Scholarships and Resources for LGBTQIA+ Students

Explore scholarship awards, advocacy groups, and professional networks that are making college more affordable and inclusive for the LGBTQIA+ community.

Last Updated: 08/14/2020

Like many college hopefuls, those who identify as LGBTQIA+ can struggle to afford tuition and get the resources they need to be successful throughout their academic career. Fortunately, these students can benefit greatly from organizations who provide financial assistance, advocate for LGBTQIA+ rights, and offer networking opportunities. This guide highlights these organizations that provide direct support to the LGBTQIA+ community. Read on to explore 20 scholarship opportunities (including those for students looking to enter public service careers) and find valuable academic and career support resources.

Scholarships & Grants for LGBTQIA+ Students

Education comes at a high price these days. According to The College Board, average tuition fees, room and board, books, and transportation costs at public four-year schools totaled $26,590, 2019-20. Scholarships and grants for LGBTQIA+ students can make all the difference in paying for school. Have a look at 20 scholarships and grants you may be eligible for.

General Scholarships & Grants

Organization

Pride Foundation

Amount

$4,160

Deadline

1/11/2020 (Annual)

Eligibility

For LGBTQIA+ women of color (with preferences to residents of Washington State, Oregon, Idaho, Montana or Alaska).  They must pursue degrees in education, dance, or women’s health and have a demonstrated history of LGBTQIA+ community leadership and/or activism.

How to Apply

Applicants can be high school seniors, college undergraduate or graduate students. For application information contact: (800) 735-7287.

Organization

Gamma Mu Foundation

Amount

$1,000 to $2,500

Deadline

3/31/2020 (Annual)

Eligibility

The scholarship is open to gay men, under age 35, who hold a high school diploma or GED. Scholarships are for full-time study beginning at an accredited institution. Online education students are excluded.

How to Apply

Prospective students must submit an online application demonstrating financial need and community involvement. They must be admitted to a college or university. Contact scholarships@gammamufoundation.org for more information.

Organization

Keith Williams Law Group

Amount

$1,500

Deadline

12/1/2020 (Annual)

Eligibility

Open to high school seniors accepted to university or college and for baccalaureate, graduate or professional schools. All applicants must have overcome life adversities or difficulty in school based on ethnic, racial, or gender biases.

How to Apply

Candidates can apply online. They must submit an 800-word essay on how their lives have been affected by an LGBTQIA+ adversity and the steps they took to overcome it.

Organization

LEAGUE Foundation

Amount

Varies

Deadline

4/19/2020

Eligibility

The foundation offers scholarships to graduating high school seniors who self-identify as Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or Transgender. Applicants must demonstrate community involvement, with preference given to applicants who have had leadership roles.

How to Apply

The application requirements include submission of transcripts, proof of acceptance to an accredited college or university, two letters of recommendation and two personal essays. To apply, complete this online registration form.

Organization

Live Out Loud

Amount

$10,000

Deadline

3/16/2020

Eligibility

Graduating high school seniors who identify as LGBTQIA+  from New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey.

How to Apply

Applications should include two letters of recommendation and two essays. They must demonstrate past LGBTQIA+ leadership experience and financial need. Send applications to jon@liveoutloud.info

Organization

LGBTQ Support and Social Group USA

Amount

$500

Deadline

8/6/2020 (Annual)

Eligibility

Open to entering college freshmen who are active in the LGBTQ community. Applicants must write a 1,000-word essay “How would you like to see the LGBTQ community progress in 10 years?” or “Which prominent member of the LGBTQ community inspires you most and why?”

How to Apply

Entering college freshman applicants can apply online.

Organization

Society for the Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity

Amount

$1,000

Deadline

3/30/2020 (Annual)

Eligibility

Applicants must be graduate students in psychology conducting research on gender identity and sexual orientation.

How to Apply

Applicants must submit a cover sheet, CV, and recommendation letter from faculty supervisor. Include a project description indicating how cultural, ethnic, and other diversity issues are part of the research focus.

Organization

National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals

Amount

$5,000

Deadline

6/6/2020 (Annual)

Eligibility

For LGBTQIA+ undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in a U.S.-based college or university and seeking engineering, science, mathematics (STEM), or technology degrees. Applicants must have declared a STEM major and have a minimum of two years of postsecondary education with a minimum 3.0 GPA.

How to Apply

Scholarship candidates must apply at the NOGLSTP website. The scholarship application includes academic and community achievements, a financial aid profile, personal statement, official transcripts, and three reference letters.

Organization

The Point Foundation

Amount

$10,000

Deadline

1/27/2020 (Annual)

Eligibility

Applicants must be must identify as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community. They must be enrolled or planning to enroll at a United States accredited college or university. High school seniors, bachelor’s or master’s degree students are eligible. Awards are based on financial need, leadership experience, and level of LGBTQIA+ community involvement.

How to Apply

Scholarship applications must be submitted online (contact applications@pointfoundation.org). If the college or university where they enroll requires standardized tests, submit test scores with the application.

