GSBA awards educational scholarships to LGBTQ and 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.
Step 1: Determine Eligibility
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.
*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 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.
Applicants must have been a GSBA Scholar while working towards an undergraduate degree.
Applicants must have had a cumulative GPA of 3.0+ upon completion of an undergraduate degree.
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.
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.
The GSBA Scholarship Fund considers six areas of evaluation when reviewing scholarship applications.
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?
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?
A core philosophy of GSBA is expanding the level of engagement among all LGBTQ people and allies, including people who are economically, racially, socially, geographically, or politically disenfranchised. LGBTQ people often experience oppression, which can be compounded by their inclusion in multiple marginalized categories. Does the applicant identify within one or more groups (see below) that might further intensify their marginalization?
GSBA’s Commitment to You
Your scholarship will be renewed each year of your undergraduate career, barring any extraordinary circumstances, and on condition that the degree is completed within a reasonable amount of time.
- We will provide complimentary access to all GSBA networking events, including Power Connect mixers, Young Professionals with Pride (YPP) mixers, Womxn on Top mixers and business luncheons. We will also provide opportunities to attend our annual galas at a reduced cost or as a volunteer.
- We plan to invest in your leadership development throughout your time as a GSBA Scholar. Leadership programs are being developed on a continuous basis and will be offered at various times throughout the year.
- As part of a chamber of commerce, we want to connect you with resources in our community. We will make every effort to connect you with supportive people and organizations, especially those who can help further your professional development. We encourage you to reach out to us and provide feedback.
GSBA Scholars are required to sign the GSBA Scholarship Agreement.