17 Scholarships for Student Activists

Introduction to Student Activism Scholarships

A few blog posts ago, I mentioned something along the lines of “scholarships come in all shapes and sizes”.

This is still true!

Not all scholarships are meant to award students for academic performance, which is awesome because I’m sure you bring a lot more to the table than just your brains.

These scholarships for student activists are great because they encourage you to learn more, speak your voice, and even take action about a specific cause while also giving you the opportunity to earn some cash to help you pay for school.

Some of them are more activism-based, and some of them are more focused on encouraging you to take part and help your community through service.

Read on for our top 17 scholarships for student activists!


Scholarships for student activists

  • Amount: varies (average $8,000)

    Deadline: January 8

    GSBA awards educational scholarships (undergraduate and graduate) 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.

  • Amount: $5,000

    Deadline: January 24

    “Activist Artist” initiative recognizes the powerful connection between human rights and artists around the world. Human rights activists come from many different backgrounds, but one of the most powerful, yet often overlooked, forces in the human rights movement are the artists. 

    The scholarship is open to graduating high school seniors in New Hampshire going into a 2 or 4-year degree program.

  • Amount: $1,000

    Deadline: January 30

    Young people spend an average of 7.5 hours a day consuming media--and this doesn't include computer use for schoolwork--according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. With technology always at the ready at your fingertips, it can be a challenge to unplug. But taking a break from technology is healthy for both the mind and body.

    The purpose of this scholarship is to help you understand the negative effects of too much screen time.

  • Amount: $500

    Deadline: March 15

    The NSHSS Foundation encourages environmental stewardship among high school students globally through the Earth Day Award competition. The project is open to all high school students annually.

    Applicants are asked to submit details about an environmental project that they are currently working on, or one that will be initiated for Earth Day in their home, school, and/or community.

    Open to all high school students, including international students. Minimum 3.0 GPA 

  • Amount: $1,000

    Deadline: April 15

    This scholarship, powered by Access Scholarships (that's us!) in collaboration with climate activist Jamie Margolin, is geared towards educating and inspiring students to learn about climate change and climate justice, and how both topics intersect with various other movements and issues that are occurring in our world. 

    Open to high school and college students of all years who are US residents, undocumented, or international students studying in the US. 
  • Amount: $10,000

    Deadline: April 15

    The Barron Prize welcomes applications from public-spirited young people who are, on our April 15 deadline:

    -between the ages of 8 and 18 (not yet age 19)

    -permanent residents of and currently residing in the U.S.A. or Canada

    -currently working on an inspiring service project or have done so within the past 12 months

    -working as an individual to lead their service work. The Barron Prize does not accept applications from large groups of young people

  • Amount: $1,000

    Deadline: April 20

    Each year there are 20 to 50 million tons of e-waste discarded in the world. E-waste contains toxic materials, including heavy metals, that can easily seep into the ground and ultimately get into groundwater supplies. According to the EPA, recycling e-waste allows more than 100 million pounds of materials to be reused annually.

    The purpose of this scholarship is to help you understand the impact of e-waste and what can be done to reduce e-waste.

  • Amount: $2,500

    Deadline: June 1

    The Ramblers Scholarship supports student-athletes pursuing an undergraduate education who self-identify publicly as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or intersex (LGBTQI), or as demonstrated and committed straight allies. 

  • Amount: Varies

    Deadline: June 5

    The purpose of these awards is to honor students who support a creative educational community that increases the visibility and the accomplishments of LGBTQ+ and supportive students.


    -Successful completion of a minimum of two years of post-high school education at an accredited U.S. college or university

    -Minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on 4.0 point scale

    -A declared major in an accredited STEM or STEM-related teaching field

    -Be an active supporter of and participant in programs or organizations that promote LGBTQ+ inclusion and visibility

  • Amount: $1,000

    Deadline: June 30

    The purpose of this scholarship is to help you understand why you should be cautious about what you post on the Internet. 

    Open to high school, college, and graduate school students of all years. 

  • Amount: $1,000

    Deadline: September 30

    Do you have a passion for bringing about social, political, and/or civil change in your community? Does a particular cause or idea have your attention? Do you hope to apply these skills to your college education? NSHSS wants to hear about it! 

    This scholarship is open to all high school and college students. International students are also encouraged to apply.

  • Amount: $1,000

    Deadline: September 30

    Do you know how far you will drive on the freeway if you take your eyes off the road for five seconds, the average time it takes to send a text? An entire football field.

    The purpose of this scholarship is to help you understand the risks of texting while driving.

  • Amount: $10,000

    Deadline: November 6

    This scholarship awards $100,000 annually to 10 underserved high school seniors at $10,000 each, providing much-needed support to youth who have demonstrated tremendous leadership potential despite their own economic circumstances.

    Eligibility includes:

    -High school senior

    -A resident of one of the following California counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Lake, Marin, Monterey, Napa, Sacramento, San Benito, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Yolo

  • Amount: Varies

    Deadline: December 31

    The Apprentice Ecologist Initiative™ (officially recognized by the U.S. EPA) has engaged tens of thousands of young volunteers (kids, teens, and college-age youth) from around the world in environmental cleanup and conservation projects since 1999.

    Three scholarships totaling $1,750 will be awarded annually to the authors of the three best Apprentice Ecologist essays.

  • Amount: $1,000

    Deadline: Rolling (2 annual awards)

    Fig is committed to supporting that growth in the communities we serve. The Fig Loans scholarship is one of the many ways we hope to empower the leaders of tomorrow.

    All majors are welcome to apply for this scholarship.

  • Amount: Varies

    Deadline: N/A

    The Bonner Program provides a scholarship to students in exchange for weekly commitment to intensive and meaningful service with a local community organization over the four years as an undergraduate student with our campus partners.

    If you're interested in becoming a Bonner, you must apply directly through one of their campus partners. Each campus has its own application and selection process.

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