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College Scholarships for LGTBQ Students Diverse Resources that Support LGBTQ Students on Campus

LGBTQ resource centers are popping up on college campuses all over the United States. Even in areas that may lack legal protections for LGBTQ students, academic institutions are providing welcome space and offering LGBTQ-specific scholarships to encourage applicants from all backgrounds and identities and create a rich tapestry of college life. There are also regional scholarships for LGBTQ students and various organization, foundation and community funds that students in the spectrum can apply to for aid. In this overview of LGBTQ scholarship opportunities, discover community connections that can support you through your academic career and beyond!

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Scholarships and Financial Aid for LGBTQ Students

There are many colleges who want to cultivate a diverse student body by providing scholarships for LGBTQ students, as well as LGBTQ professional, regional and leadership organizations that fund LGBTQ students working toward their educational and career goals. Take a look at the following scholarship offers designed for applicants who proudly express their unique experiences in the LGBTQ community.

Regional / State Specific

SCHOOL SPECIFIC

Many schools offer institution-specific funding opportunities specifically for their LGBTQ students. Many are degree based, such as the University of San Francisco’s Social Justice Scholars program for LGBTQ School Counseling majors and the Cornell University’s Anna and Hyman Greenberg Scholarship for LGBTQ students pursuing Veterinary Medicine.

DEGREE SPECIFIC

Dream Out Loud Scholarship
Amount: Up to $1000
Due Date: Late February

This program gives out four awards per year, specifically for LGTBQ students pursuing film, theatre, dance or music degrees. This scholarship also comes with a year-long mentorship opportunity.

Specific Requirements:

Applicants must be accepted by or currently enrolled at an accredited four-year college or university and have a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Queens of the Castro Grace Towers Scholarship for the Arts
Amount: $1,000 and $2,000 awards available
Due Date: May to June

This scholarship is open to LGBTQ students who are interested in pursuing degrees in the arts. All scholarship information is posted on the group’s social media pages during the live application period.

Specific Requirements:

Open to students 16 to 25 years old in California, Chicago and New York City.

Hampton Roads Pride Business Scholarship
Amount: $1,600
Due Date: May 1

LGBTQ students and allies majoring in business are eligible for this scholarship. Applicants must be in their junior or senior year of undergrad with a 3.5 GPA and submit an essay on their demonstrated service to the LGBT community.

Specific Requirements:

Open to students attending college in Virginia.

Morgan Stanley Richard B. Fisher Scholarship and Internship Program
Amount: $15,000
Due Date: May 1

LGBTQ college sophomores and juniors are encouraged to apply for this combination scholarship and internship program with Morgan Stanley, which students of all majors are encouraged to apply for.

Specific Requirements:

The internship portion of this award takes place at the company’s Baltimore, Maryland office.

Reaching Out LGBTQ MBA Fellowship
Amount: $10,000 minimum
Due Date: Mid-January

LGBTQ and allied students participating in the Reaching Out LGBTQ MBA Fellowship Program will receive scholarship funds, mentoring and leadership opportunities as they pursue a master’s degree in business.

Specific Requirements:

Student must be attending one of the 40 participating colleges and universities.

Alexander G. Gray, Jr., Law Scholarship Award
Amount: $3,500
Due Date: February to March

The Massachusetts LGBTQ Bar Association provides a scholarship for a single student who demonstrates a commitment to and involvement in the LGBTQ community. Search for your state’s LGBTQ Bar Association here.

Specific Requirements:

Must be a law student in Massachusetts.

Donald Snow Law Scholarship
Amount: $3,500
Due Date: Mid-November

The LGBT Bar Association of Los Angeles offers a scholarship to locally enrolled law students with financial need who are either LGBTQ or have demonstrated an ongoing commitment to the promotion of the LGBTQ community’s civil rights.

Specific Requirements:

Must be a law student in the Los Angeles area to apply.

Franchise Law Diversity Scholarship
Amount: $4,000
Due Date: Late December

For law students enrolled in an ABA-accredited program who have taken at least one course on Franchise Law. LGBTQ students and members of minority groups are encouraged to apply.

Specific Requirements:

Students must have 2L or 3L status while receiving scholarship monies.

Out to Protect
Amount: $500 – $1,000
Due Date: varies

This scholarship provides funding for LGBTQ people enrolled in a basic law enforcement program, which can include police or sheriff’s academy, corrections academy or 911 dispatcher certification.

Specific Requirements:

Applicants can be self-sponsored students and financial need is not a required consideration.

Bill Caspare Memorial Fund Scholarship
Amount: $10,000
Due Date: Late June

Open to both LGBTQ and minority or multiracial students interested in pursuing careers in advertising and media, which could include new media, digital advertising or advertising data science.

Specific Requirements:

Applicants must be a junior or senior undergraduate or actively enrolling in graduate school with a GPA of 3.25 or higher.

Kay Longcope Scholarship Award
Amount: $3,000
Due Date: Early June

This scholarship through the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association provides tuition assistance to LGBTQ students of color pursuing a journalism career to promote fair and accurate media coverage for LGBTQ people.

