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    A Complete LGBT Scholarships Guide in 2021

    September 23, 2021 | Staff Writers

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    LGBTQ scholarships are available from various organizations, colleges, and universities. They offer extracurricular, academic, and financial opportunities to students in the LGBTQ communities. However, some scholarships are given exclusively to transgender, lesbian, bisexual, intersex, and gay students. Also, there are scholarships for LGBTQ allies, the people who support the LGBTQ community and are dedicated to promoting equal rights. Some scholarships offer assistance beyond finances and may offer mentors and leadership training to advocate for LGBTQ rights. 

    Scholarships Available in The LGBTQ Community

    Different foundations and organizations offer LBTQ students scholarships. Point Foundation is one of them, and it gives out between 20 and 30 scholarships annually. The average amount of financial assistance given to the LGBTQ community is as high as $10,000. A student can renew it for four years. It also gives the students some leadership training and mentorship, along with professional connections.

    To qualify for this financial aid, you must have a history of involvement with the community and a track record showing your leadership skill in addition to excellent academic performance. Being part of people working to fight for the LGBTQ community also increases your chances of qualifying for the scholarship. The best time to apply for the loan is at the end of January. 

    PFLAG or Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays scholarship offer both local and national financial assistance to high school seniors and allies every year. At the national level, PFLAG awards between $1,000 and $5,000. It is given to students who have worked within their community and must be graduating and looking forward to joining college. The scholarship recipient must be in the LGBTQ community or someone fighting for their human rights. The deadline to apply for this financial aid is 2nd April every year. 

    Every year, League Foundation LGBTQ Scholarship awards seven scholarships to gay, transgender, bisexual, queer, and lesbian students. You must be graduating from high school and want to join college. The application process includes writing two essays about yourself, two recommendation letters, and your involvement within the community. You are more likely to qualify if you support and participate in LGBTQ projects and extracurricular activities. The deadline to apply for this scholarship is 5th April every year. 

    Gay men below the age of 35 years can apply for Gamma Mu Foundation Scholarships. They must be a member of the LGBT community to qualify for the financial aid, and the award ranges between $1,000 and $2,500. This organization prefers students from remote areas classified as rural or someone who has had to deal with discrimination due to their sexual orientation. A student with leadership traits and is academically strong also has high chances of getting awarded the aid. The application deadline is 31st March every year. 

    If you plan to study math, engineering, or any technology-related course, you qualify to apply for the National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals Scholarships. NOGLSTP offers up to $5,000 to students who are part of the LGBTQ community. One award goes to an undergraduate student, but they must have already completed a minimum of two years in college. Another is awarded to a professional or a graduate. You must attach three referral letters and a personal essay when applying for financial assistance. The ideal time to apply for the scholarship is between April and June. 

    The Queer Foundation Scholars Program awards up to $1,000 every year to three students who win their essay contest. The Queer Foundation advises, mentors, and tutors those who get the financial aid and recipients are expected to pass the same mentorship to others and participate in community services. You must also be interested in queer theory studies or something related to queer social and legal issues. You must apply before 14th February every year. 

    Lesbian students and the LGBT community talented in journalism can apply for the Association of LGBT Journalists Leroy F. Aarons Scholarship Award. It sponsors both graduates and undergraduates and offers $5,000 annually. You must be interested in pursuing journalism to qualify for this financial aid. When applying, you are required to submit samples of your work, including video or audio projects and news articles. For photography journalists, they send samples of photos published in school or local papers. Besides, all applicants must submit a story based on LGBTQ topics, which you will find in the application instructions. This scholarship applies during the spring semester. 

    If you are looking for higher chances of getting help, apply for Pride Foundation Scholarships. This foundation gives out over 50 scholarships every year to students who qualify for LGBTQ scholarships. However, you must be living in Washington, Montana, Oregon, Alaska, and Idaho. By 2015, the standard financial aid was $3,250, but before that, they were students who got as high as $10,000. The application process includes writing an essay and a recommendation letter. These scholarship opportunities are open for application in mid-October. 

