Bill Gates Scholarship
The Bill Gates Scholarship is a scholarship programme divided into two halves a scholarship for US citizens to study in a US university called the Gates Millennium Scholars and a scholarship for international students to study at Cambridge University in England called the Gates Cambridge Scholarship.
The Gates Millennium Scholarship is very similar in my opinion to the McDonalds scholarship in that it divides the scholarships available into ethnic groupings, the groups for the GMS Gates Millennium Scholarship are African American, American Indian, Alaska Native, Asian or Pacific Islander American or Hispanic Americans, indeed very similar groups to the McDonalds scholarship, in addition to being an American citizen with these heritage conditions the student must also be eligible for a Pell grant, meaning the student must also apply for a Pell grant at the same time that they apply for the Bill Gates scholarship.
The reason students wanting to get a BGS must apply for a Pell grant is that the Bill Gates scholarship is only available to students of poor financial backgrounds who without access to the scholarship would not be able to attend university, the scholarship is for a first degree and provides both money to pay for the students education as well as money for accommodation and living expenses, it is a full scholarship and there aren't many of those available, in fact the Bill Gates scholarship is thought of as one of the best scholarship programmes in the United States.
Gates Millennium Scholars and Gates Cambridge Scholarship
Students looking to get a Bill Gates scholarship will need to have a Grade Point Average GPA of 3.3 or above, that's interesting because the Gates Cambridge Scholarship has no minimum requirement for a GPA but successful students for a Gates scholarship at Cambridge typically have a GPA of 3.93 giving a higher Grade Point Average for international students than for US students, this may be due to the much wider world wide pool of available students and therefore increased competition for the international scholarships.
The Gates Millennium Scholarship was started by Bill and Melinda Gates, Bill Gates is of course the founder of Microsoft Corporation the software company that invented Windows, the Bill Gates scholarship programme was started with a one billion dollar scholarship fund to provide full scholarships for disadvantaged students from ethnic backgrounds, the thinking behind this is that if a full scholarship is made available to the best high school students so that they can undertake an undergraduate degree then eventually enough students will have been through the Bill Gates scholarship programme that those highly intelligent students will be in positions of power able to improve the lives of all disadvantaged people in the USA and therefore improve the country as a whole.
These goals are achieved by supporting the scholarship students with personal mentors, there are mentors for their academic studies as well as personal mentors and career mentors the ideas is to support these young, bright and intelligent students so that they cannot fail and will be able to progress to being country and world leaders, potential scholarship students will need to show that they have done much to support their local community and ethnic origins, this must be more than being a volunteer for services for ethnic and minority people but the students must be leaders in this area for example, setting up, running and leading a centre to support ethnic minorities with their health or education, the Bill Gates scholarship programme is really looking for the best minority students to send to the best US universities to make future leaders that are aware of their humble background and strive to improve the life of their fellow man.
African American Scholarships
To achieve the goals for the Bill Gates scholarship students will receive full funding (education scholarship plus housing and living expenses) if they are studying computer science, engineering, teaching, mathematics, public health, science or library science, no other subjects are considered if a student wishes to get a scholarship.
The scholarship is only available for the following ethnicities African American, Black, American Indian, Alaska Native, Asian Pacific Islander American and Hispanic American, no other ethnicities are considered, the scholarship is not for white Americans, if you're a white American then you can apply for the Gates Cambridge scholarship which is different to the Gates Millennium scholarship in that it is for international students from any country of the world to study at Cambridge university, in fact the scholarship programme rules stipulate that 40% of the students must be taken from the US, in actual fact the number is closer to 45% of US citizens, so if you're a white American and therefore unable to apply for a scholarship on the Gates Millennium scholarship programme then apply on the Gates Cambridge scholarship,, of course you will have to study overseas at Cambridge University, England rather than at a US university, the other major difference is that the Gates Cambridge scholarship is for postgraduate degree study rather than undergraduate degree study.
Postgraduate degree's include masters degrees and post doctorate degrees and are a second degree that you can take after your first undergraduate degree, if you are a black American you are eligible to apply for both the Gates Millennium scholarship for your undergraduate degree at a US university and the Gates Cambridge scholarship for a postgraduate degree at Cambridge university, England.
Popular Scholarship Countries
The most popular countries to be awarded a Gates Cambridge scholarship are for students coming from the USA, Germany, India, Canada, Australia and China, students from all countries of the world are eligible to apply for the Gates Cambridge Scholarship except for students from the United Kingdom where Cambridge University is located. If you are a UK resident student you are not eligible for any Bill Gates scholarship as you are not a resident of the US or a black minority so cannot apply for the Gates Millennium Scholars scholarship and you are not from outside the UK so cannot apply for a Gates Cambridge scholarship, UK students in this position would be well advised to apply for a Fulbright scholarship which would accept UK students.
