woman reading music book in library stacksThe Center for Inclusion and Social Change (CISC) is excited to offer opportunities for financial support to CU Boulder students, each created with a unique vision and eligibility requirements. If you have any questions or are unsure if you are eligible for a specific scholarship, please feel free to reach out to CISC staff—we are always happy to help!

With the exception of the First Generation Grant, all of the following scholarship applications will be open between October 1 and February 15 every year and can be found through the CU Boulder Scholarship Application.

In addition to the CU Boulder LGBTQ+ focused scholarships listed below, you can find information on national LGBTQ+ scholarships here.

The Cleopatra Jaramillo Estrada Activist Legacy Scholarship is a $500 scholarship award established in honor of Cleo Estrada, who devoted her life’s work to help bring social justice to underrepresented communities. Cleo was a farmworker who graduated from the University of Colorado with three degrees. She continued to have a major impact on the CU Boulder community by working as a counselor and student advocate at the university for 40 years.

Criteria:

  • Must be a current undergraduate CU Boulder student who best exemplifies a consistent and deep commitment to the quest for equal rights for all marginalized people 
  • Must demonstrate a financial need 
  • Must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 

Apply for the Cleopatra Jaramillo Estrada Activist Legacy Scholarship

The Dorothy Martin Endowment Fund is a $2,500 scholarship awarded to a current full-time undergraduate or graduate CU Boulder student. Dorothy Martin was a faculty member in the psychology department at CU Boulder for 46 years and was instrumental in the creation of the first CU Women’s Center in 1964.

Criteria:

  • Must be a current, full-time undergraduate or graduate student at CU Boulder
  • Must exemplify the values of activism and awareness surrounding women’s issues and gender equity, an openness to life and new experiences and academic excellence 

Apply for the Dorothy Martin Endowment Fund

The First Generation Scholarship is awarded to undergraduate Colorado residents who have financial need and whose parent(s) or legal guardians do not have a bachelor's degree. Students should apply through the General CU Boulder Scholarship Application and complete the First Generation Scholarship application. The priority deadline is March 25 and the final deadline is June 15.

    First Generation Scholarship

    The Joel Roger Wayne Scholarship is a $1,000 award that was established in 1996 in an effort to ensure that talented LGBTQ students could complete their college degrees, even if their families cut them off financially. Joel was a firm believer that if he could even help one young LGBTQ student get through college, he would have accomplished something meaningful in this world.

    Criteria:

    • Must be an undergraduate student at CU Boulder
    • While this scholarship is based on financial need, applicants do not need to have been financially cut off from their families to receive it 

    Apply for the Joel Roger Wayne Scholarship

    The Karen Raforth Scholarship is a $1,000 award that was created to help support students who show an aptitude for leadership and involvement with LGBTQIA issues. This award is named after Dr. Karen Raforth, who spent years devoting her time and talent to the LGBTQIA community at CU Boulder.

    Criteria:

    • Must be a current, full-time undergraduate or graduate student at CU Boulder
    • Must exemplify steadfastness, visibility and effectiveness in the quest for LGBTQ rights and the rights of all marginalized people

    Apply for the Karen Raforth Scholarship

    The LGBTQIA Scholarship Fund is a $2,000 scholarship awarded to an undergraduate CU Boulder student. Applicants do not have to demonstrate a financial need to apply.

    Criteria:

    • Must be a current undergraduate student at CU Boulder
    • Must have a record of service in making CU Boulder a more hospitable place for the LGBTQIA community
    • Preference is given to applicants who are first-year students that have demonstrated satisfactory academic progress

    Apply for the LGBTQIA Scholarship Fund

    The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer Alumni Association Scholarship is a $1,500 scholarship awarded to academically outstanding undergraduate or graduate students who have a demonstrable record of helping to make the CU Boulder campus a better place for LGBTQ students.

    Criteria:

    • Must be a current, full-time undergraduate or graduate student at CU Boulder
    • Must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0

    Apply for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer Alumni Association Scholarship

    The Positive Futures Scholarship is a$1,500 awarded to current CU Boulder students whose lives have been affected by HIV/AIDS. To protect the privacy of scholarship winners, this is an award that can be given anonymously.

    Criteria:

    • Must be a current, full-time undergraduate or graduate student at CU Boulder
    • Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
    • Must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0

    Apply for the Positive Futures Scholarship

    This is a national scholarship not affiliated with CU Boulder and open to those who identify as transgender. The Pride Center has no connection to the organization, but we support their efforts in providing opportunities to transgender students. Please visit Transgender First Scholarship for more information.


    The Gary Higa Friendship Scholarship is awarded to an undergraduate student involved with the Center for inclusion and Social Change at the University of Colorado Boulder.

    Criteria:

    • University undergraduate students in good academic standing who graduated from a high school in Colorado are eligible for this scholarship.
    • Applicants will be judged on the following: active participation in the programs of the Center, a short written piece (essay, poem, etc) about the meaning of friendship, and a personal essay that demonstrates their commitment to the Asian community and/or contributing to the study of Asian culture, education and history.


    The Glen Nogami Award is awarded to a student receiving financial aid and who is demonstrating high academic performance.

    Criteria:

    • Applicants will be judged on a personal essay that demonstrates their commitment to the Asian community and/or contributing to the study of Asian culture, education, and history.