General Scholarship Overview

A Three-Way Partnership

Through a three-way partnership between the student and family, Berry College and a donor, the Gate of Opportunity Scholarship offers students the potential to graduate debt-free. While it is not a "full ride" scholarship, it greatly reduces the cost of tuition, fees, housing, meal plan and books. Most Gate of Opportunity Scholars are able to graduate without taking out any student loans.

Financial Eligibility

The Gate of Opportunity Scholarship is awarded based on financial need and a competitive selection process. Eligible students will have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $20,000 or less (based on official, annual Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, results) and will be selected through an application and interview process.

Scholarship Details

If selected as a Gate Scholar, the student's family pays 50% of their official EFC (as calculated by the official FAFSA results) and the student contributes 80% of student work earnings. The remaining balance of standard costs (tuition, fees, traditional residence hall housing and meal plan) is paid by Berry College and a donor, as well as any external aid the student may receive (Federal aid, State aid, etc). Further, each Gate Scholar receives a book allowance for the purchase of textbooks and class supplies at the Berry College Bookstore. The book allowance covers the cost of these books and supplies - purchased at the Berry College Bookstore - up to $500 each semester.

Financial Responsibilities of the Gate Scholar and Family

In addition to paying 50% of their annually-calculated EFC (based on official FAFSA results) and contributing 80% of their work earnings, Gate Scholars and their families are financially responsible for some other costs.

First, Gate Scholars and their families are responsible for personal expenses year-round (laundry money, personal necessities, gas money, car insurance, cell phone bills, etc), plus they are responsible for most of their meals during winter breaks and summers. Gate Scholars do receive 20% of their work earnings (less taxes), however this is considered "pocket money" and will not be enough to cover the cost of their personal expenses. The amount each Gate Scholar needs for personal expenses varies from family to family, however the typical Gate Scholar receives $75-$150 per month from their families. 

Second, Gate Scholars and their families will be responsible for the cost of books and school supplies if they exceed the book allowance amount in any given semester and/or if they must be purchased somewhere other than the Berry College Bookstore. The allowance is worth up to $500 each semester (fall and spring semesters only) and any remaining balance in the allowance does not roll over from semester to semester.

Third, if a Gate Scholar chooses to live in "alternative housing" as an upperclassman at Berry (a townhouse, Centennial Hall apartment or a Thomas Berry suite) the student/family will be responsible for the difference in cost between a traditional residence hall and the student's selected housing. In terms of housing, the Gate of Opportunity Scholarship only applies toward the cost of a traditional residence hall (Ford Halls, Dana Hall, Morton-Lemley Halls, Morgan Hall, Deerfield Hall and/or a Cottage). Further, if a Gate Scholar chooses to live in alternative housing and also upgrades his/her meal plan, the student/family will be responsible for the upgrade cost. (Please note, all Berry College freshmen, including Gate Scholars, typically live in a traditional residence hall - specifically Ford, Dana or Morton-Lemley.)

Finally, Gate Scholars and their families are responsible for the cost of an annual parking fee, if they choose to have a car on campus. They may also be financially responsible for other fees and charges, such as - but not limited to - special course fees, parking/library fines, participation in some college-sponsored events/activities, or other charges above and beyond standard costs (tuition at the full-time undergraduate rate, mandatory fees, traditional residence hall and a meal plan).