Heading to college is a big deal, and for LGBTQ+ students, finding the right help is important. College Scholarships for LGBTQ+ Students not only help with money but also make sure everyone feels accepted. Let’s explore these scholarships so every student can get the education they want.
This comprehensive guide provides information on numerous scholarship opportunities for LGBTQ+ students. It covers common questions about the application process, Title IX, and LGBTQ+-friendly colleges.
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Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) students not only require community support but also often need financial assistance to thrive in higher education. Fortunately, there is a wealth of scholarships available for LGBTQ+ students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Whether pursuing a traditional on-campus degree, an online degree, or a combination of college credit exams and traditional credits, students can find support.
Surprisingly, LGBTQ+ scholarships go beyond just supporting LGBTQ+-identifying students. These scholarships are inclusive, extending to all students actively involved in promoting acceptance and equality for the gay, lesbian, and transgender communities. In essence, college scholarships are accessible to those committed to fostering a more inclusive and equal society.
List of Scholarships for LGBTQ+ Students
- Point Foundation Scholarship
- Eligibility: LGBTQ+ students pursuing higher education.
- Website: Point Foundation
- Pride Foundation Scholarships
- Eligibility: LGBTQ+ and allied students in the Northwest region of the United States.
- Website: Pride Foundation
- Stonewall Foundation LGBTQ Scholarship Program
- Eligibility: LGBTQ+ students involved in community service.
- Website: Stonewall Foundation
- Live Out Loud Educational Scholarship
- Eligibility: LGBTQ+ high school seniors who demonstrate leadership and community involvement.
- Website: Live Out Loud
- eQuality Scholarship Collaborative
- Eligibility: LGBTQ+ students in Northern and Central California.
- Website: eQuality Scholarship Collaborative
- The Queer Foundation Scholarship
- Eligibility: LGBTQ+ students who actively promote LGBTQ+ rights.
- Website: Queer Foundation
- Gamma Mu Foundation Scholarships
- Eligibility: LGBTQ+ students involved in community service.
- Website: Gamma Mu Foundation
- COLAGE Scholarship
- Eligibility: Students with LGBTQ+ parents or guardians.
- Website: COLAGE
- The LOUD Foundation
- Eligibility: LGBTQ+ students in the Pacific Northwest.
- Website: LOUD Foundation
- Traub-Dicker Rainbow Scholarship
- Eligibility: LGBTQ+ women showing leadership in their communities.
- Website: Traub-Dicker Rainbow Scholarship
Always check the specific eligibility criteria and deadlines on the respective scholarship websites for the most accurate and up-to-date information.
General LGBTQ+ Scholarships
To find LGBTQ+ scholarships, begin by checking in your local area or state. Here are some examples of the kinds of scholarships you could discover. You can find the full requirements, deadlines, and details by clicking on the provided links.
The Tang Scholarship
Four Asian and Pacific Islander (API) students who are involved in the LGBT community can apply for the Tang Scholarship. The amount of the award varies and can be renewable for each academic year. To qualify, applicants must:
- Be between 17 and 25 years of age
- Have at least 25% API ancestry
- Have graduated from a high school in one of these California counties: Napa, Alameda, San Francisco, Contra Costa, Marin, San Mateo, Solano, Santa Clara or Sonoma
- Hold at least a 3.0 GPA
- Identify as gay, lesbian, transgender or bisexual
Team DC Scholarship
The Team DC Scholarship is for LGBTQ+ high school athletes in Washington, DC. If you qualify, you can get up to $2,000 for college expenses. To apply, you need to:
- Identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer
- Live in the Washington, DC, metro area, including nearby counties in Virginia and Maryland
- Be actively involved in a competitive sport in high school or a recreational league
- Provide two letters of support
- Write a 1,500-word essay about your experience as an LGBTQ+ athlete
If selected, you’ll be invited to the Night of Champions Dinner, where your achievements will be recognized.
