Financial Aid for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Students

Find LGBT scholarships to help pay for school.

Kathryn Knight Randolph

May 25, 2016

Financial Aid for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Students

There are a number of scholarships available to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students. These scholarships offer a variety of criteria for eligibility. This is not an exhaustive list of all the possible sources of scholarships.

If you identify as a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender student, you should also call the colleges that interest you and ask if they have a LGBT Resource Center. The resource center should have information about any local LGBT awards.

General Scholarships

Stonewall Community Foundation
The Stonewall Community Foundation offers several scholarship opportunities for LGBT students.

SOLGA Kenneth W. Payne Student Prize Competition
The American Anthropological Association offers this award for a scholarly anthropological paper, written by a student, on a gay or lesbian topic.

Gamma Mu Foundation Scholarships
The Gamma Mu Foundation awards individual scholarships to gay men who want to continue their education beyond high school at a college, university, or through a vocational or professional training program. The program supports a wide range of educational options, including vocational and technical training, as well as Associate’s, Bachelor’s and graduate degrees.

LEAGUE Foundation
The LEAGUE Foundation awards scholarships for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender high school seniors. Scholarships include the Matthew Shepard Memorial Scholarship (name used with permission of the Shepard family), named for the Wyoming college student murdered in 1998 for his sexual orientation, and the Laurel Hester Memorial Scholarship.

Malyon-Smith Scholarship Award
The American Psychological Association’s Division 44 (Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian and Gay Issues) offers this award to support graduate student research into psychological issues relevant to gay, lesbian and bisexual individuals, groups or communities.

Live Out Loud Annual Scholarship
The Live Out Loud Annual Scholarship provides five $5,000 scholarships to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students who have shown exceptional leadership, courage, and achievement. The scholarship is open to graduating high school seniors in the tri-state area (NY, CT, NJ).

NGPA-Education Fund Scholarships for Aviation Students
The National Gay Pilots Association (NGPA) Education Fund provides scholarships to members of the gay and lesbian community (including straight allies) who are pursuing an aviation career as a professional pilot.

National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA)
NLGJA provides several scholarships and awards for “students who demonstrate a commitment to providing fair and accurate coverage of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.”

NWSA Graduate Lesbian Caucus Award
This award provides financial assistance to graduate students doing Master’s thesis or Ph.D. dissertation research in lesbian, queer and LGBT studies.

Roy Scrivner Research Grants
The American Psychological Foundation (APF) sponsors the Roy Scrivner Research Grants for graduate and postdoctoral research concerning the study of lesbian, gay and bisexual family psychology and family therapy.

The Point Foundation
The Point Foundation is a national, publicly-supported scholarship fund that provides financial support, mentoring and hope to meritorious undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate students who are marginalized because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Queer Foundation Scholarships
The Queer Foundation sponsors a high school seniors English essay contest to promote queer studies.

Athletic Scholarships

Policies on eligibility of transexual students for gender-based athletic scholarships and participation on gender-based sports teams vary significantly from school to school. Often schools will go by the current gender of the individual, if the physical transformation is complete, and the gender listed on the birth certificate otherwise.

Team DC Student-Athlete Scholarship
(Washington, DC) The Team DC Student-Athlete Scholarship awards a scholarship to a self-identified lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) student-athlete who has enhanced the perception of the LGBT community through contributions and involvement in one or more sports.

Regional Scholarships

Asian/Pacific Gays & Friends Scholarship (Southern California)
To be eligible, you must be a male Asian/Pacific Islander involved in gay community leadership/activities in Southern California (counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura).

Gay and Lesbian Business Association of Santa Barbara Scholarship (Santa Barbara, California)
This non-profit organization provides financial assistance to lesbian, gay or bisexual undergraduate or graduate students enrolled in postsecondary institutions in Santa Barbara County. Applicants must show financial need, academic achievement, community involvement and extracurricular activities.

George Choy Memorial Scholarship/Gay Asian Pacific Alliance (Bay Area, California)
The Gay Asian Pacific Alliance (GAPA) offers this award to provide financial assistance to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Asian and Pacific Islanders. To be eligible, you must be an Asian/Pacific Islander graduating from a Bay Area high school (counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Napa, Sonoma and Solano).

Bobby Griffith Memorial Scholarship (Contra Costa County, California)
This award provides financial assistance to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth who contribute to the community by improving the environment for GLBT youth. To be eligible, you must live in Contra Costa County and be a graduating senior.

Peter Kaufman Memorial Scholarship (California)
To be eligible, you must be a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender high school senior who has worked with the GLBT community.

Jonathan Lax Scholarship Fund for Gay Men (Philadelphia, PA)
The Lax Scholarship Fund was established in 1994 by the late entrepreneur and inventor Jonathan R. Lax for the express purpose of encouraging gay men to obtain additional education, aspire to positions in which they contribute to society, be open about their sexual preference, and act as role models for other gay men with similar potential.

PFLAG National LGBT Scholarship Program
The PFLAG National GLBT Scholarship Program was established by Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) in 2003 to help support the education of GLBT youth and allies. To be eligible, a candidate must be a graduating high school senior who self-identifies as either a GLBT person or supporter and who demonstrates an interest in service to the GLBT community.

PFLAG/HATCH Youth Scholarship Foundation (Houston, Texas)
Out for Education is one of the largest funders of LGBT scholarships in America. They provide scholarships to LGBT youth from the Houston area or attending college or universities in Houston.

