Top LGBTQ-Friendly Colleges for 2018-2019Find Schools and Learn What They Are Doing to Welcome LGBTQ Students

In a survey of more than 10,000 students identifying as LGBTQ+, the Human Rights Campaign found at least 40 percent said they didn’t feel their community accepted them. Steps have been made in recent years to create a more inclusive world, but LGBTQ+ students must still ensure any college they attend embraces these communities and works diligently to support them. Keep reading to learn what to look for in prospective schools and see what our expert has to say on the subject.

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Most LGBTQ-Friendly Colleges & Universities

Interested in learning about the most LGBTQ-friendly college and universities in America? The following ranking shares concrete, actionable information for students looking to make informed decisions while also offering interesting facts about school culture and inclusivity.



To find the most LGBTQ+ schools for 2018-2019, our researchers and higher education experts collected and analyzed data from every accredited postsecondary institution in the United States. The goal? To see which colleges offered the most notable balances of academic rigor, LGBTQ student support and affordability. The specific criteria and scoring metrics for the ranking are as follows:

General criteria for schools on this list:
  • Accredited, not-for-profit 4-year public or private institution
  • The school offers students a professionally run LGBTQ support center staffed by at least one paid professional or graduate assistant directing LGBT resources
  • LGBTQ scholarships or scholarship resources are offered
  • The school has gender-inclusive housing
  • LGBTQ clubs, organizations, and events are offered
Scoring metrics:
  • Average net price
  • 6-year graduation rate
  • Percentage of beginning, full-time undergrads receiving scholarship/grant aid from the school
  • Campus Pride Index Ranking
Rank University Location Avg Net Price LGBTQ Scholarships Inclusive Housing Description School-Profile
1 University of California-Riverside Riverside, CA $12,841

UC Riverside first developed its LGBT Resource Center in 1993 as a way to show support and advocacy for students of any sexual orientation or gender identity. Through the Resource Center, students are able to participate in a wide variety of programs emphasizing both peer connection and academic success, including the Allied Safe Zone Program and the Community OUTreach Educators (CORE) program. Students attending UC Riverside will also have the opportunity to apply for a number of scholarships specifically designed to benefit LGBTQ students. In addition to these scholarships, several financial aid packages are available through UC Riverside, allowing 85 percent of attending students to receive some kind of financial backing.

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2 University of Utah Salt Lake City, UT $11,322

With the goal of fostering acceptance and fair treatment to LGBT students, the University of Utah developed the LGBT Resource Center, which established an open and safe area for student interaction. In addition to developing closer bonds with their peers, students will also be able to use the Center’s space for its academic support, which includes a communal study area and several public computers. Students who are still in the process of exploring their gender identity and sexuality may also be interested in the Mentor/Mentee Program offered through the Resource Center, which pairs them with another member of the LGBT community who can provide their support and life experience.

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3 University of Illinois at Springfield Springfield, IL $11,444

Creating a diverse and inclusive learning environment is one of the core values of the University of Illinois at Springfield. In order to meet this goal, UIS offers a large number of Gender and Sexuality Student Services for any attending LGBTQIA+ students. In addition to hosting events such as National Coming Out Day and Queertober, this office also provides programs that coincide with awareness months such as Women’s History Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month. UIS also offers gender neutral on-campus housing, giving students the opportunity to live in a welcoming and comfortable environment for students of any gender or sexual orientation.

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4 Rutgers-Newark Newark, NJ $10,771

The LGBTQ and Diversity Resource Center acts as a culturally diverse epicenter for student engagement on the Rutgers University, Newark campus. Here, students will find a safe environment to interact with their friends or complete their schoolwork. The Liberated Intersectional Truths Mentoring Program (L.I.T.) is also hosted through the Resource Center, which works to train students as peer mentors who will guide incoming freshmen through their first few semesters of college. Students can further work on their professional development by participating in the LGBTQA Internship Program, which awards college credit that can be applied to the LGBT minor. Rutgers also offers gender neutral residence halls to accommodate students who may not feel comfortable in a gender-specified living environment.