    The Live Out Loud Educational Scholarship is one of the highest scholarships available, with $10,000 scholarships awarded to three deserving students every year. It is for LGBTQ students in New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut. This organization sponsors students who have shown support and have been active in fighting for the gay community and human rights. Some of the people who benefited from this foundation include a student who began an anti-bullying campaign to protect gays. 

    However, to apply, you must write two essays, present two recommendation letters and attend an interview if you end on the final list. The ideal time to apply is by 31st March. 

    LGBTQ students are vulnerable to bullying and many social injustices. They get support from different foundations to ensure they get a good education and complete various projects. Astraea is one of the largest foundations that provide financial support to transgender, lesbians, LGBTI, and organizations fighting for women and human rights. 

    Every year, the Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation also pay for musicals, screenplays, operas, and plays. All the work should represent the lesbian and gay lifestyle positively. The content must also be inspired by art, an event, or a historic person. This writing competition opens between 1st March and 30th June. 

    Campus Pride is your one-stop for all LGBT data regarding scholarships. They collect information on LGBTQ financial aid and even details such as how to apply. All the data is free, and those listing scholarships are also not charged anything. 

    Colin Higgins Foundation awards the Youth Courage Awards to young people every year for their courage to fight against harsh societal norms. These are people who face a lot of hardship, bigotry, and intolerance because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The winners bag up to $10,000 and a trip to New York during the Pride weekend. Besides, they also get a chance to attend the Creating Change Conference, where they meet and learn for great LGBTQ leaders. 

    To ensure the LGBTQ members are safe, you can find check LGBTI travel information at Travel.State.Gov; it is not a site for gays only; this is a government site that recognizes the travel needs of the LGBTQ community. The USA Department of State highly recommends doing this, especially if you want to take an international trip where attitudes and laws may affect gays and lesbians’ safety. 

    Phoenix Pride Scholarship Program is for students in the LGBTQ or is dependents of a community member. You must have a 2.5 GPA minimum to qualify. You must also be a student in an Arizona school, but only for those in accredited colleges. Being a high school graduate in Maricopa County accepted into Arizona College increases your chances of getting the scholarship. 

    The Yale LGBT Studies Research Fellowship happens once per year and lasts for a whole month. It helps members to access Yale resources regarding LGBT Studies to scholars living away from New Haven. Students get support if they intend to pursue a field that supports the research in transgender, gay, lesbian, queer, and bisexual studies at the famous Yale University. Every faculty at the university has extensive resources, and the school’s library and archives help them carry out broad research. 

    Any graduate students doing dissertation research and independent scholars along are free to apply. Those who get the financial aid receive $4,000 to help pay their travel expenses to and from Haven and pay for other things they may need. It takes place any month from September to April.

    Benefits of Scholarships for Members of The LGBTQ Community 

    Education is essential to everyone regardless of their sexual orientation. LGBTQ community faces hardships because they are not acceptable in most scholarship programs, especially those affiliated with religions. However, there are specific scholarship programs for the LGBTQ community with opportunities for minorities. If you are a high school student looking for financial aid to further your education, you can apply for scholarships. 

    One benefit of getting this form of assistance is that an LGBT student will not have to worry about repayments. As long as you deserve the scholarship, it is free money but awarded on a merit basis. Most students have to borrow big loans to fund their college education, and by the time they graduate, they are in debt. Scholarships for gay or trans students will save you from such situations. The majority of people are without tertiary education because the thought of debt puts them off. It is even more difficult when your sexual orientation increases the odds of discrimination. However, making money available for LGBTQ students ensures students can pursue their dreams and keep fighting for their human rights. 

    When you have less to worry about, you will excel academically. Nothing raises awareness of LGBTQ rights like excelling academically. This opportunity impacts their employment opportunities, and it is hard not to get noticed with an outstanding performance. The free money enables you to research, enhance your knowledge and develop skills that not only benefit you but the whole community. 

    LGBTQ youth struggle financially when in school. They have to work part-time and have less time for their studies, which hinders their academic success. The majority hardly graduate on time. Tuition fees are costly and stress young people as they try to make it between classes and jobs, and some end up quitting school. Only a scholarship can ease all this and enable students to graduate with top grades.

