The past few years have seen tremendous growth for LGBTQ institutions, and scholarships are no exception. With opportunities for LGBTQ students increasing, it can be difficult to track all the ways for you to fund your education.
But with the cost of a college education also on the rise. With student loan debt now ballooned to $1.4 trillion, this is an area of great need. If you identify as LGBT, here are a few resources to help you find scholarships — and seven LGBTQ scholarships you might not be aware of.
Where you can find LGBTQ scholarships
In searching for LGBTQ scholarships, you might stumble upon hundreds (yes, hundreds!) of different opportunities. The trick is that specific schools offer many of them, so a good start would be to contact your institution and ask what they offer.
After you do that, try some of the websites below to see what other options are out there.
- Pride Foundation Scholarships, a foundation which enables you to apply for more than 50 LGBTQ scholarships at once. It even offers online workshops to help you understand the application process.
- Human Rights Campaign has a comprehensive LGBTQ scholarship database. You might have to do a Google search for some of the scholarships you find — some of the links have expired.
- Scholarships.com also has an extensive list of LGBTQ scholarships to search.
And to give you an idea of the various existing opportunities, here are seven LGBTQ scholarships for specific groups and interests.
Seven LGBTQ scholarships you might not have heard of
1. Audre Lorde Scholarship Fund
This scholarship, offered by the National Organization of Black Lesbians on Aging (called ZAMI NOBLA), awards scholarships to lesbians of color who are 40 years of age and older.
Recipients need to maintain a 3.0 GPA as a full- or part-time student at any U.S. technical school, college, or university at the undergraduate or graduate level. The scholarship amount per person isn’t listed on ZAMI NOBLA’s website, but the organization says it has been awarding scholarships since 1995. The application for the scholarship will be visible on ZAMI NOBLA’s website in November.
2. Box Engineering Diversity Scholarship
File sharing platform Box is aiding in diversity in engineering with education funding for LGBTQ (among other historically underrepresented groups). Winners of this scholarship can take home either the grand prize of $20,000 or one of the four $4,000 finalist scholarships.
Eligibility hinges on attending a four-year accredited college or university as a STEAM major (the traditional STEM majors of science, technology, engineering, and math, along with art). Applicants must also be able to travel to Box headquarters in Redwood City, California, for finalist interviews. Anyone interested can find more information on Box’s dedicated scholarship website.
3. Morgan Stanley Richard B. Fisher Scholarship Program
Like Box, Morgan Stanley is showing a commitment to diversity through funding for education. This scholarship program is for college sophomores and juniors who are black, Hispanic, Native American, or LGBTQ, and want to apply for a summer analyst position at Morgan Stanley.
Winners will receive a scholarship and a summer internship, helping those interested in business (but from any major) gain experience and tuition help at the same time. Interested candidates can find out more on Morgan Stanley’s Richard B. Fisher Scholarship program page.
4. Out to Innovate Scholarships for LGBTQ Students in STEM
LGBTQ or LGBTQ-supportive students are eligible for this $5,000 scholarship if they’re enrolled in a STEM field.
Two of these awards go out each year, one to an undergraduate student and one to a graduate student. To be eligible, a student must attend a college or university based in the U.S., have completed at least two years of higher education, declared a STEM major, have at least a 3.0 GPA, and be a supporter of LGBTQ programs.
The scholarships depend on funding, which means the amounts can vary per year (some years there might not be enough funds). You can find out how to apply via the National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals Inc.’s scholarship page.
5. Out to Protect Scholarship
Not a college scholarship per se, but for LGBTQ students interested in joining law enforcement, they can apply for this award to help pay for basic law enforcement training with the help of Out to Protect.
Out to Protect is an organization that works to raise awareness and provide funds for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people working in or desiring to work in law enforcement. The scholarship goes out twice a year and ranges from $500 to $1,000.
You must already attend a basic law enforcement training program to qualify. You can apply via Out to Protect’s scholarship listing.
6. Reaching Out LGBTQ MBA Scholarship
LGBTQ students hoping to get an MBA can get help with this scholarship, which awards at least $10,000 per year or a total of $20,000 towards an MBA, as well as mentorship.
Reaching Out is a nonprofit working with top business schools to create this scholarship, which will award the Class of 2019 with more than $1.3 million. You can learn more about on the Reaching Out website.
7. Women in Medicine Leadership Scholarship
Lesbian medical students can apply for the Women in Medicine (WIM) Leadership Scholarship. They must be in their first through third year of medical school and focus on allopathic, osteopathic, or naturopathic medicine.
