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" in February? Should I attend one?
No, those Gate Interview Days are for incoming freshman candidates who are currently high school seniors. 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 summer?
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 Gate Scholars.

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 of Opportunity?
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 the hours?
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 a 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 summer.

I’ve heard that freshman Gate Scholars take COM 203 (Rhetoric & Public Address) 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. It is part of the orientation process for freshman Gate Scholars only. You can choose to take a COM 203 or other summer course, but you will be financially responsible for summer tuition and any other course-related expenses.

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 summer roommate?

New 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.