Gates Scholarship

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The Gates Cambridge Scholarships were established with a $210 million endowment by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000. The awardees are given funding to study at the University of Cambridge in England for at least one year, but no more than four. The first scholars started at Cambridge in October 2001 and were met by Bill Gates Jr. in December of that year.

Applicants from any country other than the United Kingdom are eligible for the scholarships. Approximately 100 new Gates Scholars are elected each year, with about 230 Gates scholars studying at Cambridge at any one time. Each year approximately 40 Gates Scholars are selected from the United States.

The Gates scholarships are similar in structure to Oxford University's Rhodes Scholarships, although the Gates Scholarships are much younger and are awarded through a more centralized selection process. Their duration is also more flexible, as the Rhodes Scholarships generally only last for two years (sometimes three).

The Gates Scholars elect a committee called the "Gates Scholars' Council" to oversee the social networking of the scholars, while working in conjunction with the Gates Scholarship Trustees and Bill Gates Sr to promote scholarship aims. They have organized colloquia, a distinguished speaker series, volunteer projects, alumni relations, social gatherings, meetings with Gates Scholarship Trustees, and activities that support the Gates Foundation's aims. The Gates Foundation expects that Gates Scholars will contribute to the foundation's causes throughout their careers.

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