High tuition costs typically require students to pursue financial aid. Students should look for as many scholarships and grants as possible before applying for federal or private loans. Unlike loans, scholarships are "free money" that do not require repayment.
Earning a computer science degree can prepare students to pursue lucrative jobs in high demand. White men are overrepresented in computer science, leading to a push to diversify the profession. Many organizations provide financial support specifically for LGBTQ+ community members pursuing degrees, including scholarships for LGBTQ+ computer science students.
This page provides some of the top scholarships for queer computer science students, typical application requirements, and frequently asked questions about LGBTQ+ scholarships.
Scholarship Applications for LGBTQ+ Students
Common requirements for scholarship applications include a minimum GPA, majoring in a specific subject, and being a member of a demographic group. Applicants often must demonstrate financial need, although many are purely merit based.
A common requirement for many of these scholarships includes identifying as LGBTQ+ or an ally of the community. LGBTQ+ scholarships often ask for applicants who can demonstrate a commitment to advancing or advocating for the LGBTQ+ community.
Scholarships in Computer Science for LGBTQ+ Students
Many types of financial aid can help LGBTQ+ computer science students pay for their degrees. The following list includes scholarships for LGBTQ+ computer science majors and general scholarships for members of the community. This list may also apply to scholarships for computer science nonbinary students and scholarships for queer coding students.
This list is not exhaustive, and students should still research scholarships applicable to their unique circumstances.
Computer Science Scholarships for LGBTQ+ Students
Better Together STEM Scholarship Program
PG&E offers various scholarships for Californians pursuing STEM and other majors, including the PG&E Pride Network Employee Resource Group scholarship. Applicants must be residents, attendees, or graduates of northern California high schools or community colleges.
Award: $6,000 (PG&E Pride Network Employee Resource Group scholarship)
Out to Innovate Scholarships
These scholarships support LGBTQ+ undergraduate and graduate students majoring in STEM. Each candidate must identify as LGBTQ+, hold a minimum 2.75 GPA, and actively support and participate in inclusive LGBTQ+ organizations or programs.
General Scholarships for LGBTQ+ Students
Colin Higgins Youth Courage Awards
This annual award recognizes LGBTQ+ youth in underserved communities who show courage in the face of discrimination or bigotry rooted in gender or sexual orientation. Applicants must be aged 20 or younger.
League Foundation Scholarships
The League Foundation awards four scholarships annually to LGBTQ+ graduating high school seniors. Each applicant must be a U.S. citizen or legal resident, hold a minimum 3.0 GPA, and submit a detailed record of LGBTQ+ community involvement.
This scholarship assists LGBTQ+ people who will positively impact the LGBTQ+ community. Undergraduate and graduate students attending a designated California university can apply. Applicants must demonstrate promise for becoming role models for the LGBTQ+ community.
Point Foundation Scholarships
These scholarships support LGBTQ+ undergraduate and graduate students who are enrolled in or planning to enroll in accredited U.S. universities. Each applicant must demonstrate financial need, a record of community involvement, and an ongoing effort to support the LGBTQ+ community.
Award: Varies (provides the remaining funding after the student uses other scholarships, loans, grants, work-study, etc.)
Pride Foundation Scholarships
Students can apply for the Pride Foundation's 60 LGBTQ+ scholarships by filling out just one application. The foundation prioritizes funding for applicants who demonstrate a commitment to advocating for justice, lack a support system, and face systemic barriers to education.
Resources for LGBTQ+ Students in Computer Science
The following resources discuss the importance of increasing diversity and inclusion in computer science and the STEM field more broadly. LGBTQ+ students can explore these resources to learn more about what to expect from the computer science field. They can also use these guides to find more inclusive and welcoming computer science programs.
This resource includes a ranked list of the top five most diverse computer science programs of 2022.
Discover why diversity and inclusion in STEM matters, resources for STEM students, and efforts to increase diversity in STEM.
Questions About Scholarships for LGBTQ+ Students
Why are scholarships for queer computer science students important?
Computer science and coding scholarships for LGBTQ+ students are an important way to attract a more diverse population to a field dominated by white men.
What kinds of scholarships are available for LGBTQ+ computer science students?
There are all kinds of scholarships for LGBTQ+ computer science students. Some are demographic-based and require applicants to be members of specific racial, ethnic, or gender backgrounds. Others accept LGBTQ+ individuals and allies of the community.
When should I start applying for scholarships?
Do not wait until the last minute. Start applying for scholarships as soon as possible. Research different scholarships to find out when applications open. Some deadlines happen as early as a year before school starts.
How can I increase my chances of getting scholarships?
You can increase your chances of getting scholarships by applying to as many as possible, so long as you qualify for them. It also helps to get involved in your community and highlight what makes you unique.
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