Choosing where to go for college can be tough for any high school senior as there are a myriad of determining factors that you have to consider. Does it have a good reputation? Is the surrounding area nice? Great faculty? Nice dorms? The list goes on and on.
For LGBTQ students its even harder as you want to make sure you pick a place where you feel welcomed based on your sexuality. Rampant homophobia still does exist in our country, unfortunately, so this is a key decision in order to get the most out of your college years while behaving as your true self.
Campus Pride, the leading national educational organization for LGBTQ and ally college students, is here to help in your selection process. They have narrowed down what are the best of the best when it comes to colleges and universities that are the most LGBTQ-friendly.
The announcement features forty campuses from six regions of the country who are deeply committed to LGBTQ students and who rate the highest for LGBTQ-inclusion in policy, program and practice.
“On behalf of Campus Pride, I want to commend all the campuses featured among the 2020 ‘BEST OF THE BEST’ LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities for their exemplary commitment and work to make their campuses safer and more welcoming,” said Tom Elliott, Campus Pride Board Chair. “In times like these, we need to commit to creating safe and welcoming spaces for all students.”
For nearly two decades, Campus Pride has advocated and supported college and university campuses to improve LGBTQ campus life and change institutional policies, programs and practices. The Campus Pride Index (CPI), located at www.CampusPrideIndex.org, provides an invaluable benchmarking tool to assess LGBTQ-inclusion efforts from academics, to student life, to housing, to recruitment and retention activities. There are nearly 400 colleges who have “come out” on the index and hundreds of thousands who utilize the public search to find LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities annually.
“Today college campuses must ‘come out’ and be visible as LGBTQ-friendly. Students expect inclusive, equitable learning environments at colleges in all regions of the country. And as a basic standard, they demand campuses have LGBTQ-inclusive policies, programs and services,” said Shane Windmeyer, Executive Director, Campus Pride. “These forty campuses, across six diverse regions, are leading the charge.”
This year Campus Pride chose to put a spotlight on the regional diversity of the list by highlighting colleges and universities by region. Campus Pride works with over 1400 colleges and universities annually to improve the quality of campus life for LGBTQ people and to create safer, more inclusive campus communities. Sixty percent of their work is dedicated to working with colleges in the South, Midwest and campuses within more rural communities.
The 2020 BEST OF THE BEST College & University listing is based on the data provided annually through the CPI related to policies, programs and practice. The research is analyzed by the Campus Pride research team using the proven CPI LGBTQ-Friendly factors and knowledge of the LGBTQ higher education landscape.
So without further ado here is the all important list to peruse!
2020 Best of the Best LGBTQ-Friendly Colleges & Universities
(listed by region, not in particular order):
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey-New Brunswick
University of Maryland, College Park
Montclair State University
The Pennsylvania State University
University of Pennsylvania
Kansas State University
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Indiana University, Bloomington
University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire
University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
University of Wisconsin – Green Bay
The Ohio State University
Kent State University
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
University of Vermont
Northern Kentucky University
University of Kentucky
University of Louisville
University of Texas at Dallas
Texas Tech University
University of Washington
University of Oregon
Portland State University
University of Colorado at Boulder
Southern Oregon University
San Diego State University
Washington State University
Harvey Mudd College