LGBTQ (or LGBT) students face significant hurdles both in their personal lives and in academia, with college increasingly hard to afford and costs rising at a faster rate than inflation overall. There are a large number of scholarships available, however, and each has the ability to significantly reduce the cost associated with the pursuit of higher education. There are literally thousands of scholarships available across the country for each and every demographic you can think of.  The Lesbian, Gay,  Bisexual, Transgender and Queer/Questioning population is no different.  Be sure to consider each of the options listed here as viable alternatives to expensive, long-term student loans and related debts.

1. American Atheists Gay/Lesbian College Scholarship

DEADLINE: February 1

Sponsored by the American Atheists Center, this scholarship is for those LGBT students who combine the activism for gay rights with activism for the rights of atheist Americans everywhere. As part of the application process, students will need to submit evidence of their activism for both of these interests, which can include school projects, community outreach efforts, or even newspaper articles in a school or community paper. Applicants or their parents must be atheist to apply for the scholarship. Two awards are available, with the first place selection winning a $2,000 scholarship and a runner-up receiving $1,000 toward their higher education pursuits.

Contact

American Atheists Scholarship
PO Box 158
Cranford, NJ 07016
(908) 276-7300
scholarship@atheists.org

2. APIQWTC Scholarship

DEADLINE: February 12

This scholarship, offered by the Asian Pacific Islander Queer Women and Transgender Community, is available to LGBT Americans with a Pacific Islander heritage. The scholarship’s application process requires students to submit an extensive personal statement, academic transcripts, and between one and two letters of recommendation from academic or professional sources. A cover letter and resume must also be submitted at the time of application, with two $750 awards being given to eligible students each year.

Contact

Amy Sueyoshi, Associate Dean
College of Ethnic Studies
San Francisco State University
1600 Holloway Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94132
(708) API-QWTC
info@apiqwtc.org

3. Bryan L. Knapp Point Scholarship

DEADLINE: February 14

Offered by the Point Foundation, this scholarship is designed to celebrate achievement and academic prestige on behalf of LGBT students from New York City who currently attend Cornell University. The award is offered in the honor of Bryan L. Kapp, who was himself an influential media professional throughout the state of New York. Scholarship awards vary based on student credentials and program information, but the average award given out during the 2013 award year is estimated to be about $13,600. That’s a significant way to offset the rather high expense of attending Cornell as an LGBT student.

Contact

Bryan L. Knapp Point Scholarship
Point Foundation
1357 Broadway, Suite 401
New York, NY 10018
(866) 337-6468

4. Chrysler Fund Reaching Out MBA Scholarship

DEADLINE: October 2

Designed to find and fund the LGBTQ business leaders of the next generation, this scholarship is one of the most unique offerings currently available to business students. It’s specifically designed to work with students who develop leadership and innovative proposals for the future, with each student submitting that proposal and presenting it at the scholarship’s annual conference if selected by the fund. Students chosen to participate in the conference will receive a scholarship to cover the costs of their graduate-level business education as long as they’re enrolled in an accredited institution of higher learning. A resume, transcripts, letters of recommendation, and an official proposal must be submitted before the deadline to be considered.

Contact

Chrysler Fund Reaching Out MBA Scholarship
PO Box 515381 #65462
Los Angeles, CA 90051
(424) 209-8882

5. Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund

DEADLINE: April 1

The Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund is a long-established grant program designed to be awarded only to those students who are determined to have financial need. For this reason, grants typically range from about $1,000 to $10,000 based on the student’s financial situation as well as their parents’ financial situation if the student is a dependent. Students must be involved in peace of justice pursuits within a progressive organization on campus, and they must be ready to submit two letters of reference, a resume, transcripts, and the FAFSA form as proof of their annual income.

Contact

Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund
Post Office Box 7307
New York, NY 10116-7307
davisputter@davisputter.org

6. Deaf Queer Youth Scholarship

DEADLINE: July 15

LGBT youth who are either fully or partially hearing impaired can count on this scholarship to help them afford the costs of a higher education. The award ranges from $250 to $500 based on student need and the submitted application, and requires eligible students to submit several topical personal statements, a letters of recommendation, and an official transcript. Students may optionally prepare a video presentation demonstrating their need for the scholarship.

