Scholarship Opportunities for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Students

There are members of the third sex, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, who do not become victims of social persecution, inequality, and discrimination but are nonetheless affected by poverty and illiteracy. The solution to these problems is education. However, with the fast rising costs of college nowadays, many LGBT students find it even harder to get earn college degrees. As such, many are become discouraged to pursue higher education.

This present condition of LGBT students has created social awareness, and as a result, more groups, organizations, and individuals are now establishing scholarship programs to help LGBT students attain their dreams of earning college degrees. LGBT scholarships are commonly offered to those who are serious in acquiring a college diploma but don’t have the financial resources to do so.

Many LGBT associations and groups today are promoting their community as a competent sector of the society. They aim to eliminate discrimination once and for all by helping LGBTs get through college.

Qualifications and Requirements

Most foundations, associations, and groups offer scholarships to exceptional and skilled individuals who are also part of the LGBT community. To qualify for the scholarship programs, certain criteria have to be met. One of the biggest requirements is a good scholastic record. Applicants must have satisfactory grades—usually not lower than 3.0—and high SAT or ACT scores to qualify. They must also be actively involved in their respective communities and must demonstrate dynamic participation in extracurricular activities. Likewise, applicants must truly be incapable of financing their college education.

Apart from the criteria, applicants for LGBT scholarships are also required to submit necessary documents. More often than not, a letter of intent addressed to the sponsors of the scholarship program is required. Applicants are also often asked to submit official and duly authenticated copies of their transcripts. Other things that applicants need to submit along with their applications are essays, personal statements, and recommendation letters.

Foundations Offering LGBT Scholarship

A good example of an organization that offers scholarship for LGBT students is The Point Foundation (TPF) which was established in 2001. TPF is committed in helping intelligent LGBT students pursue college degrees. Since it was founded, it has already contributed more than $1,000,000 worth of educational grants. The TPF scholarship program gives a minimum of $2,000 and a maximum of $12,000 financial assistance to every recipient.

Another organization dedicated to funding the college education of LGBTs is the International Foundation for Gender Education. This foundation offers financial assistance through their Transgender Scholarship and Education Legacy Fund (TSELF). Likewise, ZAMI, Atlanta's Premier Organization for Lesbian of African Descent, founded the Andre Lorde Scholarship Fund to provide money aid to LGBTs who are of African descent. ZAMI gives $1,000 grant to each qualified applicant every year.

Meanwhile the Deaf Queer Resource Center aims to help LGBTs who are also deaf or hard-hearing. The Deaf Queer Youth Scholarship Fund is open to those who are not older than 25 years old. Applicants must also be enrolled or are planning to enroll in an accredited colleges or universities. The minimum scholarship grant from this organization is $250 to $500 per recipient. On the other hand, the Live Out Loud organization founded by Leo Preziosi, Jr has a scholarship program that awards $2,500 financial assistance.

Other scholarship programs LGBT students can take advantage of include the Jonathan Lax Scholarship Fund for Gay Men, which awards $5,000 to $20,000 to its recipients; the Gay Asian Pacific Alliance, which gives $1,000 grant to LGBT of Asian or Pacific ancestry; and the Bobby Griffith Memorial Scholarship. These foundations and groups are but few of the many who have dedicated themselves to helping their fellow LGBTs become distinguished professionals of the society.

Tips to Make You a Stand Out Applicant for LGBT scholarship

A very significant quality that will make you stand out from among the other LGBT scholarship applicants is your participation in the promotion of the LGBTs' equality and rights. Sponsors often look for someone who can fight for the rights of their fellow LGBTs and can represent them in all social forums. They also give much precedence on one's leadership skills. Hence, to gain edge over the others, you have to be a dynamic leader in the society. You can join or launch your own cause-oriented activities and programs that promote LGBT awareness or livelihood projects for LGBTs. These programs will benefit you when applying for scholarships because they will reflect your personality and your leadership skills. Likewise, those who facilitate and lead the programs can also give you recommendations, which will look good in your college resume.