Did you know that President Obama has officially declared June as LGBT Pride Month? For many, this is seen as a positive step toward eliminating prejudice against lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgendered people across America. According to a 2011 report from The Williams Institute, approximately 9 million Americans identify as LGBT. Unfortunately, many of them still do not have the same rights and freedoms as their heterosexual neighbors. An alarming number of students still face constant verbal bullying and physical threats at schools and within their communities. Even college campuses can prove to be breeding grounds for intolerance. Thankfully, there are many organizations that seek to help LGBT students not only embrace who they are, but also help them obtain the necessary funding to complete their college educations. If you identify as LGBT, or fight to protect the rights of the LGBT community, check out the following resources for scholarships that can be used for an undergraduate degree or other educational programs.
1. Equity Foundation
Each year, the Equity Foundation provides several scholarships for students who identify as LGBT or those who have a parent who identify as LGBT. Students must be residents of Oregon or southwest Washington, and they must demonstrate financial need. Many are for specific majors or demographics, such as the Portland Latino Gay Pride Scholarship. Award amounts vary. Deadline: June 30 through July 31 (depending on the program).
2. American Psychological Foundation
Graduate students who plan to study LGBT family psychology or family therapy may be eligible to receive $12,000 through the Roy Scrivner Memorial Research Grant. Deadline: November 1.
3. Out to Protect
LGBT students who are pursuing a career in law enforcement may be eligible for up to $1,000 through the Out to Protect Scholarship Fund. Deadline: November 28.
4. Pride Foundation
The Pride Foundation provides 50 different types of scholarships to students living in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. Applicants must identify as LGBT, be members of a LGBT family, or be straight allies of the LGBT community. Only one application is required to apply for all available awards. Scholarship applications are accepted in the fall each year, beginning in October. Award amounts vary. Next deadline: January 2015.
5. Point Foundation
High school seniors, undergraduates, graduates, and returning adult learners who identify as LGBT may be eligible for one of several named scholarships offered through the Point Foundation. Students are not required to be U.S. citizens. Award amounts vary. Applications for the 2015-2016 will be available in November. Next Deadline: January 2015.
6. American Atheists
Each year, the American Atheists awards one $1,000 Chinn Scholarship for LGBT Atheist Activism. Students who identify as LGBT and are actively involved in atheist issues may be eligible to apply. Applications will be available later this year. Next deadline: February 2015.
7. Live Out Loud
Live Out Loud provides several $5,000 scholarships annually to students who identify as LGBT. Students must demonstrate exceptional leadership skills and academic achievement. High school seniors in New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey are eligible to apply. Applications will be accepted later this year. Next Deadline: March 2015.
8. League Foundation
High school seniors who self-identify as LGBT may be eligible for one of three different scholarship programs offered through the League Foundation. Students must have a 3.0 grade point average or higher. The 2015 application period will open in January. Next Deadline: April 2015.
9. Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)
High school seniors who identify as LGBT or are allies of the LGBT community may be eligible for local PFLAG Chapter Scholarships, as well as the PFLAG National Scholarship Program. Award amounts vary. The 2015 application process opens on February 25. Next Deadline: April 30, 2015.
Additional Resources for LGBT Scholarships
You may also search for LGBT scholarships by state through the scholarship database provided on the Human Rights Campaign website, as well as researching other available scholarships by using a free, online scholarship service, such as ScholarshipExperts.com.
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