Going to college? Are you LGBT? Take a look here…
Scholarships for LGBT Students
A growing number of scholarship efforts are devoted exclusively to helping students who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. Some scholarships are available nationally, while others are exclusively reserved for students from specific geographic regions. Unique student populations like LGBT are traditionally under-represented in higher education, so dedicated scholarships and grants are used to increase enrollment in college programs.
Targeted segments of the student body benefit from LGBT financial aid initiatives that each address specific types of individuals within the LGBT community. Groups that are excluded from higher education face formidable social challenges, so a growing number of LGBT scholarship opportunities reflect the trend toward diversity and tolerance within the academic community.
Non-traditional students qualify for traditional college financial aid too; like Pell Grants and other federal assistance. Student-specific scholarships are supplemental resources that help LGBT university students, after other financial aid is spent. Like other scholarship-seekers, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender financial aid candidates are well-served by a top-down approach toward student assistance. Gays first land free-money federal grants, like FSEOGand Pell, then tackle state resources and other college funding reserved for LGBT applicants.
LGBT advocacy organizations are primary resources for LGBT scholarships. These examples shine a light on educational assistance opportunities for LGBT college students:
- Fund for Lesbian and Gay Scholarships (also known as FLAGS) rewards community-minded students with scholarships in varying amounts. Awards are issued based on financial need and academic performance.
- The LEAGUE Foundation Academic Scholarship Fund is for graduating high school seniors who have identified themselves as LGBT. Qualification is based on GPA and community involvement.
- National Gay and Lesbian Task Force administers the Messenger-Anderson Journalism Scholarship and Internship Program which offers $10,000 scholarships to LGBT students who are studying journalism and communications at four-year colleges. Scholarship recipients are also required to take part in a summer internship program in Washington, D.C.
- The Point Foundation provides scholarships in varying amounts to undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate students. Of particular interest to scholarship administrators is the ability to help those students whose sexual orientation has led them to be isolated and/or abandoned by family, friends, and separated from traditional support systems.
- Transgender Scholarship and Education Legacy Fund (TSELF) is for students who have identified themselves as transgender and are pursuing careers in religion, social services, healthcare, law, and education. Scholarships are sponsored by the International Foundation for Gender Education.
- ZAMI Nobla (National Organization of Black Lesbians on Aging) is active in promoting African American women’s causes – including higher education.
- Just Out Scholarships are offered to children of “sexual minority” parents living in the states of Oregon and Washington. Scholarship preference is given to rural applicants, and dollar amounts vary.
- The Equity Foundation administers a handful of GLBT scholarships: Orchard-Hoyman Fund, Kaiser Permanente Northwest Pride Scholarship, and Pride of the Rose Scholarship. Applications are accepted from students living in Oregon and Southern Washington.
- The Lax Scholarship Fund for Gay Men awards multiple $5,000 scholarshipsand one $20,000 scholarship annually, to gay male students from the five-county Philadelphia region and gay males coming to study in the Philly area.
- LGBT Asian American students living in the Bay Area qualify for unique scholarships. George Choy Memorial Scholarship/Gay Asian Pacific Alliance Award is worth $1,000 annually, to a student with an outstanding academic record.
- The Harvey Milk/Tom Homann Gay and Lesbian Student Scholarship awards scholarships ranging in value from $250 to $1,000 to San Diego area LGBT students.
- The Matthew Shephard Scholarship Foundation was established to support the educational pursuits of visible GLBT Iowa students. The educational assistance is also issued to raise awareness about homophobia and social violence.
Children of LGBT Parents
Some scholarships and grants specifically benefit the huge population of students who are raised in LGBT households. Promoting diversity and increasing college enrollment among children of LGBT individuals is accomplished through dedicated educational philanthropy. Children of LGBT households land scholarships like these:
- Two $1,000 awards are distributed annually, to winners of the Lee Dubin Memorial Scholarships. Applicants possess at least one parent that identifies with the LGBT community. Awards issued by Colage favor students involved socially; especially in activities that showcase positive alternative family values.
- Joseph Towner Fund specifically encourages higher education among students of LGBT parents, in the San Francisco area. Two $1,000 scholarships are awarded annually to students who are committed to support for alternative families, but who have nevertheless faced significant social or emotional challenges growing up in gay-parent households.
Graduate and Post-Graduate Students
- Maylon-Smith Scholarship Award is issued by the Society for the Psychological Study of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Issues, a division of the American Psychological Association. Up to $1,000 goes to assist each winning graduate student researching issues that affect the LGBT community.
- The Lesbian Caucus of the National Women’s Studies Association provides $500 scholarships to lesbian students who are doing graduate level or Ph.D. dissertation research in lesbian studies.
- The Society of Lesbian and Gay Anthropologists of the American Anthropological Association offers the Kenneth W. Payne Student Prize to reward the scholarly writing of graduate students.