The Harvey Milk/Tom Homann Gay and Lesbian Student Scholarship (San Diego County, California)
This award was established by the Imperial Court de San Diego to help San Diego area students achieve their goals of vocational, technical or professional careers. To be eligible, you must be a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender resident of San Diego County.

The Harvey Milk Scholarship (Orange County, California)
This program was established by the Orange County Imperial Court to award scholarships to students attending Orange County (California) colleges.

Minnesota GLBT Educational Fund (Minnesota)
This award recognizes outstanding gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth and friends, and supports their continuing education. To be eligible, you must be a resident of Minnesota or a resident from elsewhere who is attending (or planning to attend) a Minnesota educational institution.

NYNEX Diversity Scholarship Awards (New York) These awards help finance higher education for students from diverse cultural, ethnic, educational and special needs backgrounds. To be eligible, the candidate must reside in NYNEX service territory.

eQuality Scholarship (Northern and Central California)
This award provides financial assistance to graduating high school seniors from northern and central California who have promoted understanding of and equality for the lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender community. The scholarship amount is typically $5,000. The award was established by PG&E PrideNetwork and the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, San Francisco-East Bay.

Markowski-Leach Scholarship Fund (3 California Colleges)
The Markowski-Leach Scholarship Fund provides financial assistance to gay and lesbian undergraduate and graduate students who help enhance the greater society’s perception of gay and lesbian people. To be eligible you must be enrolled as an undergraduate or graduate student at San Francisco State University, the University of California at Berkeley or Stanford University.

The Pride Foundation (Pacific Northwest)
The Pride Foundation offers more than 50 different scholarships. A single application is used to apply for all of the scholarship programs. Scholarships are available to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and straight-ally (straight and supportive of LGBT issues) students as well as students raised by LGBT families. Applicants must be residents of the Pacific Northwest (Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho or Alaska), but may study anywhere in the United States.

The Greater Seattle Business Association (Washington state)
This award is offered to undergraduate residents of Washington who demonstrate financial need and the potential to build leadership and promote diversity in the sexual minority community. Scholarships are available to students to attend college, creative or vocational training or other postsecondary education in the state of Washington.

The Joseph Towner Fund for Gay and Lesbian Families (Bay Area, California) To be eligible, you must be a postsecondary student with at least one gay or lesbian parent residing in the Bay Area (counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Napa, Sonoma and Solano).

United Teachers Los Angeles Stonewall Scholarship Fund (Los Angeles, California)
The UTLA Gay and Lesbian Issues Committee awards scholarships to deserving high school students to further their educational goals. To be eligible, you must be a student of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) or enrolled in a high school completion program.

White Rose Scholarship (Colorado)
The White Rose Scholarship is available for Colorado residents with a GPA of 3.0 or higher who demonstrate financial need and community involvement.

First Friday Breakfast Club (Iowa)
The First Friday Breakfast Club in Des Moines, Iowa, offers two scholarships for Iowa residents.

Matthew Shephard Scholarship (Iowa)
The Matthew Shepard Scholarship is awarded to gay and lesbian high school seniors from Iowa who plan on attending an Iowa Board of Regions university (Iowa State, University of Iowa or the University of Northern Iowa).

Campus-Specific Scholarships

City College of San Francisco
The Allen (Dan) Memorial Scholarship provides financial assistance to students demonstrating service to or achievement in, the gay-lesbian community. The Tim Wolfred Scholarship is offered to students with financial need who are taking at least one class in the Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Studies Department at City College of San Francisco.

Iowa State University
The Scott Rohlf Presidential Leadership Initiative Award is presented annually to one or more students who have demonstrated leadership and involvement in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community at Iowa State University.

OSU Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Alumni Society (PFLAG Scholarship)
Ohio State University’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Alumni Society awards undergraduate scholarships to students who have dedicated time and energy to the GLBT community and toward GLBT and HIV/AIDS issues.

Penn State University
The Barry H. Marshal Scholarship provides recognition and financial assistance to outstanding undergraduate students enrolled or planning to enroll at Penn State University who have demonstrated need for funds to meet their necessary college expenses and who advocate for or contribute to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community.

University of California, Berkeley
The Gender Equity Resource Center provides a full listing of university and privately sponsored scholarships that are available to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students as well as those engaging in LGBT studies.

University of California, Irvine
The Bruce Wade Memorial Scholarship for Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Students provides financial assistance to UCI lesbian, gay and bisexual students who contribute to improving the campus environment for other lesbian, gay and bisexual students.

The James J. Harvey Dissertation Fellowship provides financial assistance to graduate students studying male or female homosexuality, including but not limited to sociological, medical, political, historical and legal ramifications or to the study of the life and work of James J. Harvey.

University of California, Los Angeles
The Lambda Alumni (UCLA Lesbian & Gay Alumni Association) Scholarship Program provides financial assistance to students showing academic excellence and service to the lesbian, gay and bisexual community, regardless of sexual orientation.

University of California, San Diego
The LGBT Undergraduate Scholarship Program encourages gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender UCSD students to apply for the six scholarships made possible by generous contributions from many people.

University of Puget Sound LGBT Leadership Scholarship
The Puget Sound LGBT Leadership Scholarship Fund was established to recognize students who have demonstrated leadership and involvement in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community at the University of Puget Sound.

University of Southern California
The Lambda Alumni Association of USC offers gay, lesbian and bisexual scholarships to recognize outstanding and accomplished students in the community.

University of New Hampshire
The Bill Kidder Fund Award is given to a University of New Hampshire (UNH) student each year who, through their scholarship, leadership or other outstanding efforts, fosters greater understanding concerning sexual orientation and gender identity in the UNH community.

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