Are you from the LGBTQ+ community and seeking scholarships in the US? Then these scholarships for LGBTQ students are for you. There are specialized scholarships designed to support individuals like you who are pursuing higher education, aiming to ensure a smoother path toward achieving academic goals.
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The LQBTQ community is facing major challenges in the world. Some of them face bullying and many more social evils in their life. That is why they usually hide their identity. Which makes it difficult for them to cover their educational expenses sometimes. Financial aid options for LGBTQ+ students may be limited with some avoiding the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) due to concerns about disclosing their assigned sex at birth.
Scholarships can be instrumental in eliminating these financial burdens. These grants are offered based on merit, demographics, or geographic criteria, requiring transcripts, letters of recommendation, essays, and other documentation, and many more eligibility requirements.
To find LGBTQ+ scholarships, various organizations like the Human Rights Campaign and Campus Pride offer searchable databases. High school guidance counselors and local colleges can also provide information on regional opportunities. These scholarships are available from various public and private entities which are open to a range of LGBTQ+ applicants. some being open to all whereas others focus on specific student populations, such as those pursuing STEM degrees.
In this article, we will let you know about various scholarship programs designed to support LGBTQ+ students in overcoming financial challenges associated with education. LGBTQ+ individuals may encounter difficulties in paying for their education, often facing less familial support and potentially earning less than their straight, cisgender peers.
List of Top 19 Scholarships for LGBTQ Students In US
Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) students require community support to excel in higher education, often facing the need for financial assistance. However, there are very few scholarships for LGBTQ students at both undergraduate and graduate levels.
Whether choosing a traditional on-campus degree, pursuing studies online, or combining college credit exams with traditional credits. These scholarships offer valuable financial support.
There are hundreds of scholarships and grants available for students in the USA. But only a few of them are specially offered to the LGBTQ community. That is why it will be difficult for such students to find the scholarships for them. So, to make it easy for you we have researched and shortlisted some of these scholarships for LGBTQ students are mentioned below, let’s have a look:
1. Star Farm Scholarship for LGBTQ+ Students
High school seniors in New York have the opportunity to apply for the Star Farm Scholarship, designed to provide support to LGBTQ+ students. The scholarship is specifically aimed at New York high school seniors in 2023 who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community. The application process involves articulating how the scholarship would positively impact the student.
Deadline: July 15, 2023
2. LGBTQIA+ in Advancing Tech & Data Science Scholarship
The LGBTQIA+ in Advancing Tech & Data Science scholarship aims to assist queer youth interested in pursuing education in technology or data science. This scholarship is open to first-generation and low-income LGBTQIA+ high school students with intentions to study science, technology, STEM, or coding. The application requires providing information about the student’s interest in this field of study and their aspirations for their education.
3. Point Foundation Scholarships
The Point Foundation Scholarships LGBTQ+ undergraduate or graduate students enrolled full-time at a four-year accredited college or university in the United States are encouraged to apply for the funds.
Award Amount: Varies
4. Pride Foundation Scholarships
Each year, the Pride Foundation grants numerous scholarships and provides online workshops for prospective applicants. Scholarships are awarded to LGBTQ+ students and allies who are residents of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, or Washington.
Award Amount: Up to $12,000
5. Colin Higgins Youth Courage Awards
The award is designed to honor LGBTQ+ student filmmakers who have overcome hardships or discrimination, awards go to LGBTQ+ youth activists to support their professional development in the film industry.
Award Amount: $15,000
Deadline: To be announced
6. M.R. Brooks Scholarship
The M.R. Brooks Scholarship aims to enhance accessibility to higher education for LGBTQ+ single parents or the children of LGBTQ+ single parents. Open to high school or undergraduate students who are single parents or children of LGBTQ+ single parents, applicants must share their experiences in these roles. Additionally, they need to outline their educational goals and how they plan to contribute positively to the world.
Deadline: June 30, 2023
7. UCLA Lambda Alumni Association Scholarship
The UCLA Lambda Alumni Association Scholarship is designed for incoming freshman students enrolling at UCLA. Eligible candidates include those who identify as LGBTQ or allies, with a preference given to applicants demonstrating dedication to LGBTQ leadership or community involvement.
Amount: Up to $5,000
8. SOULE Foundation Scholarship
The scholarship is Established to support LGBTQ youth and young people of color in their educational pursuits, the SOULE Foundation scholarship is available for both undergraduate and graduate students. Eligibility criteria include a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5, enrollment as a full-time student in a U.S.-accredited college or university, and submission of a FAFSA application. Two letters of recommendation are also required.
Amount: Up to $5,000
9. League Foundation Scholarships
These League Foundation Scholarships are awarded annually to LGBTQ+ students who have a GPA above 3.0. Applicants must have made community service contributions and be accepted to an accredited U.S. college or university.
Award Amount: Varies
10. Markowski-Leach Scholarships
The Applicants must identify as LGBTQ+, have a minimum 2.5 GPA, and be enrolled in a program that provides a degree or teaching credential at one of the following universities: San Francisco State University, Stanford University, UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco, or the University of California Hastings College of Law.
Award Amount: Varies
11. Acorn Equality Fund Scholarships
All the Applicants must be LGBTQ+ students or allies attending a U.S. postsecondary institution. Residency is required in downstate Illinois, excluding Cook, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will counties.
Award Amount: $1,000-$4,000
12. Audria M. Edwards Scholarship Fund
The scholarship is open to students pursuing postsecondary education in the upcoming academic year residing in Oregon or the southwest Washington counties of Clark, Cowlitz, Skamania, and Wahkiakum. Applicants must have lived in one of these locations for at least one year and identify as LGBTQ+ or have an LGBTQ+ parent.