For the Gates Cambridge scholarship typically there are 4,500 applicants each year with 200 scholarship students at Cambridge university at any one time, each year typically 90 additional students begin their scholarships at Cambridge university, as with the Gates Millennium scholarship the Gates Cambridge scholarship aims to provide full scholarships for international students so that those students go onto be their respective countries leaders.
Both the Gates Cambridge scholarship and the Gates Millennium scholarship are offered only to students who have already proven to make a positive impact in their own country or in the case of the Gates Millennium scholarship their own ethnic community, the ongoing support for scholarship students with mentors for their academic studies, pastoral care and future career development and management potential ensure that scholarship students from both scholarship programmes go on to improve the lives of people from their own country and communities, a principle goal of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation who fund these scholarships.
International students looking to study abroad are strongly encouraged to apply for the Gates Cambridge Scholarship as the scholarship is awarded to all countries of the world (except UK students) for the postgraduate level of study, you will need to have completed a first degree either in your own county or another country (there is no stipulation for where you must complete your first degree and no requirement for a specific GPA Grade Point Average, although previous Gates Cambridge scholars have had a 3.7 to 4.0 GPA.
Both scholarships are merit based, meaning the brightest students able to get the best grades will be offered the scholarship, additionally for the Gates Millennium scholarship you will need to be from one of the specific minority groups, the international scholarship is open to all countries of the world.
To give an idea of some of the pervious students who have one a Gates Millennium scholarship, the students went on to study at Harvard University, Yale University, Emory University, Duke University, Cornell University and Dartmouth College, this illustrious list of universities gives you some idea of the quality of candidate as they are able to pick the university they wish to study at and the Bill Gates scholarship will pay for all course fees, accommodation and living expenses for the full term of the degree.
The Gates Millennium scholarship requires that you be nominated or recommended for both their personal and academic achievements, this includes community achievements where there should be documentary evidence of the students leadership in ethnic minority activities, as the Gates Millennium scholarship is a scholarship for the following heritage groups African American, Black, American Indian, Alaska Native, Asian Pacific Islander American and Hispanic American, you will need to register on the GMS website, the person who will refer or nominate you also needs to register with the website and complete the application online.
As with the McDonalds scholarship both Bill Gates scholarships are designed to find leaders from different communities, leaders that after they have been awarded a scholarship and completed their undergraduate or postgraduate studies will go back to their communities having taken not only the academic qualifications they have earned but the additional mentoring they have received from the foundation, this mentoring and their academic brilliance will ensure that the individuals accepted for the scholarships will be in a future position of power and able to influence country and company policy for the betterment of mankind, specifically in the computer science, engineering and health fields of study that the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation lists as core principles.
It might be considered strange that both scholarship programmes available from Bill Gates are for scholarships for ethnic minorities or those from other countries rather than the United States (the Gates Cambridge scholarship does attract a high proportion of non ethnic US citizens), the basic idea behind these scholarship requirements is that the underrepresented ethnic groups are often the largest ethnic groups and to improve the future for these ethic groups requires leaders from those ethnic groups to make their way through the best education systems in the world (US universities or Cambridge University, England) and take up positions of power where they can influence public policy to improve the lives of the ethnic groups from which they originate.
The Gates Millennium scholarship requires that students are accepted for a Pell grant, the US government student scholarship programme, by doing this students are guaranteed to have been checked that they meet the low income thresholds (poorer communities) of both the Pell grant scholarships and the Gates Millennium scholarship, should you be accepted onto both a Pell grant and a GMS you will have to declare this to the Pell grant authorities which would mean you would become ineligible for a Pell grant (state grant) as you would have already secured external funding for your degree study.
Both the GMS and GCS programmes are free to apply from their respective websites, no other website is needed or required to process your application or help you with your application, using any other third party website is not required at all and will not give you any advantage, if a scholarship application website wants you to register or apply through them or claims to offer improved chances of gaining a scholarship if you apply through them then don't use those services, the Bill Gates scholarships can be applied for directly through the Bill Gates scholarship website and the whole application process is online, in fact you cannot submit a paper application even if you wanted to (despite what other third party websites might suggest).
US citizens (ethnic minorities) looking to study a first degree at a prestigious US university should apply for the Gates Millennium scholarship, international students (except UK citizens) should apply for the Gates Cambridge scholarship in order to obtain a fully funded scholarship for studying a postgraduate degree at Cambridge University, England.