With college costs a common concern for LGBTQ students in search of postsecondary education, scholarships aimed at this community can provide access to financial relief and a brighter future.
Just a decade ago, it would have been a challenge to find educational funding that took the unique needs and obstacles faced by the LBGTQ community into proper consideration. Today, LGBTQ students can enjoy a wide range of scholarship options designed to reduce the amount they must borrow or secure elsewhere for college.
Here are some of the more established, easily accessible, and popular LGBTQ scholarships available.
Point Foundation LGBTQ Scholarship
Every year, Point Foundation awards up to 30 scholarships to students who are out and proud members of the LGBTQ community. This means that all you need to qualify for this scholarship initially is selfhood you have publicly accepted to the degree that you have already given back to the LGBTQ community. With average annual awards resting right at $10,000, this scholarship can be renewed for up to four years, drastically reducing yearly tuition costs for recipients.
Point Foundation remains the largest grant and scholarship-giving organization serving the LGBTQ community and also offers additional resources beyond the financial. Recipients of this scholarship are provided with professional networking opportunities, leadership training, and one-on-one mentoring.
Qualifications to apply include a verifiable history of community service within the LGBTQ community, leadership skills demonstrated within the LGBTQ community, and/or involvement in any works or projects that have been done for the betterment of the LGBTQ community. The deadline for submitting applications for this scholarship typically falls at the end of January each calendar year.
Gamma Mu Foundation Scholarships
Each year, the Gamma Mu Foundation awards $1,000 to $2,500 to gay men who are under 35 years of age and one scholarship per year to a person from the wider spectrum of the LGBTQ community. Gamma Mu gives preference to the following applicants:
- Members who show a strong academic record
- Members with proven leadership history within the LGBTQ community
- Members who have overcome demonstrable discrimination
- Members originating from underserved and rural areas
The deadline for submitting applications to Gamma Mu is around March 31 of each calendar year.
League Foundation LGBTQ Scholarships
If you are a senior graduating high school and you identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer, the League Foundation can make you a recipient of one of its five annual scholarships.
To apply, you need to submit two letters of recommendation, two personal essays (topics change annually), and provide a list of your experiences serving the LGBTQ community. Preferential treatment is given to students who have been involved in extracurricular activities and projects that are exclusively aimed at the LGBTQ community.
The deadline to apply for this scholarship is around April 15 of each calendar year.
Traub-Dicker Rainbow Scholarship
As part of the Stonewall Foundation’s ongoing efforts to support the LGBTQ community in ways that break down social and economic barriers, the Traub-Dicker Rainbow Scholarship aims to provide support to women who identify as lesbians and are actively seeking higher education. One-year awards of either $1,500 or $3,000 can be obtained by graduating high school seniors or students who may already be enrolled in college, including those in graduate school.
Submission guidelines require:
- High academic achievement
- Substantial community service and evidence of leadership within the LGBTQ community
- Practiced commitment to issues specifically impacting the LGBTQ community
Applicants for 2021 will be required to submit an online application, a recent transcript, a copy of a college acceptance letter, two letters of reference specifically geared toward proof of public service, and four short essays of 100 to 400 words on topics specified by the application. These items are due by May 18.
Pride Foundation Scholarships
LGBTQ residents of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington can make use of the more than 60 scholarships awarded by the Pride Foundation each year. By filling out the application, including the required essays, and submitting a letter of recommendation, you can be considered for scholarships averaging around $3,250.
Some recipients have been awarded as much as $10,000, and award amounts may vary based on the type of scholarship you apply for, as well as how your personal responses serve the overall aim of the Pride Foundation.
Preferential consideration is given to students who:
- Face significant barriers outside finances to educational access, including students who are disenfranchised by way of race, social acceptance, geography, or politics.
- Currently lack support from the LGBTQ community at large.
The Pride Foundation opens its scholarship application season each year in mid-October and may extend deadlines to variant dates depending on individual factors and influences.
Live Out Loud Young Trailblazers Scholarship
Operating since 2002, Live Out Loud is a nonprofit that empowers the LGBTQ community via the distribution of $10,000 scholarships each year and through a multitude of other community-based programs aimed at providing support.
LGBTQ high school seniors living in Connecticut, New Jersey, or New York who have been actively involved in their communities are encouraged to apply. Applicants will be required to submit two letters of recommendation, two personal essays on topics determined each year, and finalists will also be asked to sit for a formal interview. Live Out Loud reserves the right not to award all available scholarships each year and will award only to those applicants highly approved in the aforementioned criteria by the Scholarship Committee.
Deadlines to apply for these scholarships sit near March 16 of each calendar year.
National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals Scholarships
If you are an LGBTQ student or active ally to the LGBTQ community, you may qualify for one of the two NOGLSTP scholarships awarded each year. Each scholarship is worth $5,000, and these funds are given to students pursuing careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, or math) fields.
One scholarship is dedicated to a postsecondary undergraduate who has completed a minimum of two years of college, and the other is designated for a graduate or professional student. Applications require three letters of reference and the completion of an essay.
A one-time scholarship called the David McLennan Memorial Scholarship will also be on offer from NOGLSTP for the 2020-2021 academic year. This scholarship will consist of $2,500 awarded to two undergraduate engineering students of the LGBTQ community. All applicants to NOGLSTP’s “Out to Innovate” Scholarship will be likewise considered for this special award.
The application season begins each year in April and continues through the first Saturday in June.
Leroy F. Aarons Scholarship Award
In honor of the lifelong and groundbreaking journalistic work done by Leroy F. Aarons in his efforts to accurately portray the LGBTQ community in the media, a scholarship of up to $5,000 will be awarded by the Association of LGBTQ Journalists. This scholarship is available to any undergraduate or graduate student who can demonstrate journalistic dedication to LGBT causes in the following ways:
- Submit five work samples that highlight journalistic allegiance through news articles, published photographs, or audiovisual projects in support of the LGBT community
- Produce a multimedia package or news story stemming from the suggested LGBTQ-centric topics that will appear on the application
Applicants must be pursuing a journalistic major in college to be eligible. The application season begins in the early spring of each calendar year and typically ends by the finish of May.
Leave No Scholarship Stone Unturned
When it comes to college money, being in a minority group can work in one’s favor. Many LGBTQ students might be surprised to learn of the wide-ranging list of scholarships they are eligible for. Check everywhere when you are applying for scholarships.
CollegeFinance.com helps students of all kinds find unique funding that they may otherwise have never known existed and is committed to assisting members of the LGBTQ community in their pursuit of access to higher education.