Organization

PFund Foundation

Amount

$1,000 to $10,000

Deadline

March 2020 (Annual)

Eligibility

LGBTQA individuals and allies who live in or are going to school in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wisconsin. Open to individuals involved community service or students who need financial assistance. Recipients are chosen based on their commitment to activism and community leadership.

How to Apply

Candidates can apply online. They must submit answers to a questionnaire and provide letters of recommendation.

Organization

The Rainbow Special Interest Group

Amount

Up to $10,000

Deadline

Varies

Eligibility

The scholarship is designed specifically for LGBTQIA+ students qualified and able to study abroad for minimum of four weeks. Applicants must be enrolled as an undergraduate student at an accredited U.S. college or university.

How to Apply

Applicants must complete an online registration through The Fund for Education Abroad (FEA) and submit unofficial transcripts, a recommendation letter from a professor, supervisor, or advisor, and a completed online financial aid form.

Scholarships & Grants in Public Service

Public service scholarships help LGBTQIA+  students pursue degrees and careers in the “helping” professions or careers that make the world a better place.

Organization

Brown and Caldwell

Amount

$5,000

Deadline

4/15/2020 (Annual)

Eligibility

Open to LGBTQIA+ students majoring in environmental sciences including ecology, geology, and hydrogeology. Applicants must be enrolled full-time in their undergraduate junior or senior year, or in a graduate program.

How to Apply

Undergraduates and graduates must submit official transcripts from their current accredited school. Applicants are required to submit  resume, 250-word essay, and two written recommendations. Email for application information at scholarships@brwncald.com.

Organization

Los Angeles LGBT Center / Edison International

Amount

Total of $30,000 to recipients

Deadline

3/30/2020 (Annual)

Eligibility

Open to LGBTQIA+ high school seniors and college undergrad students. Applicants should be pursuing Natural Resources and Conservation studies, including Environmental Science, National Resources and Conservation, Environmental Studies, and Forestry.

How to Apply

To apply, submit transcripts documenting a 2.5 GPA, and two letters of recommendation from teachers, mentors, or counselors. Submissions must be emailed to scholarships@lalgbtcenter.org.

Organization

Silicon Valley Community Foundation

Amount

Up to $60k over 4 years

Deadline

4/30/2020 (annual)

Eligibility

Applicants mut be self-identified as Asian/Pacific Islander, lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. They must be actively involved in the LGBTQIA+ community and graduates of California high schools in Alameda, Santa Clara, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, Sonoma, San Mateo, or Solano counties.

How to Apply

Contact Edward Tang at ecmt@yahoo.com

Organization

Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund

Amount

Grants up to $15,000

Deadline

4/15/2020 (Annual)

Eligibility

The Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund awards need-based grants for students actively working for peace and justice in the community or on campus. Open to students at the sophomore, junior, senior, entering graduate, and graduate levels.  The fund favors applicants in an active participation in battling homophobia, racism, and sexism.

How to Apply

Applications are made online. Materials include a personal statement detailing progressive social activity, two letters of recommendation, and a Student Aid Report from The Free Application For Student Aid (FAFSA®) .

Organization

Council on Social Work Education

Amount

$6,500

Deadline

Early summer 2020

Eligibility

For master’s degree applicants. You must plan on working with children, racial/ethnic minority populations, adolescents, or transition-aged youths. Applicants must document substance use disorder or mental health services to racial/ethnic minority populations.

How to Apply

For application information, contact the Council on Social Work Education. All accepted fellows must attend an in-person 2-day training session in Alexandria, VA.

Organization

National Institutes of Health

Amount

$20,000

Deadline

3/18/2020 (Annual)

Eligibility

Applicants must be accepted to or full-time, four-year undergraduate program committed to health and public service. Applicants will not be discriminated against based on gender, sexual orientation, or disability. After graduation, recipients can work as a full-time employee in an NIH research laboratory.

How to Apply

The application is available at the NIH scholarship site. Potential recipients are required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) and report results to the NIH.

Organization

Out to Protect

Amount

$500 to $1000

Deadline

5/29/2020 (Annual)

Eligibility

Students must identify as gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, or transgender who are currently enrolled in a basic law enforcement training program or sponsored in a law enforcement academy, 9-1-1 dispatcher academy, or corrections academy.

How to Apply

Interested law enforcement students can apply online. Identify the name of your Law Enforcement Academy, describe your “coming out experience”, and submit letters of recommendation.

Organization

American Psychological Foundation

Amount

$10,000

Deadline

11/1/2020 (Annual)

Eligibility

Grants encourage the study of LGBT family psychology and therapy. Applicants must be advanced graduate students with a demonstrated commitment to LGBT family issues. Students should research LGBT families facing racial, cultural, family-structure and socioeconomic diversity.

How to Apply

The APA requires applicants to submit a document detailing goals, methodology, project timeline, and budget.

Organization

Pride Law Fund

Amount

$30,000

Deadline

2/24/2020 (Annual)

Eligibility

Fellowship is to fund a project that serves the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community for new lawyers. Available to law students eligible to graduate or lawyers within three years of completing law school.

How to Apply

Applicants must document the need for the project, its anticipated impact, past public service or community activities, and their connection/involvement with the LGBTQIA+  community. Apply online.

