Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that applications for the Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) Program are now available online to students entering college for the first time in the fall of 2012.
The Gates Millennium Scholars Program will select 1,000 students each year to receive a good-through-graduation scholarship to use at any college or university of their choice. The GMS Program also provides scholars with personal and professional development through leadership programs along with academic support throughout their college career.
Students chosen as Gates Millennium Scholars receive funding based on financial need and the cost of tuition, fees, books, and living expenses are also included. In addition, the scholarship is renewable based on the student’s academic progress and timely application.
Created in 1999, the Gates Millennium Scholars Program was initially funded by a $1 billion grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with the intent of promoting academic excellence and providing an opportunity for outstanding minority students with significant financial need to reach their highest potential. The GMS Program also provides graduate school funding for continuing GMS Scholars in the areas of computer science, education, engineering, library science, mathematics, public health or science.
Since 2006, the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund has managed the Gates Millennium Scholarship for Asian and Pacific Islander American applicants (GMS/APIA). According to APIASF, 8 students from American Samoa and 28 students of Samoan descent overall have been awarded the scholarship. Since inception, the GMS Program has graduated a total of over 7,000 scholars.
Students are eligible to be considered for a GMS scholarship if they meet all of the following criteria:
- Are African American, American Indian/Alaska Native*, Asian Pacific Islander American** or Hispanic American
- Are a citizen, national or legal permanent resident of the United States
- Have attained a cumulative high school GPA of 3.3 on an unweighted 4.0 scale or have earned a GED
- Will enroll for the first time at a U.S. located, accredited college or university (with the exception of students concurrently pursuing a high school diploma) in the fall of 2012 as a full-time, degree-seeking, first-year student. First-time college enrollees can also be GED recipients
- Have demonstrated leadership abilities through participation in community service, extracurricular, or other activities
- Meet the Federal Pell Grant eligibility criteria
- Have completed and submitted all three required forms: the student’s application (Nominee Personal Information Form), an evaluation of the student’s academic record (Nominator Form) and an evaluation of the student’s community service and leadership activities (Recommender Form) by the deadline
In order to be eligible to be considered for the GMS scholarship, all three forms must be submitted online by Wednesday, January 11, 2012 11:59 PM EST or postmarked on or before January 11, 2012. The Gates Millennium Scholarship application can be downloaded at www.gmsp.org. Applicants who need further assistance may contact Faleomavaega’s district office in the A.P. Lutali Executive Office Building in Utulei or call 633-1372.
“Once again, I want to encourage every qualified student in American Samoa to take advantage of this opportunity and apply for a scholarship. I want to thank the Gates Millennium Scholarship Program and the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund for outreaching to our students in American Samoa and for working closely with my office year after year to provide these scholarship opportunities,” continued Faleomavaega.
“Last but not least, I want to congratulate our most recent GMS Scholars from American Samoa: Julianne Avalua Mao, Phil Petera Meleisea, and Mata’uitafa Temukisa Faiai. Higher education is priceless and I commend these scholars as well as past recipients for their exceptional achievement and for pursuing the financial resources to fund their education,” Faleomavaega concluded.