Today the U.S. Department of Education announced a small but significant change to the FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, that will make the application a more fair, effective, and efficient tool for students seeking financial aid to finance their college education. The FAFSA currently uses the terms âmother/stepmotherâ and âfather/stepfatherâ when requesting […]
Today the U.S. Department of Education announced a small but significant change to the FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, that will make the application a more fair, effective, and efficient tool for students seeking financial aid to finance their college education.
The FAFSA currently uses the terms “mother/stepmother” and “father/stepfather” when requesting information about an applicant’s parents. Applicants with same-sex parents then must either arbitrarily designate one parent as “mother” and the other as “father,” or omit one parent from the form entirely. In other words, the current FAFSA puts these applicants in a lose-lose scenario forcing them to complete and submit an application that is inaccurate and not reflective of their family structure.
Today’s proposal will help change that. For the 2014-2015 FAFSA, the Department will amend the terms “Mother/Stepmother” and “Father/Stepfather” to instead read “Parent 1” and “Parent 2.” This change also means that for the first time the Department will collect same-sex parents’ financial information in the same way that it does for different-sex parents. In addition to accurately reflecting LGBT families, these changes will capture the economic situation of these families so that students applying for aid can access financial aid based on their true financial need — without any bearing on their parents’ sexual orientation.
This change mimics similar changes made at other federal agencies. In 2011, for example, the State Department initiated reforms to give passport forms a more gender-neutral parental designation. Doing so required minimal changes to federal forms while significantly enhancing the accuracy, fairness, effectiveness, and efficiency of government operations.
At its core, this much-needed change achieves two important policy objectives.
First, this change guarantees that all families are treated fairly and equally in the higher education financial aid process. Without accurate language to describe their families, students with same-sex parents are likely to see their application delayed due to often unavoidable inaccuracies. Some may not even submit an application at all due to the complexity and confusion caused by the FAFSA’s use of gendered language. What results is inequitable access to financial aid for students with same-sex parents. This change significantly levels the playing field for these applicants.
Second, this change advances the efficiency and effectiveness of delivering aid based on need, and not allowing irrelevant factors such as sexual orientation to factor into the application process. Financial aid should be allocated based solely on financial need. Allowing other factors to enter the process results in the imprudent use of taxpayer dollars. The proposed change from the Department would be a significant step forward toward enhancing the efficient use of federal funds.
What’s more, these proposed changes are likely to have a ripple effect throughout the college financial aid system. Many private organizations, non-profits, and local and state government serve as significant sources of financial aid for potential college students. Because many of these entities model their application for higher education financial aid after the FAFSA, the proposed changes will likely have a trickle-down effect such that the entire process becomes more fair for these students.
Still, anti-gay adoption laws and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) continue to present a number of problems for students with same-sex parents. Nevertheless, today’s announcement is a huge step forward for LGBT equality in higher education, one that other agencies should also implement so that all families are treated equally under the law.
Opening up: the experiences of transgender students
This week, transgender student Alex Sennello wrote about her experience of being a cisexual high school student in the US. According to Sennello, schools aren’t doing enough to protect students like her – and broad anti-bullying campaigns have oversimplified the unique challenges facing transgender students:
Only when schools are committed to an overhaul will we stop seeing sexually and gender diverse young people harassed and marginalized. Students like me need be able to walk into classrooms where their gender identities are not assumed; find textbooks that include their history; listen to lessons that recognize their existence; use the bathroom without feeling scared or disingenuous; and have their peers, teachers and administrators understand that the identities and experiences of queer people are natural and valuable.
As a part of our series Opening Up, we are ‘opening up’ the issues Alex raises in her piece to other members of the transgender community. Tell us about your experiences in school (as a teenager or in college): When were the moments that you felt most aware of your gendered and sexual identity? Did teachers or administrators protect you from harassment or bullying? What could your school have done to improve your experience? What should schools do today? Please be specific.
Copy & Paste the link to include your opinion: http://www.guardian.co.uk/global/2013/apr/11/transgender-students-opening-up
The California Department of Education released a new recommended reading list for K-12 students this week that included books on LGBT issues and immigration.
Books on the list are meant to prepare students for college, careers and the world at large. California’s reading list has included “controversial topics” before, but this is the first time it has included books that were honored by the Stonewall Book Awards, which recognize achievements in LGBT literature.
The state-approved canon comprises fiction, nonfiction, poetry and drama. None of the previous book recommendations were deleted, and new additions include “De Donde?,” a book that offers alternative reasons for why people come to the United States illegally, and “I am J,” a book about the emotional plight of transgender teens.
A spokesperson for Equality California, a statewide LGBT advocacy organization, said his organization is thrilled.
“We applaud Superintendent Tom Torlakson for including these books,” spokesman Stephan A. Roth said. “We think this is consistent with the spirit of the FAIR Education Act, which is a new law that mandates that the role and contribution of LGBT people is included in our state education curricula. “
So awesome! You go, California public schools.
