islander, and Hispanic American students with high academic and leadership promise who wish to pursue a college degree.

“Continuing” Gates Millennium Scholars may also request funding for graduate degrees in one of the following disciplines: computer science, education, engineering, library science, mathematics, public health, or science.

But this program is about more than just the money. Gates Millennium Scholars are provided with personal and professional development through leadership programs.

And the program is supported by a partnership of four organizations including the American Indian Graduate Center Scholars (AIGCS), the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF), the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF), and United Negro College Fund service students.

To be eligible for consideration, students must submit three required application forms online by Wednesday, January 15, 2014. These include

• Student Application (Nominee Personal Information Form)
• Educator’s evaluation of the student’s academic record (Nominator Form)
• Evaluation of the student’s community service and leadership activities (Recommender form)

Minority students with demonstrated leadership abilities who have attained a cumulative high school GPA of 3.3 on an unweighted 4.0 scale and who meet the Federal Pell Grant eligibility criteria are encouraged to apply. To ensure eligibility, candidates should file a FAFSA at their earliest opportunity.

For more information and all application materials, GMS homepage.

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