Scholarships for LGBTQ+ students
The LGBTQ+ community is made up of millions of people across the globe, with each person having their own unique perspective and voice to contribute to the society they live in. With more than 200 centers on U.S. college campuses, there remains a gap to fill the needs of the approximately 17% of students identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, asexual, queer, or questioning, and 1.7% who identify as trans, nonbinary, or questioning.
Despite progress made, people who identify as LGBTQ+ are still underrepresented in many fields with LGBTQ+ women less likely to earn a degree, and both men and women earning less than their heterosexual counterparts.
Members of the LGBTQ+ community face a number of challenges and having the ability to pay for college shouldn’t be one of them. To make up for the lack of equity people face, numerous scholarships are offered to help LGBTQ+ individuals access higher education.
General scholarships for LGBTQ+ students
This financial award is offered to support the dreams and aspirations of LGBTQ+ youth in the U.S. Open to members of Bold.org who are LGBTQ+, the selection criteria seeks “bold, driven, ambitious” applicants. All ages, from high school to graduate school levels, are eligible to apply for this scholarship.
Scholarship amount: $500
Official scholarship website: WiseGeek LGBTQ+ Awareness Scholarship
Pride Palace, an apparel company, offers a scholarship to LGBTQ+ individuals who are “champions for change” in the community. To be selected, you must submit your social media handle with a post of 3 sentences or less describing why you’re proud to be a part of the LGBTQ+ community.
Amount: $500 (2 winners)
Official scholarship website: Pride Palace LGBTQ+ Scholarship
Students who identify as LGBTQ+ and enroll full-time at an accredited undergraduate or graduate school are eligible to apply. Applicants are chosen based on their academic achievements, leadership skills, and community involvement activities. Financial need is considered, and awards are renewable up to 4 years.
Official scholarship website: Point Foundation
LGBTQ+ undergraduate scholarships
The Colin Higgins Courage Award recipients need to demonstrate evidence of their courage over discrimination and hardship through their actions. LGBTQ+ individuals aged 20 and under qualify.
Official scholarship website: Colin Higgins Foundation Youth Courage Award
Open to high school students who identify as LGBTQ+. Applicants must have a 3.0 CPA, be U.S. citizens, demonstrate considerable community service, and be accepted to an accredited school based in the U.S. or Canada.
Official scholarship website: LEAGUE Foundation
The Unicorn Scholarship is offered to LGBTQ+ students who are currently pursuing an undergraduate degree. Recipients are selected based on a written 100-500 word essay about self-love and how they plan to make a difference to the LGBTQ+ community by raising awareness and increasing positivity.
Official scholarship website: Unicorn Scholarship
PFLAG grants numerous awards each year to LGBTQ+ high school graduating seniors or allies. Specifics of each award varying according to the chapter of PFLAG offering the scholarship. Selection criteria includes being a graduating high school senior entering college, self-identifying as LGBTQ+ (or an ally) and demonstrating an interest in serving the LGBTQ+ community.
Award: $1,000 – $5,000 (average, but may vary)
Official scholarship website: PFLAG Chapter Scholarship Programs
Every year, the PFund Foundation offers numerous scholarships to individuals either identifying as LGBTQ+ or being an ally of the community to recognize courageous leadership, academic achievement, and community service. Open to undergraduate students with a minimum age of 17 years.
Award: $1,000 – $10,000.
Official scholarship website: PFund Foundation Scholarship Program
Gay male students who are pursuing an undergraduate degree are eligible to apply for this award. Applicants are required to write a short essay describing the challenges they’ve faced as a result of identifying as gay.
Official scholarship website: Mike Rhoades It’s Okay to be Gay Scholarship
Scholarships based on location
The Pride Foundation offers numerous scholarships each year to LGBTQ+ students. Awards are given to students who demonstrate leadership and reside in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. Awards are often decided based on financial need or inadequate community resources and support.
Amount: $3,250 to $12,000
Official scholarship website: Pride Foundation
Open to students living in the New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut tri-state area, the Live Out Loud scholarship is awarded annually to 3 students who identify as LGBTQ+ and have made an impact to their community. Financial need is considered.