    LGBTQ loans are easy to access, and the money goes to deserving students. Since the competition is not very stiff, most students have a high chance of qualifying for one, which helps youth attend the universities of their dream and become prominent people in society. 

    LGBTQ fills up the gap between those who have high income and those on the lower side. It also gives gays, lesbians, queer, trans, and others a chance to get a good education. Some members of the LBTQ community have no support from their family or society. This lack of support makes it difficult to go to college, despite excellent academic performance. 

    Apart from giving financial assistance, LGBTQ scholarship helps the recipient to become philanthropic. After studying and finding work, they should give back to the LGBTQ community and help others achieve their dreams. 

    Where to Look for LGBTQ Scholarships

    It is not easy for the LGBTQ to navigate in many areas of life, including financial ones. Some have no or little support from families and, therefore, no one to help them pay for their school expenses. FAFSA is not always a good option because choosing gender is challenging and likely to have you discriminated against. You need to find the right resources, and even though they are not many, you have chances of finding a scholarship if you apply via LGBTQ scholarship programs.

    Earning a degree can help you and other gays mitigate some of the concerns that affect your rights. Most of the scholarship programs are based on merits or specific geographic location. The application process requires you to submit personal essays, recommendation letters, transcripts, and any other essential information. You will find these LGBTQ scholarships online, but you can talk to your school’s counselor to find more opportunities to help you meet the cost of college education. 

    There are three types of LQBTQ scholarships. The general LGBTQ scholarship programs are given to students identified as LGBTQ. But some may be students within a specific geographic location, but some are available countrywide. 

    Discipline-specific scholarship programs are for students looking forward to pursuing a specific discipline. They are awarded based on merits and based on restrictions that match with the industry or career. For example, you must prove your journalistic skills to get a scholarship to pursue that career. 

    It is also possible to find some LGBTQ scholarships based demographically, which means they are for women or men, specific ethnicity groups, or any other intersection belonging to the LGBTQ community. 

    How to Apply for LGBTQ Scholarships

    The process of applying for scholarships is not easy, but it’s harder for LGBTQ students who want to pursue college degrees. They have to fight for their rights and equality in almost everything, and scholarship application is not an exception. Those who are still hiding the sexual orientation find it extremely difficult to fill the application forms. Some choose not to apply for any of them and eventually lose the chance to join the university. You can use tips that will ease the scholarship application when you finally graduate from high school.

    Two of the most common requirements for LGBTQ scholarship programs are community involvement and campaigning for the community. If you plan to apply for a scholarship after high school, start getting involved with such projects. You can also join the GSA club while still in school. 

    Take time to understand what happens after you win the scholarship. If you have not come out, it may be hard for you to participate in things such as a celebration publicly. The scholarships state what happens after you are awarded the financial aid; ask a legal expert to translate the language to understand the fine print before submitting your application. Besides, some schools list those sponsored by LGBTQ foundations on their website for everyone to see. 

    Before applying for a rainbow scholarship, find out what the name of the scholarship is. If you are not comfortable with scholarships that are obviously meant for LGBTQ students, do not apply. in fact, you should know that scholarships will appear on the scholarship award letter, which means other people like your parents can see where your financial aid is coming from. You can talk to the foundation offering assistance to see how they’ve listed it. 

    Apply for the scholarship as instructed. Just like other financial assistance such as federal student aid, you must follow specific instructions. While some applications are simple and only require you to prove you are a member of the LGBTQ community, others want you to prove your commitment. You must meet the requirements to stand a chance of winning the scholarship. For example, several organizations will ask you to join college and participate in various LGBTQ-related events. But some are kind enough to consider what you have been doing in high school. 

    Some LGBTQ opportunities do not state their targeted students. You have to read the description and identify them. Avoid scanning through a list of scholarships, instead visit their website and search deeply. They are hidden, especially if the scholarship is named after someone. 