Four women will win a scholarship of $5,000 provided they can attend the WIM Annual Meeting in Napa, California. Find out more about this scholarship on WIM’s website.
Don’t stop your search here
There are more LGBTQ scholarships than just the ones listed here. Let this be your motivation to find the best ones for you. And don’t forget to search Fastweb for other scholarships, such as those for your field of study, residence, academics, extracurriculars, or heritage.
Need a student loan?Here are our top student loan lenders of 2018!
|1 Important Disclosures for CollegeAve.
College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or Nationwide Bank, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.
2 Important Disclosures for Discover.
3 Important Disclosures for Ascent.
Before taking out private student loans, you should explore and compare all financial aid alternatives, including grants, scholarships, and federal student loans and consider your future monthly payments and income. Applying with a cosigner may improve your chance of getting approved and could help you qualify for a lower interest rate. Ascent Student Loans may be funded by Richland State Bank (RSB) or Turnstile Capital Management, LLC (TCM), which are not affiliated entities. Certain restrictions and limitations may apply. Ascent Student Loan products are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application, verification of application information and certification of loan amount by a participating school. All loan products may not be available in certain jurisdictions. Other terms and conditions apply. Ascent is a federally registered trademark of TCM and may be used by RSB under limited license. Richland State Bank is a federally registered service mark of Richland State Bank.
* Application times vary depending on the applicants ability to supply the necessary information for submission.
* The Sallie Mae partner referenced is not the creditor for these loans and is compensated by Sallie Mae for the referral of Smart Option Student Loan customers.
4 = Sallie Mae Disclaimer: Click here for important information. Terms, conditions and limitations apply.
5 Important Disclosures for PNC.
PNC Bank is one of the nation’s largest education loan providers. For over 40 years, PNC has been committed to helping students and their families make possible the adventure of college.
6 Important Disclosures for SunTrust.
Before applying for a private student loan, SunTrust recommends comparing all financial aid alternatives including grants, scholarships, and both federal and private student loans. To view and compare the available features of SunTrust private student loans, visit https://www.suntrust.com/loans/student-loans/private.
Certain restrictions and limitations may apply. SunTrust Bank reserves the right to change or discontinue this loan program without notice. Availability of all loan programs is subject to approval under the SunTrust credit policy and other criteria and may not be available in certain jurisdictions.
SunTrust Bank, Member FDIC. ©2018 SunTrust Banks, Inc. SUNTRUST, the SunTrust logo and Custom Choice Loan are trademarks of SunTrust Banks, Inc. All rights reserved.
7 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Additional terms and conditions apply. For more details see LendKey
8 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
A government loan is made according to rules set by the U.S. Department of Education. Government loans have fixed interest rates, meaning that the interest rate on a government loan will never go up or down.
Government loans also permit borrowers in financial trouble to use certain options, such as income-based repayment, which may help some borrowers. Depending on the type of loan that you have, the government may discharge your loan if you die or become permanently disabled.
Depending on what type of government loan that you have, you may be eligible for loan forgiveness in exchange for performing certain types of public service. If you are an active-duty service member and you obtained your government loan before you were called to active duty, you are entitled to interest rate and repayment benefits for your loan.
A private student loan is not a government loan and is not regulated by the Department of Education. A private student loan is instead regulated like other consumer loans under both state and federal law and by the terms of the promissory note with your lender.
If your private student loan has a fixed interest rate, then that rate will never go up or down. If your private student loan has a variable interest rate, then that rate will vary depending on an index rate disclosed in your application. If the interest rate on the new private student loan is less than the interest rate on your government loans, your payments will be less if you refinance.
If you don’t pay a private student loan as agreed, the lender can refer your loan to a collection agency or sue you for the unpaid amount.
Remember also that like government loans, most private loans cannot be discharged if you file bankruptcy unless you can demonstrate that repayment of the loan would cause you an undue hardship. In most bankruptcy courts, proving undue hardship is very difficult for most borrowers.
9 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|3.69% – 10.94%1||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents||Visit CollegeAve|
|3.99% – 12.99%2||Undergraduate and Graduate||Visit Discover|
|3.82% – 12.82%3||Undergraduate and Graduate||Visit Ascent|
|4.12% – 10.98%*,4||Undergraduate and Graduate||Visit SallieMae|
|5.03% – 11.23%5||Undergraduate and Graduate||Visit PNC|
|3.88% – 12.88%6||Undergraduate and Graduate||Visit SunTrust|
|4.68% – 9.77%7||Undergraduate and Graduate||Visit LendKey|
|3.72% – 9.68%8||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents||Visit CommonBond|
|4.04% – 12.01%9||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents||Visit Citizens|