What do you have to do to earn the Gates Millenium Scholarship?

<p>Ok, I believe I'm qualified being African American with all of my school participation, 3.88 unweighted GPA, 26 on the ACT, and being #4 in my class, and I just wanted to know what exactly is necessary to get this scholarship? I know you have to do like 8 essays but what are they about? And I'd appreciate any advice from anybody who's successfully gone through the process... I hope to be a finalist next year.</p>

<p>They don't ask for ACT.
Also, it's not all academic-based (though, I supposed, good academic standing helps. For example, I am a scholar and I have a 3.99 UW GPA). They care more about showing leadership qualities than top top academic qualities.</p>

<p>8 essays. Maximum of 7600 characters each, I believe. While they call them "questions", that does not mean you can write only a short paragraph. In order to stand out, you must write thorough, expansive essay responses. For instance, all of my essays were at least 6000 characters/2 pages each.</p>

<p>Make yourself unique. GMS is looking to INVEST in the future leaders of America...so show how you've lead. If you've had any extreme difficulties you've overcome in the past, talk about them and how they've changed and strengthened your character for the better (this is what I did.) </p>

<p>Get great nomination/recommendation. I think this really helped my application.</p>

<p>Don't wait until the last minute! The server crashed this year the day before. Though I myself didn't wait until the last minute to submit my application, my nominator forgot--and it was a pain in the butt and a huge stress.</p>

<p>Make yourself stand out, and good luck! :)</p>

<p>I'm currently a sophomore, going to be a junior (class of 2012) and I've been looking into the Gates Scholarship. I have a few questions I was hoping somebody could answer.
1. I know you have to be eligible for the Pell Grant and you must fill out the FAFSA form to know. I'm confused with how it all works together because the Gates Scholarship has it own deadline and I know the FAFSA form should always be filled out as quickly as possible and then you get a SAR form (how long does it take for the application to the processed?), but how exactly do you get this information to go along with your application?
2. Let's just say that for some reason I do get chosen as a scholar... what happens after I receive the notification? Is there a ceremony or something?</p>

<p>I hope I wasn't too wordy. I would appreciate any help.</p>

<ol>
<li><p>Your Gates application asks for an estimate of your family's income for that year. Your Gates Application is due January 11, I believe. You may begin your FAFSA in January, even if you/your parents have not filed your taxes yet (just go off of last year's taxes and then correct it once you finish filing your taxes). FAFSA usually takes 2 days at most to be processed in my and my peers' experience. In general, for Gates, I remember seeing that they recommended filing your FAFSA by Feburary 15th; this should be enough time since all your tax documents are mailed in by the end of January usually. So what I think is the best route is, start your FAFSA in January, filling out everything you know already. Once your parents get your tax documents, have them FILE TAXES ASAP (or if you're in a family like mine, file them yourself no matter how busy your senior year is and you'd rather not do it.) Once you file your taxes, fill out your FAFSA with the correct information and submit that. All by Feburary 15th.
And don't worry, if you still have to make corrections after Feburary 15, you can too. I did that (because I made mistakes the first time. And that was bad because my mistakes disqualified me for Pell Grant at first! I was so sad. But it's all good now, I fixed it and qualified and am a scholar :D). They don't actually request for your Student Aid Report (basically an overview of your FAFSA that would say if you're pell grant eligible if you are) until after you become a finalist (after picking finalists, they choose 1000 scholars to give the scholarship to. They choose scholars after checking pell grant eligibility, GPA on a transcript they request you send to them, and then how you compare to others I believe.) So they don't actually request SAR until mid-march.<br>
Hopefully that wasn't confusing! Basically...
January-Turn in Gates App, receive your tax documents
Feburary-File taxes and FAFSA
March-Notified if you are a finalist. If you are, send in your SAR and other documents.
April-Find out if you're a finalist.</p></li>
<li><p>No ceremony, but there is a leadership conference. One in the west coast, one in the east coast. Fall of your freshman college year. I'm going to be a freshman this year, so I have yet to experience the leadership conference, but I heard it's great and I'm excited :)</p></li>
</ol>

