The Point Scholarship is the most significant LGBTQ scholarship in the country. It’s a big deal, y’all. The Pointe Foundation helps to give out scholarship money through the help of 28 different scholarship funds to members of the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) community and their allies. In order to be eligible, the applicant must be active in the LGBTQ community. The Point Scholarship was founded in 2001 by Bruce Lindstrom and Carl Strickland. In its first year, it awarded $14,000 and has grown from there. All scholars are matched with mentors from the professional world.
So, who exactly can apply?
- Undergraduate, graduate and post-grad students
- Students looking to attend or who currently attend a 4-year accredited college or university
- Only available for students starting in the fall
- Students of any age
- Students enrolled full-time
- Out students who identify as a LGBTQA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or ally) individual
- Students from the US
The Point Scholarship is very competitive and includes several rounds of applications which students must be invited to apply for. Not all students are lucky enough to become a Point Scholar, but they all admire and respect the program.
Tristan Fernstrom found out about the scholarship by googling LGBT scholarships. He is very active in the LGBT community and was the co-president for his college’s Queers and Allies organization while finding time to participate in his school’s social justice theatre group. He occasionally performs as a drag king and loves to “dive head first into any queer-related issue” he can get involved in. Tristan identifies himself as a queer, transman.
Tristan believes that, “the ideal Point Scholar is someone who is willing to go above and beyond online activism, who is willing to get up, be active and go get something done. They’re someone who is willing to speak out no matter how loud or quiet they think their voice may be. A Point Scholar works hard and tirelessly until their goal is accomplished. They are open to assistance, collaboration, and criticism, and are open to any and all members of their community interested in helping their cause.”
Noah Barth, an incoming freshman at DePaul University and a Community Service Scholar, plans to help homeless LGBT youth (something that is a huge problem in the US). He applied for the Point Scholarship so that he could further help the LGBT community in the long-run. As a gay-identified student, Noah saw the need to have a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) at his high school and started one himself. He continues to stand up for LGBT rights in his community and his church.
Noah believes that, “the ideal Point Scholar is someone that goes out of their way to help the community. They care and they are responsible they work towards breaking down negative stereotypes.” He says, “I don’t feel like I was ready to be a Point Scholar this year, as much as I wanted it. I need more experience, despite the fact that I made it to the semi-finalist round.”
While the Point Scholarship is very competitive and worth applying to, you should not count on getting it and should cast your net a little bit wider. Much like the college application process, the scholarship application process varies in competitiveness, but it is always worth it to apply to harder-to-get scholarships because they are often the most worth it in the end.
But do not fret; there are several smaller scholarship funds for LGBT students:
Who can apply: College freshmen and high school seniors
Who can apply: Gay men under 35 who are active leaders in the LGBT community with plans of attending an accredited institution of higher learning.
The Pride Foundation:
Who can apply: LGBTQIA students from or studying in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington
All of these scholarships open up applications in the Fall, and we will post a follow up piece on it closer to the deadline.