Official scholarship website: Live Out Loud
Undergraduate students who identify as LGBTQ+, or have a parent who does, and have lived for at least one year in Oregon or the counties of Clark, Cowlitz, Skamania, or Wahkiakum Counties in Washington State are eligible to apply for this award.
Official scholarship website: Peacock Productions
Every year, the eQuality Scholarship Collaborative offers several scholarships to residents of northern and central California to honor their demonstrated service to the LGBTQ+ community. Some scholarships are reserved for students planning to pursue medical school.
Official scholarship website: eQuality Scholarship Collaborative
Full-time students who attend Northern Michigan University, maintain good academic standing, and show documented leadership, support, or involvement in the GLBT community at NMU are eligible to apply for this award.
Official scholarship website: NMU Student Equity and Engagement Center
Students aged 17 or older by the beginning of June 2022, who identify as LGBTQIA, and live in or attend school in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, or South Dakota are eligible to apply for several scholarships through a single application. Awards are given to individuals who demonstrate courage, resilience, and commitment to ensuring the LGBTQIA community lives free from discrimination, violence, isolation, and invisibility.
Official scholarship website: PFund Foundation
LGBTQ+ students enrolled in a college degree or teaching credential program at San Francisco State University, Stanford University, University of California at Berkeley, University of California San Francisco, or the University of California Hasting College of Law, with a minimum 2.5 GPA are eligible to apply.
Official scholarship website: Markowski-Leach Scholarships
This scholarship is awarded to immigrants who identify as LGBTQI and attend an accredited nonprofit school in New York City. Applicants need to be sophomores or higher, maintain a minimum 3.25GPA, and not holding U.S. citizenship, a green card, or an F-1 visa.
Official scholarship website: Stonewall Community Foundation
Scholarships based on major
LGBTQ students or active allies pursuing a STEM career are eligible to apply for the NOGLSTP award. One award goes to an undergraduate student who has completed at least 2 years of college, and a second award is given to a graduate or professional student.
Award: $5,000 (each)
Official scholarship website: NOGLSTP
The Pride in Diversity Scholarship is awarded to individuals in the LGBTQ community who are enrolled in STEM programs. The goal of the scholarship is support students and drive diversity in the field. Financial need is considered.
Official scholarship website: Pride in Diversity Scholarship
LGBTQ+ students who are pursuing a journalism degree are eligible to apply. Applicants submit 5 samples of their work, photos, or clips, along with a written story about an LGBTQ+ issue. Both undergraduate and graduate students are welcome to apply.
Award: Up to $5,000
Official scholarship website: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists
This scholarship is available to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who identify as LGBTQIA+ and are junior or senior undergraduate students at accredited colleges. In addition to needing to maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA, application criteria stipulates that students are enrolled full time and have declared a major in environmental science (e.g., ecology, geology, or hydrogeology) or engineering (e.g., environmental, electrical, civil, chemical, mechanical).
Official scholarship website: Brown and Caldwell
The above scholarships are a limited sample of the scholarships available specifically to LGBTQ+ students. As with all students there are other financial aid options available that are worth considering. More information can be found on the Federal Student Aid website or by visiting the financial aid office at your chosen college.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Where can I find scholarships for LGBTQ+?
The Degree Choices database is a good resource to help you narrow down scholarships for LGBTQ+. Other good resources you can check for LGBTQ+ awards include Bold.org, NurseJournal.org, Unigo, Petersons, Campus Pride, and Fastweb, to name a few. We also recommend you speak with your high school counselor, college financial aid office, or local organizations to learn about additional scholarship opportunities.
How do I know if I qualify for LGBTQ+ scholarships?
If you identify as LGBTQ+, you are eligible and, in some cases, being an ally to this community can also make you eligible. Scholarship varies based on degree program, level of education, or your geographic location. Check eligibility requirements to see if you qualify for scholarships that match your circumstances and interests.
How can I get money to pay for my degree?
Scholarships are just one way to help pay for college. We recommend you apply to see if you’re eligible for federal grants or low-interest federal student loans. To apply, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This form assesses your eligibility for aid and is utilized by most financial aid programs.