LGBTQ students enrolling in undergraduate or graduate programs for the 2019–20 academic year may apply online for a Point Foundation Scholarship. Point Foundation is the nation’s largest scholarship-granting organization for LGBTQ students of merit. It currently provides financial assistance and programmatic support to 97 students.
According to a survey by StudentLoanHero.com, LGBTQ students accrue $16,000 more debt on average than their heterosexual peers. Moreover, nearly a third of LGBTQ students report discrimination because of their gender identity or sexual orientation when seeking financial assistance for higher education. Recognizing that LGBTQ students face distinct financial disadvantages and marginalization, Point provides its scholarship recipients with mentoring and leadership development training as well as financial support.
“Despite the constant attacks on our community, our LGBTQ young people are eager to develop the skills they need to fight back against discrimination and become the leaders our country so desperately needs,” said Jorge Valencia, executive director and chief executive officer of Point Foundation. “These students’ determination to create an equitable society that values and celebrates diversity needs to be — and can be — realized with our support.”
To receive a Point Foundation Scholarship, candidates must demonstrate academic excellence, leadership skills, community involvement, and financial need. Attention is given to applicants who have experienced marginalization and/or are working to improve the lives of marginalized groups, particularly the LGBTQ community.
Speaking at the 2018 Point Honors Los Angeles event, Herb Hamsher Point Scholar Nia Clarka social-work student at California State University, proudly told the audience:
“I am bigger than the discrimination that threatens my black trans existence every day. I am somebody. I’m a leader. I’m a Point Scholar. And I’m going to change the world by living authentically and unapologetically in my truth.”
Once selected each scholar pairs with a mentor and participates in leadership development training with fellow Point Scholars. Point Scholars also give back to the LGBTQ community by completing an individual community service project each year. After graduation, scholars become part of Point’s growing alumni network, connecting them with caring individuals and professional contacts in a wide range of fields throughout the nation. Since 2002, Point has awarded more than 450 scholarships.
Individuals, corporations, and organizations can support Point’s mission by designating a scholarship with a “Name,” which recognizes the donor, an individual, or an institution. Named Scholarship donors pledge to cover the financial assistance and programmatic support Point provides its scholars. New Named Scholarships for the 2019–20 academic year include: CAA Point Scholarship; FedEx Point Scholarship; Stacy R. Friedman Point Scholarship; and the Patti Sue Mathis Point Scholarship.
The 2019 class of Point Foundation Scholarship recipients will be announced in June 2019 for LGBTQ Pride Month.
Applications open online at www.pointfoundation.org/apply on Nov. 1, 2018. Students may submit their application until 11:59 p.m. PST Jan. 28, 2019. A short application information video is available online.