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5 The University of Texas at Dallas Richardson, TX $10,254

The University of Texas at Dallas is home to a thriving, diverse community of students coming from all backgrounds with a common goal in mind: personal betterment. In an effort to create the most accepting learning community possible, UT Dallas developed the Galerstein Gender Center (GGC) in 1993. The Center establishes a safe social and academic environment for LGBT+ students, incorporating gender neutral restrooms, health and wellness support, and pregnant and parenting resources. UT Dallas also hosts the Lavender Graduation, a second and separate graduation event specifically designed to celebrate graduating LGBT+ students. Students at the undergraduate and graduate levels may also apply for one of UT Dallas’ numerous scholarships designed for LGBT+ learners.

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6 University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse LaCrosse, WI $13,265

Students attending the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse will become part of a vibrant and diverse community. As such, UW has taken steps to foster a safe learning environment for all attending students. The UW Pride Center not only provides this environment for LGBTQ+ students, but also seeks to spread awareness for LGBTQ+ issues and how they pertain to campus life and culture. The Pride Center works with a variety of organizations around campus, including Rainbow Unity (RU), a group that provides students with the opportunity to discuss healthy living habits, develop close relationships, and participate in a variety of group activities, including tie dye and slack lining.

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7 Southern Oregon University Ashland, OR $8,939

The primary goal of the Queer Resource Center operating out of Southern Oregon University is to provide open access to academic and personal support and advocacy for enrolled LGBTQ+ students. Each semester, the QRC hosts the Lavender Graduation to celebrating LGBTQ+ students who are graduating from their program. This celebration usually incorporates the distribution of several awards to faculty and students, commemorating leadership and collaborative qualities in providing safe education for LGBTQ+ students. SOU also hosts an Alpha Kappa Psi chapter, a gender-inclusive Greek life option available to any student interested in improving upon professional qualities. Furthermore, gender-inclusive housing is also available to interested students.

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8 University of California-Irvine Irvine, CA $13,780

The University of California-Irvine has been in operation for just over 50 years, and in that time has come to offer an inclusive learning environment for any student interested in academic and personal betterment. As of 1995, the UCI Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Resource Center has been furthering the UCI mission of inclusivity by providing an inclusive and academically stimulating environment for LGBTQ+ students to interact with their peers. The LGBTRC offers several events throughout the semester, usually on a weekly basis, including pizza parties, representative media celebrations, and scholarship discussions. Several of these scholarships are specifically designed to benefit LGBTQ+ students, but students may also consider pursuing one of the numerous other funding options available through the UCI Financial Aid Office.

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9 North Carolina State University Raleigh, NC $13,066

United by the institution-wide desire for improving one’s life through academic pursuits, students attending North Carolina State University will find the bonds they make with their peers to be lasting and meaningful. NCSU has put in a great deal of effort to develop this sense of community and inclusion through developing offices such as the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Center. The Center enables students to participate in empowering and inclusive activities such as a Queer Youth Leadership Summit, the GLBT Symposium and a Lavender Graduation. GLBTQI students may also be interested in participating in one of NCSU’s specialized study abroad programs hosted by organizations such as Diversity Abroad, National Center for Transgender Equality and Spartacus.

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10 University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Eau Claire, WI $14,176

Having a safe learning environment can make a huge difference for LGBTQIA+ students learning in a college setting. That’s why the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire offers The Bridge LBTQIA+ Resource Center, a subdivision of the campus’ Gender & Sexuality Resource Center. This group seeks to both advocate for groups who have been marginalized due to their sexuality or genders, as well as provide these students with a learning space in which they can feel comfortable and productive. EAU also offers several fun events geared towards celebrating campus diversity, including the EAU Queer Film Festival and The Fire Ball, a drag event that in the past has featured several contestants from RuPaul’s Drag Race.

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11 Stony Brook University Stony Brook, NY $13,615

One of the primary draws for Stony Brook University is that it offers its students gender-inclusive housing options, giving all students the option to live with whichever housing partners they feel most comfortable. Stony Brook also offers a variety of LGBTQ+ services through their Division of Student Affairs, including regularly offered internships, supportive learning environments and outreach programs. All students attending Stony Brook are able to apply for several forms of financial aid—with around 76 percent of applicants receive funding—but there are also scholarships designed to provide aid specifically to LGBTQ+ students, including the Marylou Stewart Pride Scholarship.

