What are the Eligibility Criteria for the Gates Scholarship

Since 2017, The Gates Scholarship Program has been helping exceptional minority students from low-income backgrounds reach their full potential.

This scholarship aims to remove financial barriers to college, enabling high-potential, low-income minority students to excel in their studies, graduate, and become leaders.

In addition to financial aid, The Gates Scholarship offers ongoing support to Scholars, ensuring they have access to resources and services throughout their college journey and beyond.

About The Gates Scholarship

The Gates Scholarship (TGS) is a very picky scholarship for really good minority high school seniors from poor families.

Every year, exceptional student leaders are awarded this scholarship to help them achieve their maximum potential.

Gates Scholarship

The Gates Scholarship Award

Recipients will receive funding to cover the full cost of attendance not covered by other financial aid – and the expected family contribution, as determined by the FAFSA or the college/university’s methodology.

Basic Eligibility

To apply, you must be:

  • A high school senior
  • From one of the following ethnicities: 
    • African-American, 
    • American Indian/Alaska Native, 
    • Asian & Pacific Islander American, 
    • or Hispanic American
  • Pell-eligible
  • A US citizen, national, or permanent resident
  • In good academic standing with a minimum GPA of 3.3
  • Planning to enroll full-time in a four-year degree program at a US-accredited college or university

Proof of tribal enrollment is required for American Indian/Alaska Native applicants.

Who is the Ideal Candidate

An ideal candidate will:

  • Have an outstanding academic record (top 10% of their graduating class)
  • Demonstrate leadership ability through community service or extracurricular activities
  • Possess exceptional personal success skills such as emotional maturity and perseverance

The Gates Scholarship Timeline

  • Application opens: July 15, 2023
  • Deadline: September 15, 2023
  • Semifinalist phase: December – January 2023
  • Finalist interviews: March 2024
  • Selection: April 2024
  • Awards: July-September 2024

How to Prepare for College

Start preparing early with these tips:

  • Take college preparatory courses.
  • Get involved and become a leader at school or in your community.
  • Find a mentor.
  • Use your summers wisely by studying, volunteering, or interning.
  • Keep your love of learning alive by reading and visiting museums.

Application Information

To apply for The Gates Scholarship, you need to submit an online application along with the following materials:

  • Essay
  • Proof of enrollment
  • Academic transcript
  • Resume or CV


The Gates scholarship is only open to US Citizens and Permanent Residents. The best part is that The Gates Scholarship is renewable. Kindly see the official TGS website to apply.

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