Gate Scholars Program
Being a Gate Scholar
Through a competitive process, Berry offers the Gate of Opportunity Scholarship to financially-eligible students who will work hard – in the classroom and out. “Gate Scholars” are fully engaged in Berry’s Work Experience Program, gaining meaningful experiences while completing their four-year degrees. They live at Berry year-round all four years, working at a part-time rate while taking classes during the fall and springs semesters and at a full-time rate during the summers and other breaks. Over the course of four years, Gate Scholars will work 4,500 total hours.
Why Be A Gate Scholar?
In return for their work, Gate Scholars’ costs of attending Berry are greatly reduced by the college and a donor, plus the program invests in their personal and professional development. Gate Scholars are directly partnered with their scholarship donors for a mentoring relationship, in addition to support and encouragement from work supervisors and program administrators.
Program Mission & Philosophy
The Gate of Opportunity Scholars Program seeks to make a Berry College education affordable to eligible students while intentionally engaging them in meaningful personal growth through academics, work experience, stewardship and professional development.
The Gate of Opportunity Scholarship Program was established in 2009, when a generous donor made the program possible and 11 students were selected as the first to receive the scholarship as incoming freshmen. We celebrated our first Gate Scholar graduates in spring 2012, when two of the original Gate Scholars completed their degrees and work requirements in just three years. The remaining “Charter Gate Scholars” graduated from Berry in spring 2013. The program has grown and will continue to grow in the years ahead. Currently, there are 80 Gate of Opportunity Scholars (representing freshmen through seniors) enrolled for the 2015-2016 academic year. Each year, the college will select at least 10 new freshman Gate Scholars to join the scholarship program.
Freshman Gate Scholars work 16 hours per week during academic weeks, while sophomore, junior and senior Gate Scholars work 20 hours per week during academic weeks. All Gate Scholars work at a full-time rate (40 hours per week) during most non-academic weeks during the rest of the year. Gate Scholars have time off for college holidays and typically during the two student breaks (Fall Break and Spring Break), plus they have vacation time to use each year if they manage their work hours well throughout the year.
Gate Scholars work their hours year-to-year as follows (each year begins July 1 and ends June 30*):
*Seniors typically graduate by mid-May and are not expected to continue working after graduation.
This plan allows Gate Scholars to work their hours while maintaining a manageable balance with their academic, extra-curricular and personal commitments.