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12 Purdue University West Lafayette, IN $11,693

Looking for the most social college experience possible? Purdue University is host to more than 90 Greek life organizations, each designed to help students find their niche while working through their academics. One of these chapters is Gamma Rho Lamba, a National sorority that holds to the tenets of supporting all young college students. Gamma Rho Lamba is known for being one of the nation’s first multicultural lesbian sorority, but also welcomes individuals of all genders and sexual orientations to apply for membership. Events such as re-SISTER Week and Rainbow Callout are also available through Purdue University’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Center.

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13 Eastern Michigan University Ypsilanti, MI $14,268

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Resource Center at Eastern Michigan University not only provides students with an enjoyable environment in which they can meet and socialize with their peers, but also provides several resources to facilitate personal success. At the resource center, students have access to classroom resources, books and even information regarding on-campus jobs. The center also welcomes allies to become involved in its mission to support the LGBTQ community at EMU. Students who exhibit a deep interest and commitment to LGBTQ+ issues may be eligible to apply for the Stonewall Scholarship, which includes an award of $1,000. Support groups such as the Coming Out/Being Out Support Group and the Trans/Genderqueer (TGQ) Group provide further social support for students looking to open a dialogue about the issues they have been experiencing.

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14 Oakland University Rochester, MI $12,198

Located in Rochester, Michigan, Oakland University puts its students’ happiness and comfort first. OU established its Gender and Sexuality Center in 2005 to not only foster a greater sense of community among all students, but to also give proper representation and advocation student populations who have been marginalized due to their gender or sexual orientation. Today, OU holds a Campus Pride Index of 4.5 stars and is proud to offer its students resources on sexual health, safe sex and other campus organizations. Awards such as the Community Advocacy Scholarship are also available to students who exhibit a commitment to advocating for LGBTQ+ learners; this award also requires a 3.0 GPA or higher and comes in the amount of $1,000.

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15 Northern Arizona University Flagstaff, AZ $14,678

With 92 percent of its students receiving some form of financial aid coverage, Northern Arizona University has set itself aside as both an affordable and high quality academic option for all students. Among these scholarship opportunities is the LGBTQIA Commission Scholarship Fund, which distributes money to several students involved in the LGBTQIA community every year. Furthermore, the LGBTQIA Commission coordinates involvement around campus to promote a fair, equal, and inclusive environment on the NAU campus. Several non-funded awards are annually offered through the Commission, as well, including the Ally of the Year Award and the Distinguished Service to the LGBTQIA Community Award.

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16 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL $15,533

Among the numerous Greek life options available through the University of Central Florida is the Beta Psi chapter of Delta Lambda Phi. Composed of a group of young men of varying sexual orientations, DLP’s work is largely driven with LGBT communal aid in mind, as well as raising awareness for issues such as domestic abuse. UCF also provides LGBT student with the chance to utilize a wide variety of online resources, including job search assistance, professional networking options and even assistance with legal issues. Funding options specific to the LGBTQ+ community include the Zebra Coalition Scholarship for LGBTQ Youth, which seeks to reward students for exhibiting leadership and academic excellence qualities.

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17 University of Oregon Eugene, OR $15,355

The Gender Equality Hall at the University of Oregon is an excellent housing opportunity for students who do not wish to have their living environment constrained by gender binary sorting. Students will be able to both live in and develop communities that fit their personal needs and beliefs, allowing for a safe housing environment as well as a safe learning environment. Safe learning is made a priority through UO’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Education and Support Services, a center dedicated to outreach and education, as well as providing an open environment for peer interaction. The Bridges Panels are hosted through Support Services and seek to establish frank and productive dialogue that allows for the UO community to better understand the diverse lives of LGBTQIA+ students.

