Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to participate in Berry’s work
program if I am a Gate of Opportunity Scholar?
Yes, Gate of Opportunity Scholars will actively participate in the work program
as part of the criteria for receiving and maintaining the scholarship. Only
students who are interested in full, year-round participation in the work
program should apply for the Gate of Opportunity Scholarship.
I notice that there are "Gate Interview
Days" on Saturdays in February? Should I attend one?
No, the Saturday interview days are for incoming freshman candidates. Current
students will be selected through a separate process during Spring Semester. Watch
your Berry email for information about the application and selection process
for current students.
Being a Gate of Opportunity Scholar sounds
like a lot of work. Will I be able to go home for holiday breaks and during the
Yes! Gate Scholars have time off for college holidays and semester
breaks (Fall Break and Spring Break), plus they have approximately 1-2 weeks of
vacation time to use each year. They work closely with their work supervisors
to plan for time away that suits them and the needs of their work departments.
Most Gate Scholars use their vacation time during winter and/or summer breaks.
Will I have to work 4,500 total hours even if
I’m only a Gate Scholar for 3 (or less) years?
If selected as a Gate Scholar, we will adapt your Gate of Opportunity
Scholarship work expectation for the years you’re enrolled as a Gate Scholar;
you will not be expected to work the full 4,500 hours expected of four-year
Can Gate of Opportunity Scholars participate
in clubs, organizations, athletics and activities available to other Berry
College students? Will they have time for other involvements?
Gate of Opportunity Scholars are fully engaged in campus life at Berry College.
They are able to participate in clubs, organizations and other activities
offered to all Berry students. Gate Scholars employ strong time management
skills in order to balance everything and they are particular about their
commitments, but are certainly able to benefit from all that Berry has to
offer. Some programs such as study abroad and internships will require Gate of
Opportunity Scholars to make up any missed work hours.
Will I be able to participate in study abroad
or an internship if I’m selected as a Gate Scholar?
Yes! Gate Scholars have the opportunity to participate in a study abroad or
internship experience during part of one summer. We offer a “release hours”
opportunity to help them toward getting such an external experience.
I already filed the FAFSA when I first applied
to Berry as an incoming student. Do I have to file it again to apply for Gate
Yes! You should file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for
the upcoming year. The FAFSA becomes available (to fill out for next year’s
aid) on October 1 each year. To be eligible for Gate of Opportunity Scholarship
consideration, current students must have an official FAFSA on record (for the
appropriate application year) with the Office of Financial Aid and have a
qualifying Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $20,000 or less.
I just completed my FAFSA. Why hasn’t the
Office of Financial Aid received it yet?
We typically receive official FAFSA results 5-7 business days after you've
submitted it. Once you complete the FAFSA it must first be processed by the
Federal government and then the results will be sent to Berry. We encourage you
to complete the FAFSA as quickly as possible after October 1 if you are
interested in the Gate of Opportunity Scholarship Program. We cannot
consider any applicants for the Gate of Opportunity Scholarship without
official FAFSA results.
How does the Gate of Opportunity Scholarship
work with other scholarships and aid that I may be receiving from Berry?
Because Gate of Opportunity is awarded based on the student’s EFC (based on
official FAFSA results), all other Berry scholarships and aid will be subsumed
by the Gate of Opportunity Scholarship award. Also, due to the time commitment
associated with being a Gate of Opportunity Scholar, Gate Scholars may not
participate in another Berry College scholarship program (the Bonner Scholars
Program, the Leadership Fellows Program or the WinShape College Program); such
current students may apply and be considered for Gate of Opportunity, but if
offered they will need to choose between the Gate of Opportunity Scholarship
offer and the other scholarship program.
What happens if I already have/receive an
outside scholarship after I'm selected as a Gate of Opportunity Scholar?
Outside scholarships/aid will be subsumed by the Gate of Opportunity
Scholarship. Berry College reserves the right to reduce Berry’s portion of
the Gate of Opportunity Scholarship aid in an amount equivalent to the outside
scholarship. This includes outside scholarships through civic organizations,
private companies, veterans benefits and other types of outside aid.
If I do not work enough hours over the course
of a year as a Gate Scholar can I just pay off what I owe instead of working
In accepting the Gate of Opportunity Scholarship, Gate Scholars agree to
actively participate in Berry College's student work program as part of their
contribution to the scholarship and the college. Gate Scholars are expected to
work a "target" number of hours per year in the Berry work program
and those who fail to reach 90% of those target hours in a given year may be
subject to dismissal from the Gate of Opportunity Scholarship Program. Berry
calculates the annual Gate hours worked by the fiscal year – early July to late
June each year - so Gate Scholars should have worked at least 90% of their
target hours by late June of each year in the program.
My family hopes to take a vacation this
summer. If I'm selected as a Gate Scholar can I take vacation time during my
first summer as a Gate Scholar?
We encourage all new Gate Scholars to take family vacation before Gate move-in
day, which is typically in late June each summer. All new Gate Scholars
(including those who are selected as returning Berry students) are expected to
fully participate in a two-day Gate Orientation after moving in, plus they are
asked to participate in a number of team-building and "Gate Scholar
Family" events throughout the summer.
Will I have to participate in Gate Orientation
even though I’m returning Berry student?
Yes! All new Gate Scholars participate in Gate Orientation to help them
understand the details, expectations and opportunities of the program. Gate
Orientation also helps new Gate Scholars get to know each other and the other
Gate Scholars, building a sense of community and camaraderie. Gate Scholars
encourage and support each other when they are tied into the “Gate Scholar
Family.” Move-in and Gate Orientation typically take place in late June each
I’ve heard that freshman Gate Scholars take
COM 203 (Introduction to Public Speaking) during their first summer at Berry.
Can I take it with them?
The COM 203 course requirement is only for freshman
Gate of Opportunity Scholars, as they have not previously managed the balance
of academic and work that current Berry students typically have. Current Berry
students who are new Gate Scholars do not take the COM 203 summer course.
Does the Gate of Opportunity Scholarship apply
to any other summer courses I might want to take?
Currently the Gate of Opportunity Scholarship does not apply to any summer
courses, besides the COM 203 class that is part of the orientation process for
freshman Gate Scholars (returning Berry students who are new Gate Scholars do
not take COM 203 as part of Gate Orientation).
Do Gate of Opportunity Scholars live on
campus? Even if I’m a local student?
Yes! Gate of Opportunity is a residential program and Gate Scholars live on-campus
year-round. Only students who wish to live in on-campus housing year-round
should apply for the Gate of Opportunity Scholarship.
Will my roommate be a Gate Scholar?
During the summer months each summer, Gate Scholars live together and have a
fellow Gate Scholar as a roommate. During the academic year, Gate Scholars
typically live with other Berry students as roommates (though some
upperclassman Gate Scholars have chosen to live together). Upperclassmen
typically pick their summer roommates as Gate Scholars, though we will assign
you to a Gate Scholar roommate if you do not know someone you’d like to room
with in the program.
Do I get to pick my
upperclassman Gate Scholars are given the opportunity to pick a fellow Gate
Scholar as their summer roommate. All Gate Scholars are expected to live with a
fellow Gate Scholar each summer.