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SMILE Scholarship For Transgender Students

SMILE Scholarship For Transgender Students

SMILE Scholarship For Transgender Students

Don’t think that as a transgender person, you don’t have the right to opportunities like this either; of course, you do, and this page is here to help you navigate those opportunities. While laws aim to protect students from discrimination, the reality is that prejudice and misconceptions about gender identity persist in subtle and overt ways on campuses and in communities across the country.

The SMILE Scholarship Scheme for Transgender Persons 2024 is a government-run scholarship program under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment for transgender persons studying from Class 9 to the postgraduate level. This scheme aims to reduce the incidence of dropouts and aid the transition from the elementary to the secondary stage of education. The candidates will be awarded INR 13,500 once in an academic year as a post-matric or pre-matric scholarship

Comprehensive Rehabilitation for the Welfare of Transgender Persons. Financial assistance in the form of scholarships is provided to transgender students studying in secondary school (IX and X) and senior secondary school (XI and XII) to reduce the incidence of dropouts and support their educational aspirations.


To be eligible, an applicant must:

  • be a regular full-time student studying from Class 9 to postgraduate level in a Government School or a School recognized by the Government or a central or state board of secondary education
  • not be receiving any other Central or State Government-funded Pre-Matric or Post-matric Scholarship
  • Identify as transgender or non-binary
  • Be enrolled in or accepted to an accredited post-secondary program
  • Demonstrate financial need
  • Have a minimum GPA of 2.5 (or equivalent)


  • Self-attested passport-size photograph of the student
  • Self-attested copy of Aadhaar Card
  • Transfer certificate (in case the student has migrated to another)
  • Institute verification form duly attested by the school, college, or institute
  • A transgender identity certificate issued through the National portal for a transgender person of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment
  • A declaration by the parents or guardians stating that their ward is not availing such scholarship in any other scheme of the Center or State Government for education
  •  Certificate of previous academic year’s mark sheet attested by Institute

How can you apply?

Eligible students can apply for the scholarship using the below-mentioned steps:

Step 1: Click on the ‘Apply Now’ button.
Step 2: Navigate to ‘Register Here’ and click on ‘Register’ with valid information.
Step 3: Click on ‘Scholarship’ on the dashboard and check the eligibility.
Step 4: Select the scholarship category to which the applicant wants to apply.
Step 5: Further select the educational level and click on ‘Get your Application Number’.
Step 6: After receiving the application number, the applicant will be redirected to the master application form.
Step 7: Fill in the required details, upload the relevant documents, and submit.

Note: For detailed information, kindly refer to the ‘Application User Manual’.

Selection Criteria

The selection of applicants will be done based on the total marks secured in the previous academic year, as reflected in the mark sheet.In cases of the same merit, preference will be given based on the ‘Date of Birth’ criteria (senior is preferred) and the availability of the slots.

In the scholarship, students applying for post-major shall be given preference over the pre-major scholarship.

Important documents

Also see: 2024 Top Scholarships for Lesbian People

How to Apply for the SMILE Scholarship for Transgender Students

To apply for the SMILE Scholarship for Transgender Students, follow these steps:

Review the Eligibility Criteria

The SMILE Scholarship is available for transgender students pursuing an undergraduate degree at an accredited U.S. college or university. Applicants must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and demonstrate financial need.

Gather the Required Documents

You will need to provide the following documents with your application:

  • A completed application form can be found on the SMILE Scholarship website. Be sure to fill out all sections thoroughly and accurately.
  • Official high school and/or college transcripts are needed to verify your GPA. Unofficial transcripts will not be accepted.
  • Two letters of recommendation from teachers, counselors, or community leaders who can speak to your character and potential for success. Ask them to highlight your qualities, work ethic, and perseverance in overcoming obstacles.
  • A personal essay of 500 to 1000 words describing your experiences as a transgender student and your future goals. Share how this scholarship would enable you to reach these goals. Your essay is a chance to bring your application to life for the review committee.
  • Documentation of your family’s financial situation, such as tax returns, W-2 forms, or a FAFSA report. The SMILE Scholarship aims to support those with exceptional needs.

Submit Your Application

Applications must be submitted online or postmarked by June 1st. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered. Upload all supporting documents with your application or mail them together in one packet to:

The SMILE Scholarship Foundation

123 Main Street, Suite 200

San Francisco, CA 94122

Also see: 5 Scholarships That Should Interest Every Young Female Student

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