Jean-Paul Ohadi Scholarship Award
The Jean Paul Ohadi Scholarship, organized by the Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) chapter in Deerfield, IL, is named in memory of Jean-Paul Ohadi, a 19-year-old who faced bullying due to his sexual identity. The scholarship is worth $1,000, and to qualify, you need to:
- Provide high school or GED transcripts
- Submit two letters of recommendation
- Fill out a questionnaire
- Be actively involved in an LGBTQ+ organization
Degree-Specific LGBTQ+ Scholarships
LGBTQ+ scholarships aren’t solely based on financial need; there are plenty of organizations that direct funding to students who are pursuing a degree in a specific field. Here’s a sampling of these types of scholarships.
Chinn Scholarships for LGBT Atheist Activism
The Chinn Scholarships for LGBT Atheist Activism are offered to students who are members or allies of the LGBTQ+ community to apply for awards from $500-1,000 given out by the advocacy group American Atheists. Candidates can be attending graduate or law school full-time and must maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA in those programs. Above all else, American Atheists look for candidates who are heavily involved in activism, both for the LGBTQ+ community and the promotion of atheism.
Lesbian Caucus Award
The National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA) offers the Lesbian Caucus Award which is $500 to graduate students who are doing their master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation project on a topic related to LGBT studies. Aspiring recipients and their projects are evaluated based on:
- How the project lines up with the NWA’s mission
- How it incorporates feminist methodologies
- How it might impact the study of lesbianism/sexuality
The deadline for applicants is May 15.
How to Apply for Scholarships as an LGBTQ+ Student
The process of applying for scholarships as an LGBTQ+ student is pretty much the same as it is for any other student. First, you’ll want to fill out your FAFSA, which will determine if you qualify for financial aid and how much you’ll be entitled to.
Filling out the FAFSA is important for several reasons. First, it’ll help you figure out how much of the bill you’ll need to fit into your budget and how much you might need to procure from other sources. The amount you receive through federal grants and loans can be dependent on scholarship money (and vice versa), so filling your FAFSA can also sometimes be a prerequisite for applying to these scholarships.
After you’ve completed this first step, you can start searching for scholarships for which you might be eligible. If you’re looking for scholarships specifically for LGBTQ+ students, the Human Rights Campaign runs a fairly up-to-date database. From there, you can sort by state, find nationwide scholarships and see what’s available at a particular school.
Since scholarships can come from so many sources, another way to find them is by searching online using terms like ‘LGBTQ+,’ ‘grants’ and ‘scholarships’ and alternately adding in your state, county and region. For instance, if you live in Miami, you might use this combination of terms along with Miami, South Florida, Florida, Ft. Lauderdale and others.
Keep in mind that your search doesn’t have to be limited to LGBTQ+ scholarships. The U.S. Department of Labor has a helpful database of scholarships that covers a diverse spectrum of awards based on financial need, ethnicity, region and merit. There, you can search by keyword or sort by degree level, gender, location, award type and affiliation.
Once you’ve found some potential scholarships, pay close attention to their requirements; the funds for these scholarships are often limited and the competition is high. You’ll want to make sure you follow the instructions to a T and submit all your materials before the deadline. If you’ve already decided on a school (or you’re already attending one), the financial aid office can be an invaluable resource. They can help you track down scholarships, find letters of recommendation, connect you with opportunities to help you look more impressive to scholarship boards and assist you in compiling your scholarship packets.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are LGBTQ+ scholarships only for certain subjects? Learn that LGBTQ+ scholarships cover many subjects, making sure everyone has a chance no matter what they want to study.
How can I stand out when applying for a scholarship? Discover tips on how to make your scholarship application stand out by showing what makes you unique.
Do LGBTQ+ scholarships consider how much money I have? Find out if LGBTQ+ scholarships take into account your financial situation and help students from different backgrounds.
Are there scholarships for LGBTQ+ students going to graduate school? Explore opportunities for LGBTQ+ individuals who want to go to graduate school and how scholarships support higher education.
Can LGBTQ+ students from other countries apply for these scholarships? Learn about scholarships for LGBTQ+ students worldwide, giving international students a chance to study.
How do LGBTQ+ scholarships make colleges more welcoming? Understand how LGBTQ+ scholarships contribute to creating a friendly and inclusive atmosphere in colleges.