Scholarships for LGBTQ Students

Last updated: March 06, 2019

While many college campuses have made strides to better the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) students, they often face unique challenges in their personal lives and academia; funding shouldn’t be one of them. Scholarships aim to broaden opportunities and make the college transition a successful experience, but with millions of options out there, how do students find the right fit? To help simplify the hunt, we’ve compiled an extensive list of LGBTQ scholarships created specifically for identifying and ally students.

It’s more important than ever for the LGBTQ community to challenge their presence in higher education. By creating access to scholarships and other financial opportunities, LGBTQ individuals can better shape cultural progress. Professor Robert M. Anderson, chair of the University of California, addressed students at UC Berkeley’s Lavender Graduation by sharing his experience as a leader in education and member of the gay community.

“The LGBT movement has been driven by the courage and determination of LGBT people...By being out, you create hope and a model for those who are still in the closet. By being out, you educate the society which surrounds us.”
— Robert M. Anderson, professor and chair of the University of California Academic Senate

Students should have the same access to education regardless of gender identity. Scholarships can help bridge the gap and create opportunities that otherwise may not have been available in the first place.

Resources for LGBTQ Students

LGBTQ Centers

Center Link supports the development of strong, sustainable LGBTQ community centers by addressing common challenges, helping improve their organizational and service delivery capacity and increase access to public resources.

It Gets Better Project

The “It Gets Better Project” provides hope and encouragement to young LGBTQ individuals across the world by connecting them through various media platforms, so no one has to face growing up alone.

Campus Pride

Campus pride is a leading national non-profit organization that develops necessary resources, programs and services to support LGBTQ and ally students on college campuses across the United States.

LGBT National Help Center

The center operates three volunteer hotlines and one volunteer chat system for LGBTQ youth and adults, and also hosts a database of local resources.

Gay Straight Alliance

GSA Network is a next-generation LGBTQ racial and gender justice organization that empowers and trains queer, trans and allied youth leaders to advocate, organize, and mobilize an intersectional movement for safer schools and healthier communities.

LGBTQ Task Force

Task Force aims to end discrimination and remove barriers in every aspect of LGBTQ lives such as housing, employment, healthcare, retirement, and basic human rights.

Pride Foundation

Invests in students, and leaders in greater Northwest area by leveraging generous support from thousands of donors and volunteers to connect local LGBTQ visionaries and communities with grant dollars, scholarships, fellowships, technical expertise, convenings, and leadership development.

Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals

The consortium is a member-based organization working towards the liberation of LGBTQ people in higher education while mentoring and supporting individuals who work on campuses to educate people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities.

Gamma Rho Lambda

Is the first all-inclusive, multicultural college-based sorority with chapters throughout the United States that acts as a support system for lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and alternative lifestyle-friendly female students.

Delta Lambda Phi

A thriving international organization with chapters and colonies all over North America, Delta Lambda Phi is a fraternity created by gay men for all men to create friendships and offer support to the gay community.

 
 

How to Pay for College

1

Scholarships

There are hundreds of scholarships for LGBTQ students, which are awarded by local organizations, private companies, societies and more.

 
2

Grants

Grants don’t need to be paid back and are based on your financial circumstances. They are usually funded by the federal government, your state or college.

 
3

Fellowships

While scholarships usually fund tuition, fellowships typically cover graduate study, research projects and abroad experiences without needing to be paid back.

 
4

Student Loans

You can borrow money from the government or a bank, but it needs to be paid back with interest. The federal government offers many loan options—fill out the free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to see if you qualify for financial aid. If you need help, use our interactive guide to learn how to answer every question.

 
5

Federal Work-Study Program

Provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to pay education expenses.

 
 

If you’re just beginning the process of finding suitable scholarships, make sure you’re prepared for the application process by starting a folder with the assets below.

Scholarship Application Preparation

Not all scholarships are based off of your GPA, but most need to verify your high school education to qualify. Try to get certified copies of your transcript early, so you have plenty of time to meet the deadline.
Although there are scholarship opportunities that aren’t merit-based, it’s valuable to take the SAT or ACT standardized tests in case it’s a scholarship qualification.
Your scholarship essay is what will bring attention to your application out of the pool of applicants. That’s why it’s important to craft a stand out piece that attests to your experience, adheres to the scholarship guidelines and most importantly, highlights your true personality.
Letters of recommendation are a true judgement of your character—something that can’t be revealed through your test scores or transcript. Reach out to former teachers, counselors or bosses, so that they can speak to your qualifications. You may also want to provide them with a resume that outlines your achievements and goals as well.
 

LGBTQ Scholarships

Instructions: Click through the dropdowns below to sort by award amount and if you qualify for need-based aid.

LEAGUE Foundation Academic Scholarships

Amount: $2,500

Deadline: April 14, 2019

Applicants must be graduating high school in the year they apply and openly identify with the LGBT community. Preference is given to applicants who show leadership in the LGBT community. Applicants must have a 3.0 GPA or above.

