GSBA awards educational scholarships to LGBTQ+ and cisgender/straight-ally students who are committed to making a difference in the world. Our scholarships range up to $13,000 annually and are meant to provide significant support as you pursue your educational goals.

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Step 1: Determine Eligibility

Undergraduate Students: 

1. To 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, Oregon, and Washington are encouraged to apply. Both GSBA and Pride Foundation scholars may study at any accredited college or university.

2019 Scholars Dinner_Photo Credit Malcolm Smith Photography_ (182)*Applicants are considered a resident if they:
Currently live in that state and have done so for at least three months prior to the application deadline; or have lived in that state for at least one year at any time in the five years prior to the application deadline; or have lived in that state for more than one year at any time and have been continuously enrolled in an accredited academic institution for the five years prior to the application deadline.

2. Preference is given to students who identify as LGBTQ+, members of LGBTQ+ families, or cisgender/straight allies who've been supportive of the LGBTQ+ community. All applicants must be able to demonstrate a commitment to equality and human rights for all. The GSBA scholarship application includes an essay in which applicants are asked to describe their involvement and leadership within the LGBTQ+ community.

3. Applicants must be pursuing an undergraduate degree. Students should be enrolled in community colleges, four-year public or private colleges or universities, or vocational/technical/trade programs. Current college students and those individuals planning to enroll in a program next year are eligible as are current high school seniors. High school freshman, sophomores, or juniors are not eligible nor are individuals who are not planning to enroll in higher education next year.

Graduate Students


1. Applicants must have been a GSBA Scholar while working towards an undergraduate degree.

2. Applicants must have had a cumulative GPA of 3.0+ upon completion of an undergraduate degree.

3. Applicants must be earning a graduate degree in alignment with the GSBA Mission.

Step 2: Apply

Each year, the scholarship application becomes available online on October 11 (National Coming OutDay) and must be submitted by the second Friday of January by 5:00 pm PST. You will need a valid email to create an account. Once your account is created you can work on your application over several sessions. Follow this link to apply.

Step 3: Wait

A team of scholarship application review volunteers will individually review and rate each application on the basis of the evaluation criteria. Each team will then select the individuals they feel best exemplify the selection criteria. ALL applicants will be notified in mid-to-late 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 the GSBA Scholarship team.

While you are waiting, you can search for the institutions you have applied to at Campus Pride and see how they compare on LGBTQ+ inclusion.


Step 4: Interview & Selection

Applicants who are selected as semi-finalists, will be invited to interview in early-April. The team of volunteer interviewers will then make their selection as to who will be awarded a GSBA Scholarship. Scholars will be awarded at GSBA's annual Scholars Dinner in mid-May.

Evaluation Criteria

IMG_3147The GSBA Scholarship Fund considers six areas of evaluation when reviewing scholarship applications.

  • Academic and Career Goals

    • Does the applicant show an academic aptitude and have the motivation for academic success? Is there strong evidence of it throughout their educational and/or career path? Do they have a passion for their vocation?

  • 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, do they have other priorities that supersede such involvement? Have they expressed these priorities?

  • LGBTQ+ CommunityIMG_3462

    • As an engaged and promising leader in the community, applicants are expected to have an understanding of important issues challenging the LGBTQ+ community. Did the applicant clearly express an issue challenging the LGBTQ+ community?

  • Leadership

    • 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?

  • IMG_5346Challenges

    • 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+ people 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?

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


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 of the following: tuition, student fees, on-campus room and board, study abroad programs, and books. Checks can only be made out 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 the northwest of outside of the US. 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?
During the 2019-2020 academic year, the average annual award amount for each scholar was $8,000. In addition, GSBA invests in our scholars' leadership development through annual programs and workshops.

I have a disability and need assistance in completing this application.
Accommodations are available! Please email us 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 email us 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 word length, generally from 250 to 500 words.  The application will not accept text over that limit, even if pasted from another source.

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. Please contact Pride Foundation via email or call 206-323-3318 -or- 800-735-7287.

"GSBA helped me achieve my dream of being the first person in my family to graduate from college. But more than that, GSBA gave me a community so that I did not have to do it alone." – Nyka Tucker, GSBA Scholar, 2013 & 2014