Award Amount: Varies
13. 49 Legacy Scholarships
The funds are Offered by the onePULSE Foundation, The 49 Fund supports deserving LGBTQ+ students in Central Florida, established after the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting.
Award Amount: Up to $10,000
14. Traub-Dicker Rainbow Scholarships
Annual scholarships for high school seniors, undergraduates, and graduate students who identify as lesbians. The program supports academic excellence and community service contributions.
Award Amount: $4,000
15. PFund Scholarship
It is Awarded to LGBTQ+ students from or enrolled in schools in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, North Dakota, or South Dakota.
Award Amount: $1,000-$12,000
16. Out to Innovate Scholarships
The students who are Intended for LGBTQ+ students pursuing STEM careers can claim the reward. It is available to applicants with a strong commitment to the LGBTQ+ community and a minimum 3.0 GPA after two years of college.
Award Amount: Up to $5,000
17. Association of LGBTQ+ Journalists Scholarships
The reward is offered to the applicants planning a journalism career, demonstrating awareness of LGBTQ+ issues, and emphasizing fair and accurate news coverage.
Award Amount: Varies
18. Reaching Out LGBTQ+ MBA Fellowship
The fellowship is available to students at participating business schools, promoting LGBTQ+ community engagement on campus.
Award Amount: Minimum of $20,000
19. National Gay Pilots Association Education Fund
United Airlines partners with the National Gay Pilots Association to offer scholarships to full-time juniors, seniors, and graduate students in accredited aviation colleges or aeronautical science programs.
Award Amount: Varies
Deadline: Applications open in June
Where to find Scholarships for LGBTQ Students?
Scholarships for LGBTQ students are available at various levels, spanning federal, state, local, and institutional opportunities, aiming to ensure smoother accessibility for students in need of financial aid. Federal scholarships are available nationwide, while state-specific scholarships are limited to residents of a particular state, often sponsored by the state or local organizations.
Local scholarships cater to specific counties, cities, or municipalities, focusing on students within those locations. Institutional scholarships are exclusively for students attending a particular college or university.
To discover LGBTQ scholarships, utilizing scholarship search engines proves beneficial. Platforms such as Campus Pride, Fastweb, Human Rights Campaign, Scholarships.com, and Unigo offer comprehensive databases. While these resources showcase a range of scholarships, it’s advisable to complement your search with regular search engines.
This dual approach ensures a more thorough exploration, taking into account factors like your major and location for a tailored scholarship search.
Other Ways to Finance College for LGBTQ+ Students
In addition to seeking scholarships which are especially offered for LGBTQ+ students. You can also find various other places to fund your college education. Some of the ways to get funds to cover your educational expenses as LGBTQ students are mentioned below:
1. Federal Student Loans
Federal student loans stand out as a popular option due to their relatively low-interest rates and flexible repayment options. Income-driven repayment, loan forgiveness, and deferment choices enhance their appeal. To apply, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), providing financial information for both yourself and, in most cases, your parents. FAFSA results determine the financial aid you qualify for.
2. Federal Grants
The federal government offers grants, not requiring repayment, for students with financial need or meeting specific criteria. The Pell Grant, a common need-based grant, provides between $650 and $6,495 per academic year. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) are available for students with financial need, with limited funds. Completing the FAFSA is a prerequisite for federal grants.
Work-study programs match students to part-time jobs within the university or affiliated organizations. Limited to students with financial need, jobs are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Early FAFSA submission is crucial. Students typically work 10 to 15 hours a week, receiving a regular paycheck. Work-study jobs include roles at the library, dorm reception desk, or campus museum.
Seeking additional scholarships based on interests and hobbies enhances your financial aid prospects. Specialized scholarships, such as those for marching band members, can contribute to covering educational costs.
1. Parent PLUS Loans
Federal loans known as Parent PLUS loans are accessible to parents of undergraduate students. With an annual limit equal to the cost of attendance minus other financial aid, these loans have a higher interest rate but may be more favorable than private loans. Borrowers also have access to income-driven repayment plans and Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
2. Private Student Loans
Consider private student loans as a last resort due to higher interest rates and limited repayment options compared to federal loans. If necessary, borrow judiciously, and explore refinancing options post-graduation for potential interest rate reductions and improved repayment terms.
1. What is an LGBTQ Scholarship?
LGBTQ+ scholarships are designed for students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and other sexual identities, as well as allied communities.
2. What are LGBTQ STEM Scholarships?
The Out to Innovate™ Scholarships, established in 2011, are intended for LGBTQ+ undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) programs.
3. What is the LGBTQ Scholarship in NYC?
The Ramblers Scholarship, established in 2016, supports student-athletes pursuing undergraduate education and publicly identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or intersex (LGBTQI), or as demonstrated and committed straight allies.
4. Why Study LGBTQ Studies?
Including LGBTQ+ studies in your educational journey encourages deeper reflection on your sense of self and relationships with others. These studies offer a safer environment for exploring new understandings of gender and sexuality.
5. What are the Benefits of LGBTQ Books?
Having LGBTQ+ literature available enhances students’ sense of belonging, self-worth, and connection to their community. LGBTQ+ books benefit all students by conveying meaningful messages of acceptance and encouragement.
Numerous scholarships are accessible to assist LGBTQ+ students in covering college expenses. Utilizing scholarship search engines simplifies the process of discovering these opportunities.
However, it is crucial to allocate sufficient time to complete the required applications and essays. Initiate your research well in advance of heading off to college to ensure you are aware of application deadlines and don’t miss out on valuable opportunities of Scholarships for LGBTQ Students.