Contact

Deaf Queer Youth Scholarship
Deaf Queer Youth Scholarship Fund Selection Committee
P.O. Box 14431
San Francisco, CA 94114
scholarships@deafqueer.org
(415) 449-3674

7. Gamma Mu Foundation Scholarships

DEADLINE: March 31

For gay men under the age of 35, the Gamma Mu Foundation’s scholarships are a viable option for additional college funding. The program is designed to reward those applicants who have taken on leadership roles within their local gay community while pursuing either an academic or vocational program at an accredited institution. The application requires a personal statement regarding the applicant’s leadership work, and must include academic transcripts. Awards range from $1,000 to $2,500 based on the applicant’s details.

Contact

Gamma Mu Foundation Scholarships
Gamma Mu Foundation
P.O. Box 23520
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33307
(866) GMF-6007

8. George Benes M.D. And Michael Mallee Ed.D Point Scholarship

DEADLINE: February 14

Like many other Point Foundation scholarships, this award program is designed to make academic life a bit easier to afford for those LGBT students who have shown leadership within the gay community during their time in academia. This particular scholarship is only open to those students currently pursuing biological or medical studies at the undergraduate or graduate level, and does require proof of this through transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement.

Contact

George Benes M.D. And Michael Mallee Ed.D Point Scholarship
Point Foundation
1357 Broadway, Suite 401
New York, NY 10018
(866) 337-6468

9. GLBT LEAP Scholarship

DEADLINE: June 14, 2014

Open to established residents of Texas, even if they’ve opted to study out of state, this scholarship is designed to make life a bit easier for LGBT Texas residents or those who are members of LGBT families. The scholarship is also open to those who identify themselves as LGBT allies, though preference is given to those who are actually LGBT-identified. The scholarship program is concerned with rewarding those who have demonstrated civil rights leadership within the community, and requires letters of reference, a transcript, and the paper application. Some students may be required to submit sample artwork or schedule an interview with the organization.

Contact

GLBT LEAP scholarship
3824 Cedar Springs Road, #417
Dallas, TX 75219
(214) 821-GLBT
info@glbtleap.org
http://www.glbtleap.org/

10. Jeremy D. Protas LGBT Patent Law Scholarship

DEADLINE: July 31

The Protas scholarship is available only to those LGBT students who are currently enrolled in an ABA-accredited law school and who are pursuing a course of study that emphasizes patent law. A single applicant is awarded a $1,000 scholarship on an annual basis, based on the materials contained within the application. That application must contain transcripts from undergraduate and law schools as well as a brief personal statement.

Contact

Jeremy D. Protas LGBT Patent Law Scholarship
c/o Marshall, Gerstein & Borun LLP
233 South Wacker Dr.
6300 Willis Tower
Chicago, IL 60606
scholarship@protas.org

11. Joseph Towner Fund for Gay and Lesbian Families

DEADLINE: N/A

Offered by the Horizons Foundation, the Joseph Towner Fund is a scholarship that helps members of LGBT families more affordable secure college degrees. Applicants must have at least one LGBT parent or guardian, and they must be able to prove a 2.0 GPA or higher with official transcripts at the time of submission. Students must be undergraduates, since those at the graduate or professional levels are not accepted.

Contact

Joseph Towner Fund for Gay and Lesbian Families
Horizons Foundation
550 Montgomery Street
Suite 700
San Francisco, CA 94111
(415) 861-5437
colage@colage.org

12. LEAGUE Foundation Matthew Shepard Scholarship

DEADLINE: April 30

The LGBT community was rocked by the killing of Matthew Shepard in 1998, and years of activism finally led to such crimes being made illegal several years later. As part of this legacy, Matthew Shepard’s parents established the LEAGUE Foundation Matthew Shepard Scholarship to keep their son’s memory alive and reward those who take a leadership role within the community. Those who have fought for equal rights and workplace protections will be considered eligible for this program on an annual basis.