<p>You must be very dedicated to have already been looking into this scholarship as only a sophomore. Good luck!!! It's an intense, stressful, difficult process, but amazing if you get it, and totally worth the effort. I hope this helped!</p>

<p>So basically, I should submit my Gates Application by the deadline of January 11th.
Then I get my parents to do the taxes ASAP (at the beginning of January), once they get all the paperwork done and what not, I fill out my FAFSA form and all of this has to be done by Feb. 15th. I don't submit anything to Gates yet. They wouldn't kow anything about my eligiblity of a pell grant yet right?
I hold onto my SAR form that I get about 2 days later after submitting FAFSA form
I will then be notified whether or not I am a finalist or not and that is when they will ask me for my SAR form if I am a finalist. Now they would know if I'm eligible for a pell grant or not.</p>

<p>Also, I would be able to answer the questions on the Gates application regarding the gross incme and everything based on the years previous taxes or do I have to wait on the FAFSA to process through?</p>

<p>Ohh one more question,, does it take a lot of need to be eligible for the pell grant,, thats the only thing I worry about , becuase if I'm not eligible for it then it wouldn't be worth it.</p>

<p>You're completely correct.</p>

<p>No, Gates application, you don't want to wait until the last minute (you might not even get your W-2's/income reports by January 11). So just estimate it off past years at the start of your application (it's one of the first things they ask). It's just one question asking you to estimate family income for that year. Unless you have like $120,000/year income that's obviously not low enough for Pell Grant, I don't think it's a huge issue.</p>

<p>Not sure what you mean by "take a lot" but Pell Grant, it's all just income qualifications. What happens is that your FAFSA generates an Expected Family Contribution (EFC)--how much you and your family will be expected to pay that year for education. In order to qualify for Pell Grant, your EFC should be something like 4625 or lower. If you want an income correlation to that, I'll use my family's as an example. My family's income was around $62,000 this year and my EFC was 4573 (pretty close to the limit). I believe, if your family's income is $64,000 a year or lower, you should be safe (but $64,000 is quite pushing it.)</p>

<p>Ohh okay....Also what college cost does the Gates cover?</p>

<p>Everything except grants/scholarships you already have and your EFC.<br>
And, for certain fields, graduate school up to $20,000 per year I believe.
You should check out their website gmsp.org</p>

<p>So they cover housing?</p>

<p>They cover anything listed in your Cost of Attendance (CoA), and I don't know of any university that wouldn't include Housing in CoA, so yeah. They'll cover housing. They'll cover books. They'll cover tuition. They'll cover student health insurance if it's in the CoA.</p>

<p>ohh okay.. Thanks so much! You've helped a lot!</p>

<p>What is the name of leadership conference you mentioned?</p>

<p>I believe it's just called "GMS Leadership Conference"</p>

<p>Hi im soon goin to be a junior with a 3.8 gpa. Thing is i dont know if im elligible for the pell grant since my family income is 75,000 a year , is that to high?????</p>

<p>^You don't need to post it twice...see what I said in the other forum</p>

<p>Can your nominator be a religious educator like a nun that runs a religious school?</p>

<p>I don't see why not. I suggest that once the application opens up, go to the website, click "GMS Applications" and find the nominator form (you don't actually have to register as a nominator to find it :D). This way, you can look at the questions and make sure they're appropriate/what the nun would be able to answer about you. I remember doing this when choosing my nominator (but I don't remember the questions anymore, so sorry I can't help you there.)</p>

<p>I live in a single parent household, my mom is unemployed, and we have no assets (house, business, etc.), so my current EFC is zero dollars. If I go to a school that covers 100% of need (which I'm praying I do!), will the Gates scholarship provide me with any money at all?
If my tuition is being covered by the college itself, that shouldn't count as a scholarship, right?
And if the school is covering my tuition, housing, etc., will my Cost of Attendance be zero?
Basically, should I apply for the Gates scholarship if I'm only applying to schools that cover 100% of need?</p>

<p>Gates will cover your work study even if you go to a school that meets 100% of need.</p>

<p>what's the upper income limit for the gates scholarhip?</p>