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18 University of Vermont Burlington, VT $17,816

Diversity is one of the most important campus qualities the University of Vermont seeks to make a priority. With a Campus Pride Index of 4.5, offering accommodations for underrepresented communities such as the LGBTQ+ community is one of the cornerstone goals of developing a safe and inclusive campus environment at UVM. The university offers a number of scholarship resources for LGBTQ+ students, provided through groups such as Campus Pride, Pride Foundation, and The POINT Foundation. The UVM LGBTQA Center also orchestrates numerous programs throughout the schoolyear, including the LGBTQA Collaborative Queer Prom, the Translating Identity Conference, and the LGBTQA Awards and Rainbow Graduation.

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19 University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Minneapolis, MN $16,242

Getting to select who you live with can be a huge draw for students going into college. The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities has solved this problem by offering Gender Open Housing, a boarding opportunity that permits students to develop their own living communities, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. The UMN Gender and Sexuality Center for Queer and Trans Life offers LBTQIA students a number of social and community-driven programs, including a personally empowering LGBTQIA Mentor Program, student leadership retreats, and an annual Lavender Celebration. Numerous resources are available through the center’s webpage, as well, including all-gender restroom maps and a list of available scholarships.

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20 University of California- Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA $15,149

The University of California-Santa Barbara is proud to hold a Campus Pride Index of 4.5, and continually seeks new ways to make its campus as diverse and thriving as possible. The Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity acts as a hub for LGBTQIA students looking for an inclusive space where academics and socializing are joined. Furthermore, the RCSGD corresponds with other groups on campus to provide students with volunteer opportunities, leadership experience and the chance to further campus-wide advocacy for LGBTQ+ students. Other information regarding resources such as financial aid or the Gay and Lesbian Business Association are available through the Division of Student Affairs.

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21 University of North Florida Jacksonville, FL $13,484

As one of six Florida universities to maintain a full-time staffed LGBTQ resource center, UNF is committed to supporting their LGBTQ community. The center, home to the Queer Art Gallery, links students, staff, and faculty to an array of resources, including health care and testing, support groups, mentoring programs, scholarship opportunities, and Safe Space trainings. The Department of Housing and Residence Life offers gender-inclusive housing options, and the Gender Inclusive Housing Experience (GIHE) goes one step further through their creation of a residential community dedicated to LGBTQ advocacy and education. You can also find a list for the campus locations of gender-neutral restrooms on the resource center’s webpage. The LGBTQ community is noticeably celebrated at UNF through LGBTQ-related course offerings and campus events. Sex Week is an annual string of events promoting awareness of issues surrounding relationships, sexuality and gender identity/expression. Lavender Graduation is a springtime ceremony honoring and awarding LGBTQ undergraduate and graduate students.

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22 University of Maryland-College Park College Park, MD $15,757

The One Project at the University of Maryland makes sure that incoming students of the LGBTQ community receive a warm “Quelcome.” The Quelcome Fall Fest fuels student connections, as well as showcases the school’s LGBTQ resources. Students have the option to pay a $20 registration fee to participate in Q Camp, a weekend retreat focused on personal wellness, building relationships, and identity development. Also available is a single credit course acquainting first-year LGBTQ students with academic offerings such as the undergraduate certificate or minor in LGBTQ studies. SmithOUT and Smith Pride Alliance represent LGBTQ students within the Robert H. Smith School of Business, Theta Pi Sigma is an LGTBQ-focused Greek Organization, and the Rainbow Terrapin Network has established a school-wide initiative to improve awareness and treatment of transgender students and staff. Gender-inclusive housing is offered on a case-by-case basis, and gender-neutral restrooms are found in the university’s health center, which also hosts a webpage specific to LGBTQ health and sexuality.

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23 Ohio State University Columbus, OH $17,971

Ohio State University’s Multicultural Center spearheads a variety of services for their LGBTQ population. Signature events such as Trans Awareness Week and Queer Family HoliGay Dinner aim to establish a strong LGBTQ presence. Q’mmunity groups offer a space for students to connect and explore topics related to identity, campus culture, and advocacy. On Sundays, leaders from the school’s LGBTQ-related student organizations come together to discuss current issues, as well as to plan and collaborate. The Safe Zone Project and the 101 Series provide educational trainings in an effort to expand awareness and create more inclusive spaces for the LGBTQ community. Through the center’s webpage dedicated to LGBTQ initiatives, you can easily navigate to a series of informational documents regarding resources for mental and physical health, preferred name change processes, gender-inclusive housing, and lists for the locations of single stall restrooms. Although OSU ranks as one of the highest on our list in terms of average price, the Scarlet & Gay LGBT Alumni Society awards a number of scholarships to LGBTQ students.