Contact

LEAGUE Foundation Matthew Shepard Scholarship
Charles Eader, Executive Director
LEAGUE Foundation
One AT&T Way, Room 5C215R
Bedminster, NJ 07921
(571) 354-4525
info@leaguefoundation.org
http://www.leaguefoundation.org/scholarships/shepard.cfm

13. Leroy F. Aarons Scholarship Award

DEADLINE: June 15

Offered in the memory of journalist Leroy Aarons, LGBT students who are currently pursuing a degree in journalism, communications, or mass media can earn this award on an annual basis. They must show leadership within the LGBT community and an acute awareness of the issues that affect today’s gay and lesbian students. Additionally, extensive work samples and a professional portfolio must be submitted for consideration.

Contact

Leroy F. Aarons Scholarship Award
Aaron’s Scholarship – NLGJA
2120 L St NW, Suite 850
Washington, DC 20037
(202) 588-9888
info@nlgja.org

14. LGBT Foreign Affairs Scholarship

DEADLINE: N/A

Celebrated by leaders like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, the LGBTA Foreign Affairs Scholarship is a crucial way for LGBT students to afford a career in international politics, business, and leadership. With an average annual award of $2,500, the scholarship goes a long way toward the cost of a degree in any of these fields. Students must be an undergraduate in one of several foreign affairs concentrations, and they must submit transcripts, a personal statement, and letters of recommendation. Awards are merit-based.

Contact

LGBT Foreign Affairs Scholarship
Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies (GLIFAA)
P.O. Box 18774
Washington, DC 20036-8774
info@glifaa.org

15. LGBT HEART Scholarship Fund

DEADLINE: June 30

Open to LGBT students currently involved in a health sciences program, the HEART scholarship awards several $2,000 grants to students each year. That number varies based on the number of qualified applicants, but typically ranges between 4 and 6 students each year. Applicants must submit their transcripts and letters of recommendation as well as a personal statement, and they must be “out” in order to qualify for the program.

Contact

LGBT HEART Scholarship Fund
14525 SW Millikan Way
Ste. 15935
Beaverton, OR 97005
scholarships@lgbtheart.org

16. Live Out Loud Scholarship

DEADLINE: March 8

LGBTQ students who are finishing their senior year of high school can apply for this program if they intend to enroll in an accredited undergraduate degree program. The scholarship does require a personal interview with one of the organization’s professionals, and it does require applicants to hail from the tri-state are of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, though students may apply for the scholarship even if their school is located outside of these three states. Five scholarships of $5,000 each will be awarded after the deadline.

Contact

Live Out Loud Scholarship
Live Out Loud
570 7th Ave.
9th Floor
New York, NY 10018
(212) 651-4236
alex@liveoutloud.info

17. Malyon-Smith Scholarship Award

DEADLINE: N/A

Graduate-level students enrolled in a psychology program are eligible for this award if they self-identify as LGBT or are extensively studying the impact of LGBT life on psychological development and the broader community of professionals in the industry. This scholarship awards just one grant each year, with students required to propose and present potential projects or studies related to LGBT life and well-being.

Contact

Maylon-Smith Scholarship Award
APA Division 44
jmohr@umd.edu

18. Messenger-Anderson Journalism Scholarship and Internship Program

DEADLINE: June 15

Another scholarship for those students interested in communications and journalism, the Messenger-Anderson scholarship opportunity provides both a grant to cover educational expenses and an internship opportunity where LGBT students can learn more about the communications industry while networking with industry professionals with an LGBT background or perspective. Students must be enrolled in an accepted communications program in order to be considered, and they must submit a personal statement along with transcripts, a resume, and a letter of recommendation from an academic source.

Contact

Messenger-Anderson Journalism Scholarship and Internship Program
1325 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Suite 600
Washington, DC, 20005
202-393-5177
info@thetaskforce.org

19. Brandon E. Bitner Memorial Scholarship

DEADLINE: N/A

Supported by the likes of Madonna, this scholarship is offered to students of tiny Susquehanna University, located in eastern Pennsylvania. The program was originally founded to keep alive the memory of a local LGBT bullying victim, and is offered to students enrolled in the arts at the university.

