Gay/lesbian scholarships? How's THAT work?

*Alternative Lifestyle Scholarship

Criteria: This award is for gay and lesbian students seeking an undergraduate, graduate or post-graduate degree at an accredited four-year college or university, with emphasis on initial entrance undergraduate programs. Scholarships distributed equally among men and women. Applicants will be considered without regard to sex, race, national origin, age, physical challenge or religion.

Deadline: April 14

Amount of Scholarship: Not Available

Contact: Alternative Lifestyle Scholarship Organization
This from an American college website (yes, the search for colleges begins! yippee…)

So, I’m not gay as far as I know, but this scholarship offer got me wondering: how do the scholarship donors go about ethically proving that probable recipients really are gay/lesbian?
I’m asking because it sounds to me like this scholarship is asking to be abused by straights who can write a passable “the day I came out” essay, then go about their business. Some people have no shame, you know.

Do you think they require a picture of you in black leather?

I’m assuming that series of “xxx xxx xxx” means you had their contact information and deleted it. Wouldn’t it make more sense to ask them, and not us? Just a thought.

…true. :smack:

But now that I look over the deleted contact information, there’s no email address and no website. grr.

I’ll try my google-fu on this one, but I have a sneaky feeling that there must be at least one straight person who’s taken advantage of this scholarship.

Let me see what I can find. :slight_smile:

“Alternative Lifestyle Scholarship”? What a truly unfortunate choice of name.

Most of them don’t require proof. A lot of “race”-based scholarships don’t require you to prove your race either. A kid from my school said he was black when he applied for a UC despite being Indian and he got a lot of scholarships for it.

^That’s what strikes me as so strange, kimera. I mean, if the scholarship donors don’t have any way of proving these kinds of fuzzy requirements, why don’t they just give ‘scholarships to needy students’ that happen to be sponsored by ABC Gay/Black/Intercultural Organization? It seems that’s what they’re already doing anyway.

It’s perfectly legitimate and legal to give scholarships that meet certain criteria. For instance (from the Siena College Web page):

Any college will have scholarships with similar restrictions and rules.

The reason why this is not discriminatory is that those who aren’t eligible are still eligible for many other scholarships, so not being able to get one specific one in no way hinders their attendance. In practice, the financial aid department goes over the list of people eligible for financial aid, finds those that meet the criteria for those with stipulations, and gives the scholarships to those that match. At the same time, those that don’t match will be given different scholarships.

Separate but equal, I suppose, only the money is the same in both cases, so no one complains.

Do they ask for proof of Irish ancestry from applicants for the Irish scholarship?

This is a great answer. Now where was the question it’s answering? :stuck_out_tongue:

I maintain (sort of; it needs updates) the Minnesota list of GLBT Scholarships that lists about 200 such scholarships in 44 US States and 3 Canadian Provinces.

As people have said, most of them do not ask for any actual proof that the applicants are GLBT.* How could they? Neither do most other scholarships. For example, many scholarships are offered to students of a certain religion – how would they prove that? You could prove that a student was baptized into the religion, but how to prove that he was a practicing member – most churches don’t record attendance. And how would you prove that the student truly believed, rather than was just pretending to get the scholarship money?

Many applications do ask for essays on topics like “How has being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender affected your life?”. I suppose if you could prove an applicant was straight, you could claim that they falsified their application, and attempt to get the scholarship money back. But that would seem rather difficult.

In the years, I’ve been involved, I don’t recall ever hearing of any scandal about such a fraud.
*Actually, many of these scholarships are not limited to GLBT students. They often say something like “awarded to sa person showing outstanding leadership and service to the GLBT community”, which could easily apply to a straight person. In the 17 years that the Minnesota scholarships have been awarded, there have been several winners who are not gay or lesbian.

Or so they claim.

[smilie here]

Ah, ok, I can see this making sense- I realize that it’s perfectly normal for scholarships to have requirements and restrictions, but I just found the difference between ‘must have maintained a high school GPA of 3.0 or higher’ and ‘must be gay (or Irish or black or what-have-you’ to be worlds apart in terms of useful qualification.

Service to a particularly community seems to me to be a much better requirement for a scholarship than merely ‘being’ part of that community, if only because the latter is so darn hard to prove. :slight_smile:

…not that there’s anything wrong with it…


That’s the job I want: gay tester. “Just step into the back room, sir. This won’t hurt a bit.”

If this were a Twilight Zone episode, you’d wind up with all the lesbians.

Just step back into the room sir…this is going to hurt a bit… :smiley: