LGBTQ+ Scholarships

Explore these scholarships and prizes for students and advocates of the LGBTQ+ community. Qualifications for most competitive scholarships include:

  • 3.0+ GPA
  • Evidence of leadership, ambition, engagement in campus and community activities, writing, speaking and critical thinking skills.
  • Some may require research or clinical experience.

Affordable College Online database of scholarships for LGBTQ+ students

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!

American Atheists Gay/Lesbian College Scholarship

American Atheists is proud to also award two Chinn Scholarships for LGBT Atheist Activism. These scholarships recognize atheist activism in the area of LGBT equality. You do not have to be a member of the LGBT community to receive this scholarship; allies are encouraged to apply.

Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation

The Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation holds yearly literary competitions for works that concern LGBT (lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender) life and that are based on or inspired by a historical person, culture, event or work of art. The foundation also offers grants to production companies to offset expenses in producing LGBT-themed theatrical and other performing-arts works based on history. Please note that the foundation is not a production company; we provide support for performing-arts productions but do not produce work ourselves.

Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice

The Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice is the only philanthropic organization working exclusively to advance LGBTQI human rights around the globe. We support brilliant and brave grantee partners in the United States and internationally who challenge oppression and seed change. We work for racial, economic, social and gender justice because we all deserve to live our lives freely, without fear and with dignity.

Bee's Fund

We are proud to offer grants that benefit LGBTQ individuals who have an express need for support. These microgrants, as we call them, range from $25 to $650, with some flexibility depending on the request. Right now, microgrants are made exclusively through the Bee Winkler Weinstein Fund and are awarded to help young women who have lost family support because of their sexual orientation or gender identity in becoming self-sufficient. Applicants must be between 18 and 25 years old, live in the United States and identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or gender nonconforming.

Campus Pride LGBT Scholarship Database

Free online dynamic database provides LGBT and ally students with the largest, most comprehensive source of LGBT scholarship and funding resources in the nation. Individuals can find how to apply and search scholarships available at certain campuses, state by state, regionally or nationally. New scholarships may be listed by a campus or any funding organization by simply logging into the database. There are no charges to view scholarships or to list scholarships.

Chrysler Fund Reaching Out MBA Scholarship

The Reaching Out LGBTQ MBA Fellowship was created as a joint effort between top business school programs and Reaching Out to demonstrate that business schools are the top destination to develop the out LGBTQ and active ally business leaders of tomorrow. The LGBTQ MBA Fellowship recipients each receive a minimum of $10,000 scholarship per academic year or $20,000 total scholarship and also receive access to exclusive mentorship and leadership development programming through Reaching Out. 47 members of the Class of 2019 will collectively receive more than $1 million a year of their MBA experience!

Colin Higgins Youth Courage Awards

Each year, the Colin Higgins Foundation salutes and celebrates courage in the face of adversity and discrimination by awarding grants to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Two Spirit, Queer and Questioning youth activists (through age 20) who have transformed their experiences with bigotry and discrimination into opportunities to inspire others by taking action, rallying support, building community and working to change the systems and institutions that impact their lives.

Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History Prizes

The Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History awards five prizes for outstanding work in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, transsexual, and queer history; prize descriptions follow. Calls for prizes are announced yearly in early summer; submissions are due to prize committee members in fall. Prizes are awarded each year in early January at the annual meeting of the American Historical Association. The Boswell and Nestle Prizes are awarded in January of odd-numbered years for work published or written in the prior two years. The Bérubé, Lorde and Sprague Prizes are awarded in January of even-numbered years for work produced, published or written in the prior two years.

Dr. Alma S. Adams Scholarship for Outreach and Health Communications

Over the past decade, the Dr. Alma S. Adams Scholarship for Outreach and Health Communications to Reduce Tobacco Use Among Priority Populations has recognized students for their commitment to community service and use of the creative arts to raise awareness of tobacco’s harmful impacts in disproportionately affected communities. The scholarship program is named after Dr. Alma S. Adams, a founding board member of Truth Initiative who now serves as a member of Congress representing North Carolina’s 12th Congressional District. Adams’ public service to North Carolina began with her election to the Greensboro City School Board in the 1980s when she became the first African-American woman ever elected to the board. She also taught art history for four decades at Bennett College, a historically black liberal arts college in Greensboro.

