College Scholarships for LGBTQ+ Students

LGBTQ+ students often have a harder time paying for school than their straight, cis peers. Here are some LGBTQ+ scholarship options to help cover costs.
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LGBTQ+ students face a variety of obstacles when it comes to obtaining an education, including financial ones. These individuals may have less support from their families. Additionally, according to numbers shared by the Human Rights Campaign, LGBTQ+ workers make about $100 less per week than the typical worker in the U.S.

LGBTQ+ students might also have limited financial aid options, as some students may choose not to fill out the FAFSA because they're forced to disclose their sex assigned at birth.

Earning a scholarship can help mitigate some of these financial concerns. Scholarships generally include some sort of merit, demographic, or geographic requirement. Additionally, they typically require you to submit transcripts, letters of recommendation, essays, and other information.

Organizations like the Human Rights Campaign and Campus Pride maintain scholarship databases you can search to find scholarships for LGBTQ+ students. You can also consult your high school guidance counselor and research colleges in your state to look for more local or regional opportunities.

Scholarships established for LGBTQ+ college students are available from many public and private organizations, as well as from individual donors. Some welcome all LGBTQ+ applicants, whereas others focus on specific student populations, such as learners pursuing a STEM degree.

Check out our list of LGBTQ scholarships below for more details.

Learn more about the BestColleges Black Women in STEM scholarship.

We're giving away five $6,000 scholarships to Black women who are currently pursuing careers in STEM. Best of all, you don't need an account to apply!

General LGBTQ+ Scholarships

These scholarships are available to students who identify as LGBTQ+. Some are limited to students who reside in specific regions of the U.S., while others are available at the national level.

Point Foundation Scholarships

  • Who's Eligible? LGBTQ+ undergraduate or graduate students enrolled full time at a four-year accredited college or university in the United States are encouraged to apply.
  • Award Amount: Varies
  • Deadline: December

Pride Foundation Scholarships

  • Who's Eligible: The Pride Foundation awards several scholarships annually and offers online workshops for potential applicants. Scholarships are awarded to LGBTQ+ students and allies who are residents of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, or Washington.
  • Award Amount: Up to $12,000
  • Deadline: January

Colin Higgins Youth Courage Awards

  • Who's Eligible: Designed to honor LGBTQ+ student filmmakers who have overcome hardships or discrimination, awards go to LGBTQ+ youth activists to support their professional development in the film industry.
  • Award Amount: $15,000
  • Deadline: To be announced

League Foundation Scholarships

  • Who's Eligible: These scholarships are awarded annually to LGBTQ+ students who have a GPA above 3.0. Applicants must have made community service contributions and be accepted to an accredited U.S. college or university.
  • Award Amount: Varies
  • Deadline: April

Markowski-Leach Scholarships

  • Who's Eligible: Applicants must identify as LGBTQ+, have a minimum 2.5 GPA, and be enrolled in a program that provides a degree or teaching credential at one of the following universities: San Francisco State University, Stanford University, UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco, or University of California Hastings College of Law.
  • Award Amount: Varies
  • Deadline: March

Acorn Equality Fund Scholarships

  • Who's Eligible: Applicants must be LGBTQ+ students or allies and attend a U.S. postsecondary institution. They must also reside in downstate Illinois. Downstate Illinois includes all counties except the following: Cook, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will.
  • Award Amount: $1,000-$4,000
  • Deadline: September

Audria M. Edwards Scholarship Fund

  • Who's Eligible: This scholarship is open to students pursuing postsecondary education in the coming academic year who reside in Oregon or the following counties in southwest Washington: Clark, Cowlitz, Skamania, and Wahkiakum. Applicants must have resided in one of these locations for at least one year. They must also identify as LGBTQ+ or have an LGBTQ+ parent.
  • Award Amount: Varies
  • Deadline: April

49 Legacy Scholarships

  • Who's Eligible: Offered by the onePULSE Foundation, The 49 Fund was founded after the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting and provides scholarships to deserving students from the LGBTQ+ community in Central Florida.
  • Award Amount: Up to $10,000
  • Deadline: January

Traub-Dicker Rainbow Scholarships

  • Who's Eligible: These annual scholarships are awarded to high school seniors, undergraduates, and graduate students who identify as lesbians. The program supports students who have demonstrated academic excellence and made a difference through community service.
  • Award Amount: $4,000
  • Deadline: June

PFund Scholarship

  • Who's Eligible: This scholarship is awarded to LGBTQ+ students who are from or currently enrolled in school in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, North Dakota, or South Dakota.
  • Award Amount: $1,000-$12,000
  • Deadline: March

Discipline-Specific LGBTQ+ Scholarships

These scholarships are designed for LGBTQ+ students who want to study a specific discipline. Awards usually include merit-based requirements and other restrictions based on an individual's field or industry.

Out to Innovate Scholarships

  • Who's Eligible: Intended for LGBTQ+ students pursuing careers in STEM fields, this scholarship is available to applicants who have a strong commitment to the LGBTQ+ community. Students must have finished two years of college with a 3.0 GPA or higher.
  • Award Amount: Up to $5,000
  • Deadline: June

The Association of LGBTQ+ Journalists Scholarships

  • Who's Eligible: Applicants must plan on pursuing a career in journalism and demonstrate a passion for the field. They must also show an awareness of issues facing the LGBTQ+ community and the importance of fair and accurate news coverage.
  • Award Amount: Varies
  • Deadline: May

Reaching Out LGBTQ+ MBA Fellowship

  • Who's Eligible: This fellowship is available to students at participating business schools. Students will serve as ambassadors of the LGBTQ+ community at large and take an active role in on-campus LGBTQ+ activities.
  • Award Amount: Minimum of $20,000
  • Deadline: September

The National Gay Pilots Association Education Fund

  • Who's Eligible: United Airlines partners with the National Gay Pilots Association to offer this scholarship to full-time juniors, seniors, and graduate students in an accredited aviation college or aeronautical science program. Applicants must be FAA Instrument rating certified, have a minimum 3.0 GPA, and have earned a private and instrument pilot certificate.
  • Award Amount: Varies
  • Deadline: Applications open in June

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Meet the experts from Campus Pride that helped BestColleges vet the most inclusive college in each state for LGBTQ+ students.

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Genny is a leading expert on the experiences of trans people in the United States, particularly the lives of trans students, and on the development of trans-inclusive college policies and practices. They are the director of the Stonewall Center at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and the Trans Policy Clearinghouse coordinator for Campus Pride.

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Shane is a leading author on gay campus issues, national leader in gay and lesbian civil rights and a champion for LGBTQ issues on college campuses. He is cofounder and executive director of Campus Pride. Windmeyer is also the author of The Advocate College Guide for LGBTQ Students, the first-ever college guide profiling the "100 Best LGBTQ-Friendly Campuses." More info online at