Specific Requirements:

Open to both undergrad and graduate students at both community or four-year colleges.

Leroy F. Aarons Scholarship Award
Amount: $3,000
Due Date: Late May

This scholarship provides tuition assistance to LGBTQ students who intend to pursue journalism as a career and provide fair and accurate coverage for LGBTQ people, in accordance with the mission of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association.

Specific Requirements:

Open to students at both community colleges and four-year institutions.

Messenger-Anderson Journalism Scholarship and Internship Program
Amount: undisclosed
Due Date: undisclosed

This scholarship through the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force awards funds to LGBTQ undergraduate students pursuing a career in journalism at an accredited 4-year university.

Specific Requirements:

Scholarship details are reserved for members of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

California Teachers Association Safety in Schools Guy DeRosa Scholarship
Amount: $2,500
Due Date: Mid-December

Supporting self-identified LGBTQ community members enrolled in a teaching or counseling degree or graduate program, the California Teachers Association (CTA) aims to increase the number of LGBTQ educators in public schools to act as role models and promote respect for all.

Specific Requirements:

Open to public school students nominated by a member of the CTA or current CTA members.

Kenneth W. Payne Student Prize
Amount: $400
Due Date: Early June

Given by the Association for Queer Anthropology (AQA) to a graduate or undergraduate student who has done outstanding anthropological work on an LGBTQ topic.

Specific Requirements:

Open to all students dedicated to contributing to and advancing queer studies and our understanding of sexuality worldwide.

Malyon Smith Scholarship Research Award
Amount: $1,000
Due Date: Late March

An award from the Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues designed to mentoring and support the science of LGBTQ psychology.

Specific Requirements:

Any graduate student conducting research on LGBTQ psychology, sexual orientation and gender identity is encouraged to apply.

AfterCollege STEM Inclusion Scholarship
Amount: $500
Due Date: Late December

This scholarship provides students pursuing STEM degrees from underrepresented groups, including the LGBTQ community, funding for higher education.

Specific Requirements:

Candidates must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and be actively working towards a degree in Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics.

Edie Windsor Coding Scholarship
Amount: 50% of tuition
Due Date: Mid-April

Specifically designated for gender nonconforming and queer women who are pursing degrees in coding, this scholarship is a partnership between Make School’s Summer Academy, Dev Bootcamp, Thinkful and Hack Reactor.

Specific Requirements:

Students submit information about the coding program and school they want to attend as part of the application process.

National Gay Pilots Association Education Fund Scholarship
Amount: $5,000
Due Date: First Saturday of June

Current pilots who have earned at least a private and instrument pilot certificate and who are active in the LGBTQ community are eligible for three scholarships through the National Gay Pilots Association to further their careers in the aviation field.

Specific Requirements:

Students must be enrolled in an accredited 4-year college or university in the United States.

Out to Innovate Scholarship
Amount: $5,000
Due Date: Early August

The National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals provides scholarships for LGBTQ students or active allies pursuing degrees in STEM programs.

Specific Requirements:

Students must have completed at least 2 years of study in a STEM program at an accredited college or university while maintaining a 3.0 GPA.

LEADERSHIP / COMMUNITY

“Should I Say I’m Out When Applying for Scholarships?” and other FAQs

As LGBTQ students navigate the college process—from filling out applications to seeking financial aid to experiencing campus life—there are many questions that can come up surrounding identity, privacy, safety and family. The questions below are some of the most frequently asked by LGBTQ students as they apply for college and scholarships. Take a look to get answers and tips to help navigate the process.

My Family Doesn’t Know, But I Want to Apply for LGBTQ Scholarships

There are many resources that promote diversity in schools by funding LGBTQ students, but what if a student has not come out to their family? If you want to apply for LGBTQ-specific scholarships and financial aid without letting your family know, here are a few ideas to maintain your confidentiality while still receiving the funds you need to attend your ideal college.

Consider scholarships that are aimed at LGBTQ allies as well as LGBTQ students. NMU ALLIES Scholarship

This scholarship through Northern Michigan University is available to full-time students who have documented leadership or involvement in organizations, activities or issues that promote awareness and acceptance of the NMU LGBTQ community. Recipients do not have to identify as LGBTQ to receive the scholarship.

Apply for LGBTQ scholarships that will keep your information private if you receive the scholarship. eQuality Scholarships

Students residing in northern or central California who have demonstrated service to the LGBTQ community are eligible for this scholarship, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. This scholarship also protects the identity of any recipient who does not want to appear publicly on their website.

Look for LGBTQ scholarships that do not require letters of recommendation. Hampton Roads Pride Business Scholarship

This scholarship for LGBTQ students and allies attending college in Virginia only requires an essay and official transcripts. Students do not need to request recommendation letters from members of their community.

Exercise your right to educational privacy under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). FERPA Protections

This federal law protects the privacy of student educational records, including financial aid and scholarship information. Once a student turns 18 years old, parents do not have access to these records unless the student grants permission.