FinAid: Financial Aid for Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Students

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

GLBT LEAP scholarship

The GLBT Leadership Education and Advocacy Program and AGLCC Foundation give Texas students opportunity to apply for both GLBT LEAP and AGLCC Foundation scholarships with a single application. Read the important information below before completing an application. These scholarships are intended to build leadership and promote diversity in the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and allied communities. Awards may be used for any post-secondary education, including advanced degrees as well as nontraditional or alternative programs and vocational training.

Kenneth W. Payne Student Prize Competition

The Kenneth W. Payne Student Prize is presented each year by the Association for Queer Anthropology (AQA) to a graduate or undergraduate student in acknowledgement of outstanding anthropological work on 1) a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender topic, or 2) a critical interrogation of sexualities and genders more broadly defined. Papers are judged according to the following criteria: use of relevant LGBTQ and/or feminist anthropological theory and literature, potential for contribution to and advancement of queer studies and the understanding of sexualities worldwide, attention to difference (gender, class, race, ethnicity, nation), originality, organization and coherence and timeliness.

McCleary Law Fellows Program

As the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer civil rights organization, the Human Rights Campaign is dedicated to ending discrimination, securing equal rights and protecting the health and safety of LGBTQ Americans. With a 150-person national staff and more than 1.5 million members and supporters throughout the country, HRC lobbies the federal government on LGBTQ legislative and regulatory matters, advocates before the courts as an amicus curiae, participates in judicial and executive branch nominations process, leads and/or actively works on national civil rights coalitions, educates the public, participates in elections and works at the grassroots level on civil rights and political matters of national importance.

National AIDS Memorial Grove Pedro Zamora Young Leaders Scholarship

The Scholarship is open to all current high school seniors and college freshmen, sophomores and juniors (ages 27 and younger) who demonstrate an active commitment to fighting AIDS and taking on roles of public service and leadership (such as providing peer-based prevention and education; engaging in advocacy or grass-roots activism; raising public awareness; and/or delivering practical, emotional or treatment support to people living with HIV/AIDS) and who plan to continue to find ways to make a difference in the epidemic through their careers or through public service opportunities after their education is complete.

National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals Out to Innovate scholarship

NOGLSTP is a professional society that educates and advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer students and professionals in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. These scholarships are intended for undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees in STEM fields and who are either lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or an active ally of the LGBTQ+ community. The scholarships are designed to promote academic excellence and increased visibility of talented LGBTQ+ students in STEM careers.

NLGJA Leroy F. Aarons Scholarship Award

Leroy F. Aarons dedicated his life to journalism. He believed that the LGBTQ community could advance if the news media fairly and accurately portrayed the lives of LGBTQ individuals and their issues. This simple but visionary idea became the foundation for the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association. The scholarship award provides tuition funding to an LGBTQ student who plans a career in journalism and is committed to furthering NLGJA’s mission of fair and accurate coverage of the LGBTQ community.

NWSA Women's Lesbian Caucus Scholarship

The purpose of the annual National Women’s Studies Association Lesbian Caucus Award is to provide a $500 research award in recognition of a master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation project in areas of Lesbian, Queer and LGBT Studies that resonates with the mission of NWSA. The field of the degree is open, but the work should focus on lesbian (defined broadly) lives, identities or realities and make a contribution to the fields of lesbian and sexuality studies.

Out to Protect Scholarship

A scholarship award for individuals who identify as gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or transgender and who are pursuing a career in law enforcement by attending a basic law enforcement training program. This could be a basic police academy, sheriff's academy, corrections academy or 9-1-1 dispatcher academy.

Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) National Scholarship Program

Are you lesbian, gay or bi (or asexual, pansexual, queer, or somewhere in the LGB "family")? Are you trans, gender-expansive, gender-queer or somewhere on (or even off) the gender spectrum? Are you an awesome ally? PFLAG's scholarship program supports the next generation of leaders who have already been working tirelessly on numerous programs, projects, and activities aimed at making schools and communities safe and welcoming for all. PFLAG's scholarships are open to U.S. and non-U.S. citizens (Non-U.S. citizens are eligible as long as they attend an accredited institution in the United States).

