Higher education is admitted as a basic right for all and provided free in many countries of world, such as Sweden and Norway. In countries where education is not free the rising costs of education has become a major concern for government and students. In USA many government and private organization are providing scholarships to students to help them fund their college education. The largest of such organizations is The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that runs the Gates Millennium Scholarship Program for minority students.
The Gates Millennium Scholarship Program is the largest private scholarship program in America that provides $1 billion worth of scholarships to students every year. In addition to these $1 billion scholarships the program has started offering scholarships for public health courses worth $58 million.
The scholarship program has provided 10,000 full tuition scholarships to low income students from American, Hispanic, Asian Pacific Islander, Alaskan Native and American Indian communities to pursue degrees in education, science, math’s, engineering, library science and public health. The scholarships are generally awarded based on financial need and academic excellence in relevant field.
The program requires the students to have a cumulative grade point average of 3.3 or higher and to meet the criterion set out by federal Pell grant. The students are also required to demonstrate participation in community service and good leadership skills. Only students who are joining college for the first time and who are US citizens or permanent residents can apply for the scholarships.
The deadline for application is usually in January; however you can search for exact dates on the program’s website. Every applicant is required to fill three forms; the personal information form, the nominator form and the recommender form. It is also a good idea to submit proof of any extracurricular and academic achievements you have made in past. All scholarship providers generally prefer students who have extra academic skills over students who just excel academically.
The Gates Millennium Scholarship Program provides 1000 full tuition scholarships every year to students that fulfill their criteria. The amount of these scholarship awards vary with each individual’s needs, as the scholarships are aimed at providing for the tuition cots and part of living costs. However, according to 2006 statistics the average amount of award for undergraduate students was $7,000 and for graduate students was $15,000. If you are eligible to apply for scholarships offered by this program you can download the application forms from their website.