Gates Scholarship Resources

This page is intended to assist Chicago Public School students prepare to apply to the Gates Scholarship. 

The NEW Gates Scholarship is open for the class of 2018 with a new application window (July 15th – September 15th), interview process and more! The Office of School Counseling and Postsecondary Advising (SCPA) invited eligible seniors with a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.3 (weighted) who met the eligibility requirements and their parent/adult chaperone to participate in the CPS Gates Student & Parent Information Session(s) that took place Monday, August 7th and Tuesday August 8th. Review the information below that was shared during the information sessions. Continue to check this page for updates throughout the process and school year.


The Gates Scholarship is a highly selective, full scholarship for exceptional, Pell-eligible, minority, high school seniors. Starting in 2018, the scholarship will be awarded to 300 top student leaders each year with the intent of promoting their academic excellence through college graduation, and providing them the opportunity to reach their full 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).


To apply, students must be:

  • A high school senior
  • From at least one of the following ethnicities: African-American, American Indian/Alaska Native*, Asian & Pacific Islander American, and/or Hispanic American
  • Pell-eligible
  • A US citizen, national or permanent resident
  • A minimum cumulative weighted GPA of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale

Additionally, a student must plan to enroll full-time, in a four-year degree program, at a US accredited, not-for-profit, private or public college or university.


An ideal candidate will have:

  • An outstanding academic record in high school (in the top 10% of his/her graduating class)
  • Demonstrated leadership ability (e.g., as shown through participation in community service, extracurricular, or other activities)
  • Exceptional personal success skills (e.g., emotional maturity, motivation, perseverance, etc.)

IMPORTANT NOTE: Students should ensure they are academically eligible and meet all Gates eligibility requirements before completing/submitting an application. This includes the following:

  • A high school senior
  • From at least one of the following ethnicities: African-American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian & Pacific Islander American, and/or Hispanic American
  • Pell Grant eligible*
  • A US citizen, national or permanent resident
  • A minimum cumulative weightedGrade Point Average of 3.3
  • Additionally, a student must plan to enroll full-time, in a four-year degree program, at a US accredited, not-for-profit, private or public college or university.

*The Pell Grant is a federal grant for undergraduate (college) students with financial need. The need is identified through submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA.) Click here to visit the Student Aid.Gov site that provides more in depth information about this grant and the FAFSA.

BEFORE You Apply:

Review these important sites and resources…

Review tips and resources below that were shared at the Information Sessions. Please ensure you are ELIGIBLE to apply for the Gates Scholarship prior to submitting your initial application. Additionally, writing workshops and interview support will be offered later in the school year (November & December.) Take advantage of those workshops when they become available.

Reminders & Tips:

  • The ONLY component of the application that is available to submit is the Phase I “Gates Qualifying Questionnaire.” Students who are selected for Phase II will be invited to complete essay questions.
  • The deadline to submit the “Gates Qualifying Questionnaire” is September 15, 2017 at 11:59 pm PST (Pacific Standard Time is two hours behind Chicago/Central Standard Time)
  • Ensure an adult reviews the “Gates Qualifying Questionnaire” prior to submission… EVERYTHING COUNTS!
  • This is a NEW application and process, we are sharing all that we are learning with the school district as we move through this process.
  • Double check the spelling of your email account, information from the Gates Scholarship Team will be shared via email only.
  • DO NOT apply for this scholarship if you DO NOT meet the eligibility requirements.

Gates Information Session Documents (REVIEW WITH PARENTS/ADULTS):

Please note, these documents are within a public folder that is being shared by the CPS Scholarship Manager. Please periodically check the folder/links for updates. 

The Gates Scholarship Presentation – Presented By: Michele Howard, Scholarship Manager – Chicago Public Schools

Scholarship Essay Editing Support at DePaul University – Presented By: Mrs. Amanda Parada-Villatoro, Associate Director Community Outreach – DePaul University Center for Access and Attainment

The Gates Scholarship Fact Sheet 2017-18 – Provided by the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (administrator of the Gates Scholarship for the next 10 years.)

Gates Information Session Agenda at Kenwood 

Gates Information Session Agenda at Whitney Young

Save the Date: CPS Highly Selective School College Fair – Saturday, October 21, 2017 10:00 AM 

Finally, the Gates Scholarship is one of many scholarship opportunities promoted through Chicago Public Schools. Students, parents and community based organizations are encouraged to sign up for Scholarship Emails directly from the CPS Scholarship Manager to ensure opportunities come directly to YOUR INBOX!

CLICK HERE to SIGN UP for the 2017-18 Scholarship E-Blasts


This site and the CPS Parent & Student Gates Information Sessions are sponsored by Chicago Public Schools and are not affiliated with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Chicago Public Schools: Student & Parent Scholarship Information Session

The 2017-17 scholarship season is underway and the Office of School Counseling and Postsecondary