Strides are being made everyday in the LGBT community, and their success gaining equality on college campuses across the U.S. is no exception. While many colleges have their own student organizations dedicated to LGBT students and teachers, there are also a number of national organizations that can provide a community for any student who many feel they are lacking one.
There are also a number of scholarships available to LGBT students on a broad level, available to any student who identifies as LGBT, as well as more niche options, such as scholarships from the National Gay Pilot's Association for students interested in aviation.
National Resources for LGBT Students
- The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force aims to eliminate challenges faced by LGBT people on campuses and the group has published a campus guide to help schools create safe environments for LGBT students through things like staff training, nondiscrimination policies and sex education. With guides like this, The Task Force hopes to help LGBT students have the complete college experience, which includes excelling in academics as well as being able to participate in campus extracurriculars without facing discrimination.
- Campus Pride provides on online resource for LGBT students and allies including leadership development and support programs to create more LGBT-friendly colleges and universities. By creating student leaders and having campus networks across the U.S., Campus Pride hopes that one day all campuses will be free of anti-LGBT prejudice, bigotry and hate.
- The Consortium of Higher Education Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Professionals is a resource that aims to achieve communities of supportive colleagues, improve campus climates, and advocate for policy change and program development in LGBT communities across the country. Campus staff, faculty and graduate students working with LGBT issues at a college or university are able to become members of the Consortium, which is an LGBT community with a mentoring program, internship program and many other resources.
- Since 1985, the Pride Foundation has been transforming LGBT communities across the Northwest by creating organizations and innovative projects, and supporting students and leaders within the LGBT community. The Pride Foundation offers scholarships, grants and fellowships to LGBT students. They also work on a number of projects including the Queer Youth Capacity Building Project, Racial Equity Initiative and Shareholder Advocacy, which each do their part in helping create stronger LGBT-friendly communities.
Scholarships for students in the LGBT community
- The Point Foundation offers scholarships to people who identify with the LGBT community in an effort to help them achieve their full academic and leadership potential. However, The Point Foundation doesn't hand out scholarships to just anyone, this organization works hard to make sure scholarships go to students who have exceptional financial needs that would require personal assistance for personal success.
- Parents, Family, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) has scholarships on a local and national level for LGBT identifying students, as well as their youth allies. The goal of PFLAG's scholarships are to recognize hard work and leadership in the next generation along with their efforts to building and sustaining a safe LGBT community.
- Live Out Loud hands out four scholarships for $2,500 each year to LGBT youth who are pursuing a college degree. Winners of the Live Out Loud scholarships can use them to pay for education-related expenses that go along with pursuing their degree from an accredited college, university or technical/vocational program. As an organizations, Live Out Loud's mission is to empower, energize and enable LGBT youth, and their scholarships play a large part in making that mission happen.
- The National Gay Pilots Association helps aspiring aviators get that much closer to their dreams with its NGPA Education Fund. Since 1998, the NGPA has been awarding students who show community involvement, specifically in the LGBT community, scholarships to help finance advanced certificates and ratings in flight education.
- Colleges and universities across the U.S. have Allies and Safe Zone Programs for LGBT students. If your school doesn't have one of these programs, consider starting one. Visit the Human Rights Campaign Resources page for more information on Safe Zones.
- If your school doesn't have LGBT specific resources, don't rule out joining other student organizations.
- The University of Iowa recently made history when they decided to ask students demographic questions on their sexual orientation and gender identity in their admissions process. This is the first public institution and the second, and largest, U.S. institution to put a practice like this in place.