Organization

NENA: The 9-1-1 Association

Amount

Varies

Deadline

3/27/2020 (Annual)

Eligibility

Applicants must be employed full time with a public safety agency and show significant commitment to obtaining public safety administration positions. Applicants may also apply if they have been appointed to an official 9-1-1 planning board.

How to Apply

Applications are accepted online. Candidates must have not previously attended a NENA annual conference.

College and Career Resources for LGBTQIA+ Students

Financial Aid

Office of Federal Student AidThis U.S. Department of Education website provides extensive information on student aid eligibility, federal grants and loans, and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®). Explore online instructional videos and documents outlining the application process for undergraduate and graduate students.

STEPS: Reducing Your Student Loans Through Acts of Public ServiceThis invaluable resource shows how to attain special loan forgiveness and repayment assistance for individuals dedicated to public service. Discover eligibility requirements for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program and other loan forgiveness opportunities for military members, public interest lawyers, and teachers and medical professionals working in high-need areas.

STEPS: 30 Top Scholarships for Public Service StudentsLooking for additional scholarships to help fund your public service career. This guide should be your next step. Find scholarship opportunities for students majoring in education, criminal justice, emergency management, psychology/social work, public health, forestry, cybersecurity and fire science.

Professional Development and Networking

CenterLink, The Community of LGBT CentersCenterlink assists more than 250 LGBT community centers across the country and abroad with networking opportunities. It also offers peer-based technical assistance and training, serving over 2 million  people a year. Its directory offers a search tool to help you find the five-nearest service and networking organizations near you.

Out to InnovateSponsored by the National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals, Out to Innovate hosts summits to bring together LGBTQIA+ and high school, college, and postdoctoral students with career professionals in STEM fields. Participants can network with employers in the STEM community.

Advocacy Groups

American Psychological AssociationThe APA advocates for legislation that promotes equality for sexual and gender minorities, supporting laws that combat discrimination.  Its federally-funded sexual orientation and gender-identity data supports efforts to improve the physical and mental health services available to LGBTQIA+ communities and individuals.

Gay, Lesbian & Straight Educators Network (GLSEN)GLSEN was founded by teachers in 1990 and now has 43 chapters in 30 states. It is the largest national organization for educators, students, and parents, dedicated to  end homophobia in K-12 schools. It has designed and implemented harassment, bullying, and non-discrimination policies including accessibility for trans, and non-binary, and gender non-conforming students.

Global Respect In EducationGRIN was founded to address the increasing number of suicides among LGBTQIA+ communities in the United States and the United Kingdom. It advocates for the cause of battling abuse and fosters progressive advocacy for students seeking to gain equal rights in education.

National Center for Transgender EqualityThe National Center for Transgender Equality advocates for transgender people in issues including healthcare, employment, racial and economic justice, housing and homelessness, and violence. Its state action center lists ongoing legislation affecting the rights of transgender people.

National Network of LGBTQIA+ Family GroupsFamily Equality’s National Network of LGBTQIA+ Family Groups provides a social media and online network for LGBTQIA+ family groups across the United States. It sponsors a LGBTQIA+ Parents Virtual Meetup, Family Speak Out programs, International Family Equality Day, podcasts, and resources for local, state and national advocacy.

National LGBTQ Task ForceThe Task Force is a nonprofit social justice advocacy organization representing the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community. Its aim is to promote legislation and policies that provide anti-discrimination protection for all cultural and sexual identities.

LGBT National Help CenterThe Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) National Help Center supports a volunteer-run LGBT National Hotline, the LGBT National Youth Talkline, and the LGBT National Senior Hotline. Thee is a weekly moderated chat room for people ages 19 and younger. The nonprofit organization provides 15,000 local resources for cities and towns across the United States.

Trans Student Educational Resources (TSER)This youth-led organization supports the transformation of the nation’s educational system, advocating for the rights of trans and gender nonconforming students. Volunteers train teachers, work in tandem with other advocacy organizations, encourage trans representation in media, and advocate for transgender policies.  

Public Service Education

The Association of LGBTQIA+  JournalistsThe association sponsors CONNECT: A Student Journalism Training Project that is held each year. CONNECT selects undergraduate and graduate LGBTQIA+  students from across the country, offering them real-world experience for those considering a career in journalism.

Association for Public Policy Analysis & ManagementStudent members of APPAM have access to mentoring and instruction in areas that assist their transition from graduation to careers in public policy. Students can participate in APPAM’s Mentor Matching Program, educational podcasts, and regional student conferences. In addition, APPAM’s Diversity Committee has created the Equity & Inclusion Fellowship to foster the participation of underrepresented public policy students.

National LGBT Health Education CenterThe center is host to distance and web-based learning opportunities for its members. It offers webinars, live Q&A sessions, and a year-long and six-month-long continuing education program for health providers. It strives to create high-quality care for patients in the transgender and gender-diverse population.

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services LBGT Cultural Competency Training Healthcare students should take notice of The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), which trains the National Health Service Corps in providing culturally-competent care for LGBTQIA+ patients. In coordination with The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the HRSA offers training to build LGBT cultural competency among health care providers.