College Scholarships for LGBTQ+ Students

LGBTQ+ students have a harder time paying for school than their straight, cis peers. Here are some scholarship options to help cover costs.

portrait of Staff Writers
by Staff Writers

Updated August 4, 2022

Reviewed by Campus Pride

Our Review Network

BestColleges is committed to delivering content that is objective and accurate. We have built a network of industry professionals across healthcare and education to review our content and ensure we are providing the best information to our readers.

With their first-hand industry experience, our reviewers provide an extra step in our editing process. These experts:

  • Suggest changes to inaccurate or misleading information.
  • Provide specific, corrective feedback.
  • Identify critical information that writers may have missed.

Our growing Review Network currently consists of professionals in fields like business, nursing, social work, and other subject-specific industries; professionals in higher education areas such as college counseling and financial aid; and anti-bias reviewers.

Reviewers typically work full time in their industry profession and review content for BestColleges as a side project. Our reviewers are members of the Red Ventures Education Freelance Review Network and are paid for their contributions.

See a full list of our Review Network contributors.

Edited by Cameren Boatner
Share this Article
College Scholarships for LGBTQ+ Students
Image Credit: Eduard Figueres / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

LGBTQ+ students face a variety of obstacles, including financial ones. They may have less support from their families, and they make less than the typical worker.

LGBTQ+ students might also have fewer resources to work with, as some may choose not to fill out the FAFSA because they're forced to disclose the sex assigned to them at birth.

Earning a scholarship can help mitigate some of these concerns. Scholarships generally include some sort of merit or geographic requirement and may require candidates to submit transcripts, letters of recommendation, essays, and other information.

Organizations like the Human Rights Campaign and Campus Pride maintain scholarship databases, which students can use to find scholarships. They can also consult their high school guidance counselor and research colleges in their state to look for more 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.

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

Find more LGBTQ+ Scholarships Visit the Campus Pride Scholarship Database

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 U.S. are encouraged to apply.

Award Amount: Varies each year

Deadline: January 26

Visit the Scholarship Page

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+ and allied students in specific geographic areas, those in financial need, and LGBTQ+ youth lacking community support resources.

Award Amount: $3,250-$12,000

Deadline: January 7

Visit the Scholarship Page

Colin Higgins Courage Award

Who's Eligible? Designed to honor LGBTQ+ students who have overcome hardships or discrimination, this annual award goes to LGBTQ+ youth activists.

Award Amount: $10,000

Visit the Scholarship Page

League Foundation Scholarships

Who's Eligible? These scholarships are awarded annually to LGBTQ+ students who have a GPA above 3.0, who have made community service contributions, and who have been accepted to an accredited US college or university.

Award Amount: Changes annually depending on funding Deadline: April 15

Visit the Scholarship Page

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 each year Deadline: March 31

Visit the Scholarship Page

Acorn Equality Fund Scholarships

Who's Eligible? Applicants must attend any U.S. postsecondary institution and 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 23

Visit the Scholarship Page

Out For Education Scholarships

Who's Eligible? Applicants must identify as LGBTQ+, be 17-25 years old, and have graduated from a Houston-area high school or plan on attending an accredited college or university in the Houston area. This area includes the following counties: Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, and Waller counties.

Award Amount: Varies each year Deadline: February 28

Visit the Scholarship Page

The Ronald P. Wilmot Scholarship Fund

Who's Eligible? This scholarship is designed for students who are the children of gay or lesbian parents. Applicants must demonstrate financial need and/or display academic excellence. Students must also reside in one of the following areas to qualify for this scholarship: San Francisco, the Peninsula (Sunnyvale and north), Alameda, Contra Costa, Solano, Marin, or Sonoma counties.

Award Amount: $2,500-$5,000 Deadline: March 31

Visit the Scholarship Page

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 each year Deadline: April 1

Visit the Scholarship Page

Models of Excellence Scholarship

Who's Eligible? This scholarship is available to graduating high school seniors in the following Southern California counties: Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, Santa Barbara, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, and Ventura.

Award Amount: $1,000-$3,000 Deadline: May 4

Visit the Scholarship Page

The LIVE OUT LOUD Educational Scholarship

Who's Eligible? This scholarship is offered to graduating high school seniors who identify as LGBTQ+ and live in the tri-state area of New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey. Awards are given only to applicants approved by the scholarship committee based on a variety of application materials.

Award Amount: $10,000 Deadline: March 7

Visit the Scholarship Page

The 49 Fund Scholarships

Who's Eligible? The 49 Fund was founded after the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting and provides 10 $4,900 scholarships annually to deserving gay students in Central Florida.

Award Amount: $4,900 Deadline: February 15

Visit the Scholarship Page

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 the field or industry.

National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals Scholarships

Who's Eligible Intended for LGBTQ+ students pursuing careers in STEM fields, this scholarship is available to applicants with a commitment to the LGBTQ+ community. Students must have finished two years of college with a 3.0 GPA or higher.

Award Amount: $5,000 Deadline: June 4

Visit the Scholarship Page

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 the issues facing the LGBTQ+ community and the importance of fair and accurate news coverage.

Award Amount Varies each year Deadline: May 20

Visit the Scholarship Page

Reaching Out LGBT+ MBA Fellowship

Who's Eligible This fellowship is available to students at participating schools. Students will serve as ambassadors of the LGBTQ+ community at large and take an active role in on-campus LGBTQ+ activities.

Award Amount: $10,000 per academic year or $20,000 total scholarship

Visit the Scholarship Page

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: Amount Varies

Visit the Scholarship Page

Demographic-Based LGBTQ+ Scholarships

Some scholarships are designed for specific student populations within the LGBTQ+ community or intersect with other specialized scholarships. These awards include options for different genders, people who identify as a certain race or ethnicity, and other intersectionalities of the LGBTQ+ community.

Gamma Mu Foundation Scholarships

Who's Eligible Applicants must have completed high school or earned their GED diploma by June of the application year and plan to enroll in an accredited institution the following fall. Students must identify as a gay male and be a U.S. citizen under 35 years of age.

Award Amount: $1,000-$2,500 Deadline: March 31

Visit the Scholarship Page

Traub-Dicker Rainbow Scholarship

Who's Eligible This annual scholarship is awarded to LGBTQ+ high school seniors, undergraduates, and graduate students who identify as women. The program supports students who have demonstrated academic excellence and made a difference through community service.

Amount: $1,500-$3,000

Visit the Scholarship Page

The Tang Scholarship

Who's Eligible This scholarship is awarded to students with at least 25% Asian American and Pacific Islander ancestry. Applicants must have graduated high school in the Bay Area with a minimum 3.0 GPA. They must also be enrolled in college full time.

Award Amount: Up to $15,000 Deadline: April 30

Visit the Scholarship Page

American Atheists Chinn Scholarship

Who's Eligible Applicants for the Chinn Scholarship must be college students or transitioning from high school to collegiate study. You must have a minimum 2.5 GPA, identify as atheist, and be involved in LGBTQ+ atheist activism.

Award Amount: $500 Deadline: May 31

Visit the Scholarship Page

Explore LGBTQ+ Resources

Discover Now

Our Experts

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

Portrait of Genny Beemyn, Ph.D.

Genny Beemyn, Ph.D.

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.

Portrait of Shane L. Windmeyer, M.S., Ed.

Shane L. Windmeyer, M.S., Ed.

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