Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) students seeking financial assistance for their undergraduate or graduate school education are encouraged to apply for a Point Foundation Scholarship. Point Foundation (Point) is the largest scholarship-granting organisation in the US for LGBTQ students of merit and currently provides financial assistance and programmatic support to 85 students. Students enrolling in undergraduate or graduate programs for the 2016-2017 academic year are eligible to apply for Point’s multi-year scholarship.
Applications open today at www.pointfoundation.org/apply.
Students may submit Part I of the application until 11:59 p.m. PST January 19, 2016. Qualified applicants will be invited to submit Part II of the application from November 2, 2015, until 11:59 p.m. PST February 1, 2016.
Point’s scholarship support addresses multiple challenges students face such as the cost of college tuition and fees, which continue to rise faster than both inflation and average wages. Student loan debt in the U.S. now exceeds $1 trillion, according to Debt.org. LGBTQ students also contend with other potential barriers to achieving their educational goals.
“Many of our scholarship applicants face rejection from peers, communities, and their own families. But they face this rejection head on, often seeing college as their ticket to a better life,” says Jorge Valencia, Executive Director & Chief Executive Officer of Point Foundation. “Point helps makes educational opportunities available to these young people who are striving to improve their lives and also make a positive impact on society.”
Point’s rigorous selection process for awarding 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.
Point’s support for scholars extends beyond direct financial contribution toward the cost of their education. Each scholar is paired with a mentor and participates in leadership development training with fellow Point Scholars.
Point Scholars also work with their mentors to give back to the LGBTQ community by completing an individual community service project each year. During October 2015, Point is partnering with Equality Forum to provide scholars with opportunities to create community service projects recognizing LGBT History Month.
“I am thrilled to host an event on my campus that will educate students about LGBTQ history, and open up a discussion about the importance of LGBTQ history,” said Point Scholar Ashley Burnside, a University of Michigan undergraduate.
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.
“Receiving my Point scholarship changed the course of my life,” said Point Alum Brooke Sebold. “In the short term, it meant that I could study and pursue my dream of becoming a director. In the long term, through Point, I have a powerful network of champions in my corner,”