Campus Pride, a non-profit organization that ranks LGBTQ-friendly campuses, has released a list of the most LGBTQ-inclusive colleges and universities.
This year’s ranking of the “Best of the Best LGBTQ-Friendly Colleges & Universities” includes the 30 schools in the US with the highest percentages of LGBTQ-inclusive policies, programs, and practices. This latest list adds to more than 435 campuses that comprise the organization’s Campus Pride Index, a tool that measures LGBTQ-friendly college programs. Campus Pride’s resource aims to make it easier for prospective students to assess whether a college is safe and responsive to the needs of the queer community.
“LGBTQ youth and families want to know what campuses are doing when it comes to inclusive policies, programs, and practices. The ‘Best of the Best’ highlights the Top 30 this year across six regions throughout the country,’” Shane Windmeyer, executive director of Campus Pride and creator of the Campus Pride Index, said in a written statement. “Campus Pride applauds the growing number of campuses that are ‘coming out’ and wanting to be the ‘Best of the Best’ each year.”
Below we have featured 15 of the 30 LGBTQ-friendly universities on Campus Pride’s list, followed by a list of the other 15 schools on the list.
Elon University in North Carolina gets perfect scores for academic life, student life, housing, and campus safety for queer students. Like some other schools, there is an LGBTQ alumni group in addition to student and ally organizations for current students. The university also plans LGBTQ-inclusive social activities.
Hofstra University, which is located in Hempstead, New York, received a perfect score from Campus Pride thanks to strong LGBTQ support and institutional commitment, LGBTQ student life, and campus safety. The school offers support for current and former students by maintaining an LGBTQ resource center and an LGBTQ alumni group.
Indiana University, Bloomington
Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, has roughly 50,000 students and provides a range of safety measures for queer and trans students. According to the Campus Pride Index, the college has a procedure for reporting anti-LGBTQ crimes, incidents, and campus police officers are trained on LGBTQ issues.
According to Campus Pride’s ranking, Ithaca College, an upstate New York college with 6,000 students, received a perfect score in LGBTQ equality. The college features an LGBTQ center equipped with educational resources such as queer books, videos, and presentations about LGBTQ issues. The school also has all-gender restrooms and offers ways for trans and non-binary individuals to update their name during remote classes. The school also has on-campus LGBTQ groups.
Kent State University
Kent State University in Ohio also scored high in LGBTQ-inclusion efforts. The school has an LGBTQ living space, which features all-gender and single-occupancy bathrooms, among other accommodations.
Lehigh University, a college with nearly 7,000 students in Pennsylvania, offers trans and non-binary students options to easily update their names on documents and allows students to self-identify their gender on admissions and post-enrollment forms.
Montclair State University
Montclair State University in Montclair, New Jersey, serves approximately 21,000 students. The school provides health insurance coverage to employees’ same-sex partners, a non-discrimination statement that is inclusive of gender identity and sexual orientation, and other LGBTQ-inclusive policies.
Pennsylvania State University
Penn State University in University Park, Pennsylvania, serves more than 46,000 students. The school features an LGBTQ-inclusive career service team and a diverse range of LGBTQ students organizations, including Out Allies in Business, Queer and Transgender People of Color, and Opulence, a safe space for drag kings and queens to work on their craft.
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Southern Illinois University Carbondale sits in the midwest and serves approximately 14,000 students. The university features a trans-inclusive trained counseling staff, a queer mentoring program, and a special Lavender graduation for queer and transgender students.
University of Maryland, College Park
The University of Maryland, a school with more than 30,000 students in College Park, snagged a perfect score from Campus Pride’s ranking. The college has gender-inclusive housing for new students and a system for LGBTQ students to match and dorm with other queer individuals. The university also features trans-inclusive student health insurance, which covers counseling services and gender-affirming hormone therapy.
University of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia serves 20,000 students and received a perfect score for providing LGBTQ-inclusive options for students. The university is known for its LGBTQ studies program, courses, and gender-inclusive shower facilities and housing.
University of Wisconsin – Green Bay
The University of Wisconsin in Green Bay is receiving praise for its LGBTQ-specific counseling groups and gender-inclusive housing and restroom facilities.
San Diego State University
San Diego State University offers LGBTQ studies and queer-specific courses, LGBTQ-inclusive living environments, and a non-discrimination statement covering sexual orientation and gender identity, among other highlights. While the school offers a simple process to update names, the school does not have an easy way to update their gender identity on school records and documents, according to Campus Pride.
Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, has been credited for how the school’s campus safety department has implemented hate crime prevention training and support for LGBTQ survivors of domestic violence.
Washington State University
At Washington State University, located in Pullman, Washington — which is four and a half hours east of Seattle by car — LGBTQ students are equipped with an inclusive environment across campus, according to Campus Pride. The school receives positive marks for keeping LGBTQ students safe, offering queer-inclusive educational options, and maintaining LGBTQ-friendly housing and student life programs.
The other schools on the list include University of Vermont; University of Massachusetts; Northern Kentucky University; University of Kentucky; University of Virginia; Texas Tech University; University of Texas at Dallas; San Diego State University; University of Colorado at Boulder; University of Northern Colorado; Southern Oregon University; University of Oregon; and University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire.
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