LGBTQ Scholarship Opportunities at Colleges

All students should consider their individual situations, career plans and the location of the schools they are applying to when beginning their college search, but many colleges also offer on-campus resources and financial aid for LGBTQ students. These scholarships are a signal that a college values the safety, strength, and education of their LGBTQ community. Below are some examples of what on-campus resources to look for when seeking scholarships and support as an LGBTQ student.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR AT A SCHOOL

Gender Identity/Expression and Sexual Orientation Resource Center
Washington State University

The Dlugosh-McKee GIESORC Scholarship is provided in partnership with the Washington State Scholarship Office, awarding students who are active in the GLBTA culture and community on campus.

Center for LGBT Education, Outreach, and Services
Ithaca University

The Marc S. Wigler ’87 Scholarship for Ithaca College LGBT Students is awarded to students with academic promise and financial need who demonstrate service to and/or leadership within the LGBTQ community, with preference given to self-identified LGBTQ students.

Diversity / Gender / Pride Center
San Diego State University

Cotton-Metzger Gay and Lesbian Scholarship is a financial aid option for students who are active in and supportive of San Diego State University’s LGBTQ community.

University of Texas at Dallas

The Keith – Huckaba Endowed Student Support Fund Award is a scholarship for students who show significant financial need, have a record of academic excellence, and demonstrate service or advocacy for LGBTQ communities.

University of Wisconsin – Green Bay

The UWGB Pride Center Scholarship Fund is offered through the University of Wisconsin for undergraduate or graduate students.

LGBT Resource Center
Augsburg University

The Karen Neitge Scholarship is awarded to an Augsburg University student who demonstrates academic achievement and a commitment to social justice issues of gender expression, identity, and sexual orientation.

Indiana University

The GLBT Alumni Association awards academic and emergency scholarships to students attending Indiana University.

Pennsylvania State University

The Barry H. Marshal Scholarship provides recognition and financial assistance to outstanding undergraduate students who have a demonstrated financial need and who advocate for or contribute to the LGBTQ community, with preference given to students from New York state.

Rutgers – The State University of New Jersey-New Brunswick

The LGBTQA Leadership Scholarship is awarded to support and recognize outstanding Rutgers – New Brunswick undergraduate students who have a demonstrated financial need, high academic achievement, and promote LGBTQ rights and/or have worked to empower the LGBTQ community.

University of California San Diego

The Russ Ty Scholarship is given to a current gay and lesbian undergraduate student at UC San Diego based on academic achievement and financial need.

University of Louisville

The Ken Terrill Memorial Award gives annual funds to an enrolled student who demonstrates leadership in the LGBTQ community.

LGBT Greek Life
Gamma Rho Lambda

The LGBTQIA Commission Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships for LGBTQ students in need, was chosen by the Theta chapter of Gamma Rho Lambda at Northern Arizona University.

Project Gutenberg List of LGBT Fraternities and Sororities

This list of LGBTQ sororities and fraternities offers opportunities for community, service, and academic recognition to LGBTQ students interested in joining Greek life on campus.

NOT ALL STATES ARE EQUAL

Title IX Exemptions for Private and Religious Institutions

States Included: National. Colleges can apply for a Title IX exemption, including privately-funded, religious institutions.

Campuses fighting back: Georgetown University

This private, Catholic/Jesuit liberal arts college in Washington D.C. affirms Title IX nondiscrimination policies on its website and offers a Lavender Graduation ceremony for LGBTQ and allied graduates in addition to other LGBTQ student resources.

University of Dayton

Based in Ohio, this private, Catholic college adheres to Title IX and offers LGBTQ support services on-campus.

The State of California

In 2016, California was the first state to attempt to pass a bill to eliminate religious exemptions to California’s Equity in Higher Education Act. This would require equal treatment for all in education regardless of gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation.

Censoring LGBT Topics in Schools

States Included: Alabama, Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas

Campuses fighting back: Arizona State University

ASU offers students gender-inclusive housing as well as staff trainings to ensure that employees are sensitive to LGBTQ topics.

University of Texas at Dallas

The UT Dallas Student Counseling Center (SCC) includes LGBTQ student comfort and safety in their values and offers a Sexual and Gender Identity and Expression Group where LGBTQ students can gather. UT Dallas’ SCC also has a Gender and Sexuality Consultation Team trained to serve transgender and gender-nonconforming students.

Non-Discrimination Laws Protecting LGBTQ Students

States Included: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Washington DC provide protection on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Wisconsin prevents discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation only.

Title IX Protections Allowing Trans, Gender Non-conforming and Nonbinary Students to Attend Single-Sex Colleges

States Included: National

Campuses supporting: Smith College

This all-female college allows any student who self-identifies as female to apply, enroll and graduate.

Mount Holyoke College

While historically a women’s college, Mount Holyoke accepts any student who is not a cisgender man and supports them throughout their academic career, even if their identity changes over time.

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