pride month
As many describe, the land of dreams attracts people from all over of the globe - including the LGBTQ community. Source: Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP

Studying abroad as an international student is a costly affair. They are an important revenue source for universities and often contribute millions to the economy. Just think about it: the cost of living abroad trickles down to every aspect of a student’s life — from paying rent, buying groceries to having a fun night out.

As we celebrate Pride Month, it is equally important to recognise the struggles of another minority group within the international student community — namely, LGBTQ students. The numbers from the 2019 Student Loan Hero survey paint a clear picture: LGBTQ students struggle to manage their student loan debt and some are denied financial help due to their sexual orientation.

In the spirit of Pride Month, here are four scholarships for LGBTQ students looking to study in the US during 2022-23.

pride month

Pride Month is an annual celebration that celebrates the LGBTQ community around the global from June 1 to June 30 each year. Source: Angela Weiss / AFP

Pride Month: Five scholarships for LGBTQ international students

1. Point Foundation

Through three scholarship programmes, the Point Foundation supports LGBTQ students who want to pursue higher education in a higher learning institution, including community colleges, colleges and universities. Part of what makes Point Foundation unique is its BIPOC Scholarship which aims to support black, indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC) students who identify as LGBTQ.

Applications are open to all college students, regardless of citizenship. Its website notes that undocumented students and international students are eligible to apply if they are enrolling or intending to enrol at an accredited college or university based in the US.

To find out a list of benefits under each scholarship programme, click here for details

pride month

June is Pride Month. Across the US, there are several states with progressive attitudes towards the LGBTQ community. Source: Joseph Prezioso/AFP

2. The League Foundation

Since 1996, the League Foundation has awarded 195 college scholarships totalling 423,500 US dollars for LGBTQ students graduating from high schools or military base high schools in the US. This scholarship programme supports this group of students who are entering their first year of learning at a college or institution of higher education in the US or Canada. For those who are interested in applying for the scholarship, the next application period begins on Jan. 1, 2023. 

The League Foundation scholarship is only applicable to Americans (who are either US citizens or legal immigrants) who are attending a college, university or vocational school within the US or Canada. Proof of acceptance is required.

3. eQuality Scholarship Collaborative

Established in 1989, the eQuality Scholarship has awarded 415 scholarships totalling more than US1.7 million over the past 32 years. Generally, the scholarship is awarded to honour and encourage California students for their service to the LGBTQ community.

The scholarship is divided into three categories — one of which targets graduating high school seniors and recent high school graduates that will be attending an accredited post-secondary institution (college, university, or vocational/trade school) for the first time.

International students will be glad to hear that the scholarship application is not limited to students residing in California. Students can either be residents in northern or central California, or attend a high school in the area. Its website notes that they will not ask for Social Security numbers or citizenship status.

While their scholarship applications have closed for 2022, we highly encourage international students to check their website for information to apply for the scholarship next year.

4. Little Bird Scholarship for LGBTQI Immigrants

This scholarship will award a total of US18,000 worth of scholarship for up to two years of study for undergraduate students that are both LGBTQ or intersex and undocumented immigrants, including refugees and individuals seeking or granted asylum.

Applicants must not hold a US citizenship, a green, or an F-1 visa. They must also be enrolled at an accredited, non-profit school in New York City and be rising juniors or seniors in the school. Students who are interested to apply for this scholarship should sign up for the Little Bird mailing list to stay updated when an application for the scholarship reopens.