High school and college students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) can often feel alienated by their peers and teachers, which can have an effect on school performance and self esteem.
This is an added stress to the rigorous college application process, and of course finding a way to pay for your college education.
To address some (if not all) of these issues facing LGBT students, a number of foundations have been formed to support them with mentoring and financial assistance for college.
The Point Foundation’s Point Scholars (www.pointfoundation.org) program gives a number of students $13,600 in scholarship money for college, in addition to having them participate in leadership training and service projects.
Organizations and charities like the Fund for Lesbian and Gay Scholarships works with individual colleges to provide need-based scholarships to LGBT students attending a number of colleges in the United States, including the University of California at Berkley, the University of New Mexico at Albuquerque and American University.
Many LGBT scholarship programs are attempting to create future leaders and activists in the students to whom they grant college funding. To qualify for scholarships from Parents, Friends and Families of Lesbians and Gays, students must show an interest in service work in the LGBT community. The Collins Higgins Foundation (www.collinhiggins.org) award similarly awards student activists “fighting for queer rights in underrepresented groups.”
There is a particular interest in law-related LGBT issues, and many scholarships for LGBT law students exist to help promote this important legal activism work. The Michael Greenberg Student Writing Competition (through the LGBT Bar Association, www.lgbtbar.org) not only awards $3,000 to students writing about cutting-edge LGBT legal issues, but also publishes the contest winning in the Journal of Law and Sexuality at Tulane University Law School.
There are many more scholarships available to LGBT students. In addition to the awards listed here and in the scholarships profile pages, the Human Rights Coalition maintains a comprehensive database of opportunities. Keep an eye on the weekly FinancialAidFinder scholarship announcements for new award profiles.