Scholarship & Education Fund

Become a Scholar

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How to Become a Scholar

Step 1: Eligibility

group photos of scholarsTo receive a GSBA Scholarship, you must be a Washington State resident.* However, since GSBA shares an application with Pride Foundation, those residing in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, and Oregon are also encouraged to apply. Both GSBA and Pride Foundation scholars may study at any accredited college or university.

*Applicants are considered a resident if they:

  • Currently live in Washington and have done so for at least three months prior to the application deadline.
  • have lived in Washington for at least one year at any time in the five years prior to the application deadline.
  • have lived in Washington for more than one year at any time and have been continuously enrolled in an accredited academic institution for the past five years prior to the application deadline.

Preference is given to students who identify as LGBTQ+, are members of LGBTQ+ families, or are cisgender/straight allies who have demonstrated active support of the LGBTQ+ community.

Applicants must be pursuing a certificate program or undergraduate degree – Associate’s or Bachelor’s. Students should be enrolled in a community college, four-year public or private college or university, or vocational/technical/trade program. Current college students and those individuals planning to enroll in a program in the next academic year are eligible. This includes current high school seniors.

We do consider applicants pursuing graduate degrees. These applicants must have been a GSBA Scholar while working towards an undergraduate degree, graduated with a cumulative GPA of 3.0+, and are pursuing a graduate degree in alignment with the GSBA Mission.

Step 2: Apply

Each year, the scholarship application opens on October 11 (National Coming Out Day) and must be submitted by the first Friday of January by 5:00 pm PST.

We share an application portal with Pride Foundation. This allows you to apply for over 60 different scholarships with just one application!

Note: You will need an email to create an account on the application portal. Please use a safe email you regularly check. 

Ready to apply?   APPLY HERE!

Step 3: Wait

A team of volunteer reviewers will individually read and rate each application using the six areas of evaluation listed below. Each team will then select the individuals they feel best exemplify this criteria for an interview. All applicants will be notified in mid-March to let them know whether or not they have been invited to interview. If you have questions about the status of your application, please contact Stacy, the GSBA Scholarship & Education Program Manager,

Step 4: Interview & Selection

Applicants who are selected will be invited to interview on the first Saturday in April. The team of interviewers will then make their selection as to who will be awarded a GSBA Scholarship. Scholars will be recognized at GSBA’s annual Scholars Celebration. In 2024, this is on Saturday, April 27.

Six Areas of Evaluation

Academic & Career Goals

Has the applicant either shown a clear academic aptitude in their current coursework and/or do they show a passion for their educational aspirations?

Community Participation

Most applicants identify as a member of more than one community, including but not limited to LGBTQ+, racial/ethnic communities, religious, and/or social groups. Does the applicant demonstrate a knowledge of and involvement in at least one of their communities? Do they explain how they came to be involved and what values they have learned from that involvement? If their situation does not allow for such opportunities, have they clearly expressed what has interceded in their participation? Have they expressed their aspirations for participation in the future?

Connection to LGBTQ+ Community

As an engaged and promising leader, applicants are expected to have a deeper understanding of important issues challenging the LGBTQ+ community. Did the applicant clearly express an issue challenging them personally as a LGBTQ+ applicant or active ally with insight to issues & challenges to/in the LGBTQ+ community?


Supporting current and future leaders is a fundamental tenant of our scholarship program. Does the applicant demonstrate leadership capabilities in traditional or non-traditional ways? Do they seek out opportunities and show the capacity to motivate/educate themselves and others? Does the applicant show an understanding of the effects that oppression and/or socio-economic barriers may have on others and demonstrate an effort to bridge those barriers and build relationships?


Many applicants have dealt with challenges in their lives, but most important is how they have addressed and/or overcame these challenges. Did the applicant provide an example of one challenge they may have faced? Did they express how they addressed, persevered, and/or overcame this particular challenge or how they are continuing to address it?

Additional Barriers

LGBTQ+ folks often experience oppression, which can be compounded by their inclusion in multiple marginalized communities. A core philosophy of GSBA is expanding the level of access to education among all LGBTQ+ people and allies, including people who are economically, racially, socially, geographically, or politically disenfranchised. Does the applicant identify within one or more communities that might further intensify their marginalization?


Do I have to be a US citizen to apply?

No, GSBA doesn’t check citizenship status when reviewing applications.

Is there an age requirement?

There’s no age requirement or limitation.

What can I use my scholarship for?

You can apply your scholarship towards any educational expense that can be billed through your school: tuition, student fees, on-campus room & board, study abroad programs, books. Funds are sent directly to your school and credited to your student account. Funds cannot be sent directly to students.

How strict is the due date?

To be fair to applicants, we are very strict on the due date. We cannot accept late applications or materials under any circumstances. GSBA isn’t responsible for hardware malfunctions, bad internet connections, or other conditions which might prevent applicants submitting from an application on time.

I want to go to school outside of Washington. Can I still apply?

Yes, as long as the school is an accredited educational institution and you meet our residency requirements, you can attend school anywhere.

How much is the average award amount?

Awards range from $3,000 to $7,500, depending on the certificate or degree you are pursuing.

I have a disability and need assistance in completing this application.

Accommodations are available! Please contact Pride Foundation, our application partner – email or call 206-323-3318 or 800-735-7287.

Am I expected to write my application in English?

Arrangements outside of English are available! Please contact Pride Foundation – email or call 206-323-3318 or 800-735-7287.

I haven't been to school in several years. My transcript isn't electronic.

A scanned copy of your transcript works great! Students with narrative transcripts should only include the latest document.

Why are my essays cut off? I pasted more text than that into the application?

Each essay has a maximum character length of 3,000.  The application will not accept characters over that limit, even if pasted from another source.

Do I have to finish it now, or can I come back to edit?

You may return to your application as many times as you like BEFORE the application deadline, the FIRST Friday in January. To be able to edit, you do need to leave the application in “draft form.” If you want to edit your application before deadline, and have already submitted your application, you do need to contact Pride Foundation via email or call 206-323-3318 -or- 800-735-7287, or Stacy at GSBA via email. 

Why won't my application submit?

Any errors will be flagged in red when you go to submit. Correct the error(s) and re-submit. A confirmation text screen will appear and an email notification with additional information will be sent immediately upon successful submission of the application.

Did my application go through?

If your confirmation email does not arrive, check your junk-mail folder for the misplaced email. If necessary, make sure that you completed the submission steps. A final review of your application must be accepted by you before the submission is final. If neither option above corrects the problem, contact us to confirm your submission.

If I have questions, where do I go?

Our application partners at Pride Foundation provide all technical assistance and accommodations for the application. Please contact Pride Foundation via email or call 206-323-3318 -or- 800-735-7287. If you have specific questions about the GSBA Scholarship program, contact Stacy via email.


Our scholarship application is now OPEN for the 2024-2025 school year.

The GSBA Scholarship Fund and Pride Foundation scholarship applications open every year on October 11 (Coming Out Day) and close on the FIRST Friday of January.

Applicant Bill of Rights