    Have strong relationships with your teachers and other staff in your school. These are the people who will support your LGBTQ scholarship application. If you have been an active person in activism, they will tell it. You may need recommendation letters, and your teachers are the best to talk about your abilities and accomplishments. If you are not out yet, look for someone you can trust and feel comfortable talking to.

    The process of applying for a scholarship is complicated and can drain you mentally and emotionally. It is difficult when scholarships require personal essays about your experience as a gay, lesbian, or transgender. Since not everyone has excellent writing skills, ask for help to put points across professionally. The best person to help you is an LGBTQ mentor; they can review the application forms and essays and suggest changes to ensure you end up with a flawless application. 

    Work hard after you win the scholarship to give back to society and the community in the future. It is not for LGBTQ students to conquer and become successful, so make donations and support scholarship funding so that other LGBTQ students can study in colleges and universities without financial stress. 

    Tips on Applying for An LGBTQ Scholarship 

    There are several things that you can do to strengthen your LGBTQ scholarship application. Take your time to research and provide what the foundation or organization wants from applicants. For example, go to their websites, find out their mission statement, and give them exactly what they want. 

    Volunteer to work with your community and especially in LGBTQ projects. However, in places where rainbow students are accepted, participate in all possible events. Create memories using pictures and especially those covered by recognized magazines or papers. Most foundations are looking for a commitment to study and later give back to the LGBTQ community. Even though all students have a right to attend a college of their choice, the department of education should enlighten the public about LGBTQ rights.

    Make sure you have professional profiles online. Google your full name to see what your online profiles say about you. If you have inappropriate materials posted online, remove them. These are some of the reasons some people miss out on their lifetime opportunity. 

    While some LGBTQ scholarship programs are easy to find, some are only available via scholarship search engines. They include scholarship.com, Fastweb, collegedata, kaarme.com, and College Board.  

    Answer all questions, including the optional ones. They are essential when using scholarship search engines and will generate many matches for your scholarship needs. Also, apply to as many scholarships as you can; it will increase your chances of winning one. Some of the financial aids have few applicants because they ward even $1000, increasing your chances of finding help. 

    Participate in essay contests because most students will opt to skip these. Since only a few applicants are ready to write the essays, your odds of succeeding in the application increases significantly. 

    Apply for the undergraduate scholarship with passion. In the essay, let the admission board feel your voice. Describe yourself in a way that everyone can understand who you are. Also, focus on different problems and include how you found a solution.  LGBTQ scholarships are easier to apply for than FAFSA

    What Are the Requirements of Applying for An LGBTQ Scholarship? 

    College students have a lot to do, and it’s not easy if you are struggling financially. If you are an LBTQ student, things may be a little more difficult for you. But with foundations such as College Pride, it is possible to find a scholarship. You should know a few things to help you succeed in scholarship applications. One of them is applying as soon as you can. While the deadline may seem to be far, a scholarship process is not easy. Start preparing for this process as soon as you find out what you want to study. 

    However, before you rush to apply for a scholarship; make sure it’s the right one for you. Some of these programs do not accept LGBTQ students. Also, even some of the rainbow financial aids are for specific subjects, and others are geographically limited. Confirm that you match the eligibility requirements. It would be a waste of time to dedicate your time and energy to a scholarship application only to realize it’s not ideal for you. Prepare all documents, including your certificates showing previous education academic or work recommendation letter and language certificates. These are the basic requirements and nothing is hard to find. 

    Conclusion

    Whether you are an LGBTQ student or an ally, it is possible to find a college that’s ready to cultivate a student body consisting of diverse people. This push for diversity has made it possible for LGBTQ foundations to offer scholarships. They make the dreams and educational goals of gays, lesbians, bisexual and queer students come true.

    Be sure to learn more about the university you choose to attend to have an easy time on campus. Questions regarding family, privacy, safety, and identity are likely to come up. Avoid schools in areas where your safety as a member of the LGBTQ is not guaranteed; instead, apply for those located in areas where you can enjoy your sexual orientation without being threatened. Also, consider doing thorough research on what such scholarships entail. You can always do a quick internet search to know more about different organizations that offer scholarships to the LGBTQ community.  

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