Gates Millennium Scholarship 2015 Essays

Why GMS?

The increasing diversity of our society reminds us that all of America's citizens must have access to higher education if our nation is to sustain and advance itself as a global, competitive democracy in the new millennium. The future of our economy and quality of life depend upon the preparation of a diverse cadre of leaders who can help build a stronger society. These potential leaders, especially those drawn from groups that have traditionally and historically been denied access to higher education, require the necessary support and opportunities to earn and complete a college education.

Nominators and Recommenders

In order to complete the Nominator/Recommender Form on our website, follow these steps. (Please note Nominators and Recommenders must register):


If you have not registered:

If you have already registered

  • Visit
  • Click “GMS Application” link
  • Click the blue “Write a Reference” button
  • Click “Register” to create an account
  • Proceed to create an account
  • After the account has been created, log in using e-mail address and password
  • At the top of the page, to the left of “Welcome”, click “Reference Landing Page”
  • On the right-hand side of the page click “Start New Form”
  • Click “Search for a Student”
  • Enter the student’s Registration ID and his or her First and Last Name
  • Select the student and click “Next”
  • Answer the questions
  • Select the “Recommender Form” or the “Nominator Form”
  • Complete and submit the form


  • Visit
  • Click “GMS Application” link
  • Click the “Log on” button
  • At the top of the page, to the left of “Welcome”, click “Reference Landing Page”

  Use if Starting a New Reference Form

  • Under the “Begin a Reference” at the top right select “Start New Form”
  • Select the “Search for a Student” button
  • Enter the Applicant’s Registration ID, First Name and Last Name(The registration ID is the student’s 5 digit zip code and the last four digits of the students phone number)
  • Click the Next Button
  • Once you find your Applicant click the “Select this Student” button
  • Be sure you select the correct Reference Form (Nominator or Recommender) 

  Use if Completing a Reference Form 

  • Select  the “View/Edit” button next to the form you want to access
  • Complete and submit the form
  • You will receive a confirmation page when you  successfully submit the form


The information below will provide you with an overview and instructions about how to apply, or nominate/ recommend a student, for this prestigious scholarship.

A Complete Application Consists of:


1. Student Application (Nominee Personal Information Form)2. Educator’s evaluation of the student’s academic record (Nominator Form)3. Evaluation of the student’s community service and leadership activities (Recommender Form)



The Gates Millennium Scholars Program

The Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) Program, funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was established in 1999 to provide outstanding African American, American Indian/Alaska Native*, Asian Pacific Islander American**, and Hispanic American students with an opportunity to complete an undergraduate college education in any discipline area of interest. Continuing Gates Millennium Scholars may 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.

In 1999, a bold vision of what America’s future would look like began to take shape. In that view, America’s leadership would include 20,000 individuals, all people of color, who would make a significant impact on the future direction of the nation. Coming from among the most financially needy students and attending the nation’s best colleges and universities, they would represent the extraordinary promise inherent among all highly academically capable individuals, no matter what their background. Moreover, the planners envisioned that the researched experiences of the students’ matriculation and retention, the fact of these individuals’ extraordinary successes to terminal degrees, and the testimony of their voices, would spark conversation, and perhaps debate, leading to public policies and added philanthropic contributions in support of similarly able and financially challenged young people. That vision of Bill and Melinda Gates was funded by a historic grant of more than 1 billion dollars to the United Negro College Fund (UNCF)—still the largest single gift to any scholarship organization.

One of the most unique aspects of the GMS Program is the partnership and collective efforts of the four partner organizations providing services to the continuing Gates Millennium Scholars. GMS Program staff members at the American Indian Graduate Center Scholars (AIGCS), the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF), the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) and UNCF service students from all fifty states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Federated States of Micronesia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It is truly a national effort.

Who’s Eligible?

Students are eligible to be considered for a GMS scholarship if they meet all of the following criteria:

- 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 (with the exception of students concurrently pursuing a high school diploma) in the fall of 2016 as a full-time, degree-seeking, first-year student. First-time college enrollees can also be GED recipients.

- 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

*American Indian/Alaska Native Requirements: American Indian/Alaska Natives must be enrolled in a U.S. Federal or State recognized tribe or be able to document descent from an enrolled tribal member. If selected as a GMS finalist, applicants will be asked to provide proof of tribal enrollment or descent.

**Asian and Pacific Islander American includes persons having origins from Asia and/or Pacific Islands. Asian includes persons having origins in any of the original people of the Far East, Southeast Asia or the Indian subcontinent. Pacific Islander includes persons having origins in any of the original peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa or other Pacific Islands. Citizens of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Palau are eligible to be nominated. This is not an all-inclusive list. Please see the U.S. Census Bureau listing at

***To be eligible for the GMS scholarship, the student must matriculate at a college or university that is accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education. The following are accreditation resources: Accredited Institutions of Postsecondary Education Programs Candidates; American Council of Education published in consultation with the Council for Higher Education Accreditation; Higher Education Directory published by Higher Education Publications, Inc.

Pell Grant Eligibility

If selected as GMS finalists, students must demonstrate eligibility for the Federal Pell Grant Program as part of their financial aid package for the 2016 academic year. Students must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to the U.S. Department of Education, Federal Student Aid Programs. Students are urged to file a 2016 FAFSA at their earliest opportunity. The 2016 FAFSA form will be available January 1, 2016 at Federal Pell Grants typically are awarded to families that demonstrate significant financial need. Eligibility for a Federal Pell Grant is a function of many factors, including dependency status, family income, family size and the number of students in the family.

  • To determine if a student is Pell Grant eligible, he/she and the parent(s)/guardian(s) should meet with a high school counselor or the financial aid officer at the college or university he/she plans to attend.
  • For more information, visit

Note: Students should not submit a FAFSA with the GMS application. GMS does not have a school code that a student can use on their FAFSA. If a student is selected as a finalist, GMS will request that he/she send a copy of his/her Student Aid Report (SAR) to the GMS office. We recommend students set a target date of February 15, 2016 to submit the FAFSA online at

Gates Millennium Scholarship Essay Example on Community Involvement

Discuss your involvement in and contributions to a community near your home, school or elsewhere. Please select an experience different from the one you discussed in the previous question, even if this experience also involved leadership. What did you accomplish? How did this experience influence your goals?

Gates Millennium Scholarship Essay Example Community Involvement

According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), my country of birth, Morocco, ranks in the bottom 10% for literacy amongst all nations in the world. The problem is particularly acute amongst women, due to ingrained cultural practices and prejudices. My mother who is a teacher and also very much an independent thinker, wanted to provide me with the opportunity at a very young age to make a meaningful impact to the lives of the illiterate in our country. On alternate weekends she drove us to the country and I helped teach women and girls how to read and write Arabic. All we had was a small classroom and a chalk board where the women sat on the ground and attended class often at great personal risk to themselves. So intense was their desire to learn. Education was the only way out of their very difficult circumstances in life. Their courage, despite possible harm from their husbands and family, impacted me deeply. I too realized at that early age that education was my way out of my own circumstances in life; thus my drive to attend high school and college here in the US.

Original Source: Essay Forum

Disclaimer: These essays are provided to assist writing, not to be copied

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