Audria M. Edwards Scholarship Fund

Amount: Varies

Deadline: May 1, 2019

Applicants must be pursuing a post-secondary, undergraduate education in the coming year. They must also have had to have lived in Oregon or the following Washington counties for a year: Clack, Cowlitz, Skamania, or Wahkiakum. Applicants must also identify with the LGBT community or have an LGBT parent.

IES Merit-Based David Porter Diversity Scholarship

Amount: $5,000

Deadline: May 1, 2019

This scholarship is intended to help students who have been underrepresented in study abroad programs. Applicants must be attending a private college or university that is a Member or Associate Member of the IES Abroad Consortium. Home university must transfer a minimum of 75% of its institutional aid for study abroad.

The Make It Safe Project Writing Scholarship

Amount: $500

Deadline: May 1, 2019

Applicant must be an LGBTQ teen between the ages of 13-18. Applicant must write a poem, story, or nonfiction piece about a LGBTQ character. Winner, runner-up, and select entrants will be published in an upcoming anthology of queer and trans teen writing.

Levin-Goffe Scholarship for LGBTQI Immigrants

Amount: $25,000

Deadline: May 1, 2019

This scholarship is restricted to full-time undergraduate students studying in New York at a four-year university. This scholarship covers up to two-years of school for LGBTQ immigrants.

Out to Protect Scholarship

Amount: up to $1,000

Deadline: June 1, 2019

Students studying criminal law enforcement and who identify as LGBTQ are eligible for this award. Must demonstrate positive role-model ability and potential for success post-graduation to apply.

Follansbee-Hansen Scholarship

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: May 31, 2019

Student must be a college freshman or graduating high school senior who will be attending college in the fall from the Sacramento area. Applicants must identify as LGBTQI and show their interest in helping and advocating for the LGBTQI community.

Out to Innovate Scholarship

Amount: $5,000

Deadline: June 1, 2019

Applicant must identify as LGBTQ and be pursuing a degree in STEM. One scholarship will be awarded to an undergrad and one will be awarded to a graduate student. Must hold at least a junior undergraduate status and actively promote LGBTQ inclusion and visibility.

Gay Asian Pacific Alliance Foundation Scholarship

Amount: $5,000

Deadline: June 30, 2019

Must be a high school senior, undergraduate, or graduate student to apply. Applicants should have a strong history of activism and involvement in either the API and/or LGBTQ communities, but do not need to identify as either to apply.

New York Ramblers Scholarship for Student Athletes

Amount: $2,500

Deadline: June 1, 2019

This scholarship is targeted towards student athletes who identify as LGBTQ or are allies of the LGBTQ community. High school seniors through college juniors are eligible to apply. Students must be residents of New York.

Hawai'i Community Foundation Scholarships

Amount: Varies

Deadline: January 1, 2020

Hawaii Community Foundation is providing a wealth of financial support to qualified students throughout Hawaii. With over 250 scholarships, Hawaii students can surely find a scholarship that applies to them.

PFLAG - Harold Sylvester Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline: January 1, 2020

Applicants must be attending the University of Akron. Applicants must also participate in the university’s organizations for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students.

Kalyn Smith-Tranquil'son Memorial Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline: January 1, 2020

This scholarship is meant to temporarily help students who have been financially cut off from their families due to their sexual orientation, perceived gender, and/or work with the LGBTQ community. Applicants must be in good academic standing, identify and/or be an active ally of the LGBTQ community.

Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Law Students Assoc. Scholarship - SW Law

Amount: Varies

Deadline: January 1, 2020

Applicants must be attending Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles. This scholarship will be awarded to a gay, lesbian, or bisexual student studying law.

Victor Agnoni Visual Arts Foundation - VAVAF

Amount: Varies

Deadline: April 18, 2019

This scholarship is for LGBTQ students entering college with a visual arts portfolio. Applicants do not need to pursue a major in arts in college.

Audre Lorde Scholarship Fund

Amount: Varies

Deadline: May 20, 2019

The Audre Lorde Scholarship is funded by the National Organization of Black Lesbians on Aging. This award is available to an out black lesbian or a lesbian of color who is 40 years or older. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required. Applicants must write a 2-3 page essay to apply, answering 2 of 5 essay questions on the application website.

Soule Foundation Scholarship

Amount: $2,500

Deadline: April 8, 2019

The Soule Foundation offers scholarships to LGBTQ youth of color from the tri-state area of New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey. Applicants will be selected based on the demonstration of past leadership, community service involvement, and academic credentials.

Hampton Roads Pride Scholarships

Amount: $1,600

Deadline: April 1, 2019

The Hampton Roads Pride Scholarships are available to all LGBTQ students and LGBTQ allies attending college or trade school. Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA.