FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 01, 2014
THE GATES MILLENNIUM SCHOLARS PROGRAM
ANNOUNCES THE CLASS OF 2014
Washington, DC (May 1, 2014) - Earlier today, one of UNCF's flagship scholarship programs, the Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) Program, announced this year's Class of 2014 Gates Millennium Scholars. Each of the 1,000 students will be awarded a good-through-graduation scholarship that can be used to pursue a degree in any undergraduate major at the accredited college or university of his or her choice.
"Today more than ever it is important that our young people get the education they need, and that we need them to have in order to remain competitive in the 21st century. For the 20,000 young men and women who will attend college as Gates Millennium Scholars, the financial support, leadership training, mentoring and academic and social support they receive will enable them to become college graduates and our next generation of leaders," said Michael L. Lomax, Ph.D., president and CEO, UNCF. "We are grateful for students receiving the support of the Gates Millennium Scholars Program because it is not only an investment in the futures of these extraordinary young people, but also in the country's economic strength and competitiveness."
Established in 1999 with the goal of developing Leaders for America's Future™, the Gates Millennium Scholars Program is funded by a $1.6 billion grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The GMS Program is removing barriers to education for high-performing, low-income students. Each year it enables 5,000 students to attend and graduate from 800 of the most selective private and public schools in the country, including Ivy League colleges, flagship state universities, UNCF member institutions and other minority-serving institutions.
UNCF has partnered with the American Indian Graduate Center Scholars (AIGCS), the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) and the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APAISF) to select and provide service to Gates Millennium Scholars.
The GMS Program provides recipients with leadership development opportunities, mentoring, academic and social support as well as financial support. The Program is known for its recipients' high graduation rates – a six-year rate of more than 87 percent (28 percent higher than the national graduation rates for all students and comparable to the rates for students from high-income families). "The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's generosity proves our motto: 'a mind is a terrible thing to waste, but a wonderful thing to invest in,'" Lomax said. This year's cohort represents 44 states, the District of Columbia and four U.S. territories.
The Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) Program, funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was established in 1999 to provide outstanding low income African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian Pacific Islander American, and Hispanic American students with an opportunity to complete an undergraduate college education in any discipline they choose. Continuing Gates Scholars may request funding for a graduate degree program in one of the following discipline areas: computer science, education, engineering, library science, mathematics, public health or science. The goal of GMS is to promote academic excellence by providing thousands of outstanding students, who have significant financial need, the opportunity to reach their full potential.
UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation's largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students' education and development through scholarships and other programs, strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of college readiness and minority education. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding 21 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at over 900 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized motto, "A mind is a terrible thing to waste."® Learn more at www.UNCF.org.'