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.

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.

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.

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.