Intern at the Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health!
If you have wanted to work in the field of sexuality, now is your time! The Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health officially opened our summer internship application yesterday. We are located in Rhode Island, though limited spots for distance interns may be available.
The interns that work for The CSPH have described it as a place where they do real work, there are few tedious tasks and that they gained fantastic opportunities to learn about sexuality.
The Perks you ask?
1. Getting to hang out with a kick ass kitty,
2. Learning and fondling ALL the sex toys every day
3. Meeting amazing sexuality professionals,
4. Gaining CE credits that can be used towards certification as an AASECT sexuality therapist, counselor and/or educator.
5. A few lucky interns will be able to partake in a Sexual Attitude Reassessment for free (normally it is 600.00 and it is a requirement for certification in the field of sexuality).
6. Oh yeah, interns get to review (and thus keep) all the sex toys for free.
Please pass along the information and know that if you are selected you will be surrounded by the largest vulva doorframe in New England and super sex positive folks.
The applications are located here
and are DUE by 9pm (EST) on March 22nd.
Tell your friends!
One of my goals with FYSE is to encourage others to get into the field. When it comes to sex education and sexuality jobs you’re much more likely to get more opportunities based on your experience than your schooling. Definitely if you’re interested in a career in sexual health look for internships like this or volunteer locally with health clinics or HIV testing facilities or anything related to that.
Friendly reminder that we’ve extended our deadline for accepting applications to a week from now — Wednesday, April 3rd at 5pm!
Signal boosting one last time to remind everyone that they also have distance internships. You don’t have to be local to intern here!
LGBTQ* Grants (and Deadlines) You Should Know
Trans Justice Funding Project
We aim to make this process as accessible as possible, so please let us know about any other needs you have and we will do our best to meet them. An audio version of the application is available on request.
Applications are due on February 15th, 2013 by midnight, Eastern Standard Time. Decisions will be made in mid-March 2013. So you can expect to hear back from us by April 1st and, if you are funded, to get your check soon after that.
How will the funding process work?
A panel of 7 activists from across the country will come together for a series of conference calls and a weekend-long in-person meeting to review all the applications and decide on the grantees. You can read more about our the panel members at transjusticefundingproject.org/who-we-are/. While we are very grateful to all the contributors making this project possible, funding decisions will be made solely by this community-led panel.
What does trans justice mean?
We use the term “trans” in its most inclusive sense, as an umbrella term encompassing transsexual, transgender, genderqueer, Two-Spirit people, and more generally, anyone whose gender identity or gender expression is non conforming and/or different from their birth-assigned sex.
We see trans justice as a commitment to creating a world where trans and gender non-conforming individuals and communities have the freedom to self-define and express their genders without fear of violence, discrimination, or harassment. A world where we recognize and honor that our communities have knowledge and expertise in matters relating to our own lives that no one else will have.
(Thank you to Leeway Foundation and Ryan Li for the adapted definitions above)
The funding panel will be distributing a total of $50,000. While it’s unlikely that grants will be smaller than $1,000 or larger than $5,000, the final decisions about grant size will be made when the panel meets to review all the applications.
Is multi-year support available?
Right now, this is only a one year project to distribute $50,000. In a way, it’s an experiment. We’re not sure what’s next, but no matter what, we want to do our best to get the word out about our grantees to as many donors as possible and to provide an example of an alternative, community-led funding model to those who want to support trans justice.
What we fund:
- Groups, projects and organizations across the U.S. from rural areas to big cities
- Groups that have 501c3 status or fiscal sponsorship
- Groups that don’t have 501c3 status or fiscal sponsorship
- Established organizations
- Groups that are just getting started
What we don’t fund:
- Groups outside the U.S.
We are committed to supporting groups that:
- Are run by and for trans communities.
- Support and encourage trans leadership.
- Are guided by a commitment to trans justice and anti-oppression work.
- Center the leadership of trans people organizing around their experiences with racism, economic injustice, transmisogyny, ableism, immigration, incarceration, and other intersecting oppressions.
- Collaborate with other local groups and think of themselves as part of a bigger picture of trans-led work that seeks dignity and justice for all people.
- Are meeting the needs of different local communities and using organizing and/or providing services to help bring people together.
Just email us at email@example.com about any questions. We’ll get back to you as fast as we can! (Though please keep in mind that it’s just the two of us putting this together in our spare time, so it might be a little slower than we’d like.)
Gabriel Foster and Karen Pittelman, co-organizers
For more information visit TransJusticeFundingProject.org
If we actually started calling bullying what it is and address it as racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, fat phobia and classism it would actually give children a better way to deal with the very same power dynamics they will face as adults, while also giving adults more responsibility to challenge the intolerance that is rooted within our society overall.