LGBT students enrolling in undergraduate or graduate programs for the 2018-2019 academic year are encouraged to apply for a Point Foundation Scholarship. Point Foundation is the nation’s largest scholarship-granting organization for LGBT students.
The foundation says they are have provided financial assistance and programmatic support to 98 students. Applications open online at pointfoundation.org starting on November 1, 2017 and continues until January 29, 2018. A short application information video is available online to assist applicants.
“Point Foundation provides support and opportunities for LGBTQ students who would have had a significantly more difficult path — or a totally nonexistent path — to higher education,” said Jorge Valencia, Executive Director & Chief Executive Officer of Point Foundation. “Our scholars often tell us that becoming part of Point was pivotal in their lives because it was the first time they ever felt accepted and supported.”
Point’s scholarship support addresses the particular challenge LGBT students face paying for college. Studies show that 83% of LGBT students are using their own money for school, compared to 53% of all first-year college students. Approximately 70% of LGBT students need financial assistance to start school, compared to 44% of all first-year students.
The selection process for awarding Point Foundation Scholarships requires candidates to demonstrate academic excellence, leadership skills, community involvement, and financial need. Attention is given to applicants who lost financial and social support as a result of revealing their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.
Once selected, each scholar is paired with a mentor and participates in leadership development training with fellow Point Scholars. Point Scholars also give back to the LGBT 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.
“Point Foundation is a community of survivors — people who have survived a world that tells them that they are unwanted or unworthy or ‘lesser than’ just because of who they are,” said 2017 Janssen Infectious Diseases Scholar Omar Salman, who is studying at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. “But thanks to the resilient LGBTQ+ community that is Point, we are thriving together.”
Introductions to current Point Scholars are on Point’s YouTube channel where activities and accomplishments of Point Scholar and Alumni are featured.
Point Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit and has awarded approximately 400 scholarships since 2002. The Foundation promotes change through scholarship funding, mentorship, leadership development and community service training.