GSBA Scholarship Fund

Website: GSBA Scholarship Fund


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.

As a GSBA Scholar, you:

1. receive money for tuition and fees mailed directly to your university/college
2. become a part of our growing scholar family and form lasting bonds with other LGBTQ change makers have access to leadership development training and skill building
3. are supported by over 1,000 LGBT and allied business leaders, small business owners, elected officials, nonprofit executives, educators and corporate partners

As a GSBA Scholar, you are receiving more than a monetary award. Scholars are chosen for their proven leadership skills, strong academic achievement and commitment to making a positive difference in the world. We want you, as a GSBA scholar, to take advantage of the many resources available to you through our membership and community connections. Learn more about those here.

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.

  1. We will provide complimentary access to all GSBA networking events, including Prime Time mixers, Young Professionals with Pride (YPP) mixers, Women on Top mixers and business luncheons. We will also provide opportunities to attend our annual galas at a reduced cost or as a volunteer.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Undergraduate Scholarship Applicants

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 Washington and have done so for at least three months prior to the application deadline; or have lived in Washington for at least one year at any time in the five years prior to the application deadline; or have lived in Washington 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+, are members of LGBTQ+ families, or are cisgender/straight allies who have demonstrated active support of 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 in the next academic year are eligible. This includes current high school seniors.

Graduate Scholarship Application Requirements

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.


Evaluation Criteria

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

  • Academic and 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?

  • LGBTQ Community

    • As an engaged and promising leader, 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?

  • Challenges

    • 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?

Student Type
  • freshman
  • sophomore
  • junior
  • senior
  • graduate
Citizen Type
  • Permanent Resident
  • Undocumented

GSBA shares an application with the Pride Foundation:

Step 1: Apply Online

The application is available online by mid-October. You will need a valid email to create an account. Once your account is created you can work on your application over several sessions.

Step 2: Semi-Finalist Selected

A team of community volunteers will individually review and rate each application on the basis of the evaluation criteria. Each team will select the individuals they feel best exemplify the selection criteria. These semi-finalists will be notified in mid-to-late March 2023 and will be asked Zoom or phone interview.

Step 3: Scholars Selected

A panel of volunteers will interview semi-finalists in early-April. The volunteers will then make their selection as to who will be awarded a GSBA Scholarship. We introduce our scholars to the community at our annual Scholarship Awards Celebration in mid-May.

Service Agreement

GSBA Scholars are required to sign the GSBA Scholarship Agreement.

Contact Information

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.