Point Scholarships

Point Foundation was established in 2001 to nurture the next generation of LGBTQ leaders. Point Foundation empowers promising LGBTQ students to achieve their full academic and leadership potential to make a significant impact on society despite obstacles often put before them. By identifying and supporting these scholars, Point hopes to provide a greater level of acceptance and respect within future generations for all persons, regardless of sexual orientation, gender expression or gender identity. We honor our scholars—their leadership, their acumen, their early involvement in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer causes and their pledge to make the world a fairer and better place for all.

Pride Foundation Scholarships

The Pride Foundation administers more than 25 distinct scholarship funds. To be eligible, you must be a resident of the Pacific Northwest (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska). In addition to general scholarships for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and allied students, there are specific scholarships targeting various demographics and areas of study.

Pride Law Fund Summer Fellowships

The PLF Fellowship Program is open to law students working under the supervision of an attorney at a 501(c)(3) tax exempt non-profit organization anywhere in the country. Enrollment in law school is not required for the Steven Richter Fellowship. The Richter Fellowship is not limited to law students or legal projects.

Queer Foundation Scholarship Fund

The Queer Foundation Scholarship Fund promotes effective writing by, about and/or for queer youth. To the winners of each year's essay contest, the Queer Foundation offers scholarships to the U.S. college or university of their choice to study queer theory or related fields. Examples of related fields are queer medical, legal or social issues.

Rainbow Scholarship

The Rainbow Scholarship awards deserving lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) students who aim to participate in high-quality, rigorous education abroad programs. To be considered for the Rainbow Scholarship, applicants must self-identify on the Fund for Education Abroad (FEA) scholarship application.

Roy Scrivner Memorial Research Grants

The Roy Scrivner Research Grants provide graduate student grants (preference given to dissertation candidates) for empirical or applied research that encourages the study of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) family psychology and LGBT family therapy. Researchers from all fields of the behavioral and social sciences are encouraged to apply.

The Gregory Sprague Prize

The Gregory Sprague Prize recognizes an outstanding published or unpublished paper, article, book chapter or dissertation chapter on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, transsexual and/or queer history completed in English by a graduate student. It is awarded in even-numbered years, covering work completed during the previous two years.

The Ruth Benedict Prize

The Ruth Benedict Prize is presented each year at the American Anthropological Association’s annual meeting to acknowledge excellence in a scholarly book written from an anthropological perspective about a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender topic. The Ruth Benedict Prize is awarded in each of two separate categories: one for a single-authored monograph and another for an edited volume. Submissions may be on any topic related to lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people or other gender / sexual formations and categories from any world culture area. Topics may include the study of normativity, queer theory and the social/historical construction of sexual and gender identities, discourses and categories. Authors may represent any scholarly discipline, but the material submitted must engage anthropological theories and methods.

Traub-Dicker Rainbow Scholarship

The Traub-Dicker Rainbow Scholarship was established by Peggy Traub and Phyllis Dicker to encourage and support LGBTQ women in their pursuit of higher education. This program provides one-year scholarships of $1,500 or $3,000 to those graduating high school or already enrolled in college in any year of study, including graduate school. Scholarships are paid directly to the recipient’s school and are applied toward tuition.

Wayne F. Placek Grants

The Wayne F. Placek Grant encourages research to increase the general public's understanding of homosexuality and sexual orientation, and to alleviate the stress that lesbian women, gay men, bisexual women, bisexual men and transgender individuals experience in this and future civilizations. Since 1995, the Placek Fund has granted more than $1 million. The Wayne F. Placek Grant encourages research that addresses the following topics: Heterosexuals' attitudes and behaviors toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, including prejudice, discrimination and violence. Family and workplace issues relevant to LGBT people. Special concerns of sectors of the LGBT population that have historically been underrepresented in scientific research.

Women in Medicine Leadership Scholarship

Women in Medicine will present LGBTQ Leadership Scholarships for female medical students enrolled in allopathic, osteopathic or naturopathic medical schools in the United States or Canada.