Large Scholarships

The Gates Scholarship (TGS)

The Gates Scholarship (TGS) is a highly selective, last-dollar scholarship for outstanding, minority, high school seniors from low-income households. Each year, the scholarship is awarded to 300 of these student leaders, with the intent of helping them realize their maximum potential. Scholars will receive funding for the full cost of attendance that is not already covered by other financial aid and the expected family contribution, as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), or the methodology used by a Scholar’s college or university. Cost of attendance includes tuition, fees, room, board, books, and transportation, and may include other personal costs.

Who should apply?leadership-oriented low-income students
Eligible Grade Levelsseniors
Awardlast-dollar scholarship (covering anything financial aid and family contribution doesn’t cover)
OpensJuly 15, 2021
Deadlineapplication: September 15, 2021 (CLOSED)
semifinalist app: January 15, 2021
Decisions Releasedquarterfinalist: October 1, 2021
semifinalist: December 1, 2021
finalist: March 1, 2022
selection: April 20, 2022
Selectivity300 students

Application Requirements

  • high school senior
  • person of color (African-American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian & Pacific Islander American, and/or Hispanic American)
  • Pell-eligible (according to the FAFSA4Caster)
  • US citizen, national, or permanent resident
  • good academic standing w/ cumulative GPA of 3.3
  • plan to enroll full-time in a 4-year degree program at a US accredited, not-for-profit, private or public college or university

Application Process

Round 1 (Opens July 2021, closes Sept. 15)

  • No essay required
  • Pell eligibility as determined by FAFSA4CASTER
  • grades, extracurriculars, honors, top 10 schools

Round 1.5 (October 2021)

  • people notified if they are not moving forward after preliminary screening
  • applicants moving forward required to submit counselor materials, FAFSA, and CSS profile

Round 2 (December 1, 2021 – January 15, 2022)

  • essays, letters of recommendation (details TBA)
  • questionnaire, updated transcripts

Round 3 (March 2022)

  • interview

April 20, 2022: Selections announced


  • Keep in mind that TGS is a last-dollar scholarship, meaning that they will pay what the university’s financial aid and what your parents cover according to FAFSA
  • If you attend a full-need-met school as a low-income student, they will basically only cover your work-study and summer contribution
  • If you attend a UC, CSU, or otherwise non-full-need-met institution as a Gates Scholar, this will be a lifesaver.

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