Contact

Brandon E. Bitner Memorial Scholarship
514 University Avenue
Selinsgrove, PA 17870
(570) 374-0101

20. National Gay Pilot’s Association Scholarship

DEADLINE: N/A

Affording the high costs of professional pilot training can be tough, but this unique scholarship is designed to help aspiring LGBT pilots do just that. The program was originally founded by the National Gay Pilot’s Association to keep alive the memory of a fellow gay pilot who perished in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Today, it’s a leading source of financial support for gay and lesbian pilots pursuing their commercial flying certification.

Contact

National Gay Pilot’s Association Scholarship
PO Box 1652
San Jose, CA 95109
(214) 336-0873

21. NLGLA Michael Greenberg Student Writing Competition

DEADLINE: June 15

The National LGBT Bar Association is the leading professional organization for LGBT legal professionals, including everyone from paralegals to attorneys and beyond. The organization offers a writing competition that results in financial awards for successful research and exploration of a given topic in written form. That topic changes each year, and is noted on the application form when it becomes available. Students must be enrolled in an ABA-accredited law school. The award totals $1,000.

Contact

NLGLA Michael Greenberg Student Writing Competition
1301 K Street NW
Suite 1100 East Tower
Washington, DC 20005
202)637-7661
info@lgbtbar.org

22. Out to Protect Scholarship

DEADLINE: N/A

The Out to Protect Scholarship is targeted at students of law enforcement training programs who are either self-identified as LGBTQ or committed to the protection of LGBTQ civil rights. Those who apply for the scholarship must be “out” to their friends and family, and they must be able to demonstrate excellent comprehension of their training program and the ability to successfully graduate on time. Awards range from $500 to $1,000 based on the applicant’s qualifications.

Contact

Out to Protect Scholarship
Out to Protect, Inc.
Santa Rosa, CA
(707) 728-5428

23. Queer Foundation Scholarship Fund

DEADLINE: June 1

LGBT students who demonstrate exceptional academic performance are eligible to apply for this scholarship program, which was designed to reward gifted and high-achieving gay and lesbian youth across the country. The program offers an award of $1,000 to students in any academic pursuit. Students must submit a personal statement and they must commit to maintaining a high level of academic achievement.

Contact

Queer Foundation Scholarship Fund
3213 W Wheeler St. #145
Seattle, WA 98199
(206) 999-8740
queerfoundation@queerfoundation.org
http://queerfoundation.org/html/scholarship_fund.html

24. Team DC Student-Athlete Scholarship

DEADLINE: June 1

The Student-Athlete Scholarship offered by Team DC is awarded to a single, outstanding LGBTQ athlete at one of the DC area’s accredited colleges or universities each year. To be eligible for the program, students must reside in the metropolitan Washington area and attend a college in a select list of counties located in DC, Maryland, or Virginia. Students must demonstrate leadership qualities and financial need, and this includes submitting a FAFSA with the application. Up to $2,000 will be awarded as part of this program.

Contact

Team DC Student-Athlete Scholarship
Team DC
Attn: Student-Athlete Scholarship Award Committee
2910 Sycamore Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22305
scholarship@teamdc.org

25. Tyler Clementi Point Scholarship

DEADLINE: February 14

Established to honor the memory of Tyler Clementi, a Rutgers student who committed suicide after relentless anti-LGBT bulling, this program is open to self-identified “out” students who demonstrate excellent academic performance and leadership within the community. The program requires letters of recommendation, a transcript, a resume, and a personal statement.

Contact

Tyler Clementi Point Scholarship
Point Foundation
1357 Broadway, Suite 401
New York, NY 10018
(866) 337-6468

With dozens of lucrative scholarship opportunities available today’s gay and lesbian students have never had more ways to help pay for college. Whether it’s a general scholarship, one that pertains to a certain area of study, or a program that blends grant money with an internship, be sure to consider each of these options as a great alternative to loan programs and long-term debt.

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