The goal of GMS is to promote academic excellence and to provide an opportunity for outstanding minority students with significant financial need to reach their highest potential by:
- Reducing financial barriers for African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian Pacific Islander American and Hispanic American students with high academic and leadership promise who have significant financial need;
- Increasing the representation of these target groups in the disciplines of computer science, education, engineering, library science, mathematics, public health and the sciences, where these groups are severely underrepresented;
- Developing a diversified cadre of future leaders for America by facilitating successful completion of bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees; and
- Providing seamless support from undergraduate through doctoral programs, for students selected as Gates Millennium Scholars entering target disciplines.
The Gates Millennium Scholars Program, established in 1999, was initially funded by a $1 billion grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The GMS Scholarship Award Provides:
- Support for the cost of education by covering unmet need and self-help aid;
- Renewable awards for Gates Millennium Scholars maintaining satisfactory academic progress;
- Graduate school funding for continuing Gates Millennium Scholars in the areas of computer science, education, engineering, library science, mathematics, public health or science;
- Leadership development programs with distinctive personal, academic and professional growth opportunities.