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24 University of Louisville Louisville, KY $16,249

The LGBT Center spans two locations on the University of Louisville campus. At the Health Sciences Center, aspiring medical care providers are trained to better serve the LGBTQ community and can complete a self-directed LGBT health certificate. The UofL School of Medicine is the first to implement the recently published LGBT health competencies, which will be used throughout medical schools. All UofL students have the option to minor in LGBT studies. For those interested in a foreign adventure, the school offers LGBTQ-themed study abroad experiences. Students can also access LGBTQ resources and information at the Intersection, a safe space for the community to connect. Here you can be linked to support groups, scholarship opportunities, help in reporting a bias incident, locations for gender-neutral restrooms, and information for becoming a member of the gender-inclusive Bayard Rustin LGBT and Social Justice Themed Living Community. Students are encouraged to check out the many LGBTQ-focused events, such as PINK!, the annual drag show.

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25 University of Minnesota-Duluth Duluth, MN $15,664

The Multicultural Center at the University of Minnesota Duluth is host to a number of programs and services, including the Sexuality and Gender Equity Initiatives. Key initiatives include supporting the school’s LGBTQ studies program and minor, maintaining a simple system for name changes and promoting LGBTQ-specific scholarships. The center also houses the Queer and Allied Student Union (QASU), a welcoming space for students to connect, process experiences and collaborate. QASU Staff can also assist students in applying for gender-inclusive housing, as well as planning study abroad experiences with attention to LGBTQ considerations. The UMD QASU Facebook page keeps members up to date on LGBTQ-related campus events such as the ODI kick-off. This orientation creates a sense of belonging among the LGBTQ community, while also introducing students to available resources on campus. GAYPRIL is another annual event promoting the LGBTQ campus presence through workshops, social gatherings and education.

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26 University of Southern Maine Portland, ME $15,019

The student diversity page of the University of Southern Maine’s website makes it clear that this school is committed to LGBTQ inclusion and awareness. The page showcases a clear non-discrimination policy, as well as provides a link for students and staff to quickly report a bias incident. The Safe Zone Project educates its volunteers in effectively supporting the LGBTQ community, and trained allies can declare their support by displaying SafeZone symbols in their offices or classrooms. USM recognizes important elements in creating a sense of belonging, including gender-inclusive housing options, gender-neutral restrooms, and a bathroom affirmation policy. This states that anyone on campus is welcome to use the bathroom they most associate with. USM is the first school in Maine to offer the Rainbow Floor, a living learning community catered to the LGBTQ community. Students, staff, and faculty can jump on the USMPride email list in order to stay posted on additional resources and events.

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27 University of California-Davis Davis, CA $16,039

The LGBTQIA Resource Center is packed full of resources and information for the UC Davis LGBTQ community. One highlight is the on-staff counselor who connects students with appropriate mental health services. Students can foster belonging within a multitude of support groups and organizations. California Adventurers provides outdoor experiences for over 650 gay men, while La Familia supports Chican@/Latin@ LGBTQ students. Lambda Law Students Association advocates for LGBTQ-related legal issues. For those interested in Greek life, there is both an LGBTQ-focused fraternity and sorority. Gender-inclusive housing options are available, and Rainbow House is a residential community specific to LGBTQ advocacy. Every housing area maintains gender-neutral restrooms, yet there remains a push to create gender-neutral restrooms throughout the UC Davis campus. The resource center’s webpage offers a series of quick links connecting students to support hotlines, forms for reporting hate or bias incidents, study abroad experiences and LGBTQ campus events.

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28 University of Toledo Toledo, OH $15,919

In 2016, the University of Toledo launched a strategic diversity plan aimed at developing a more inclusive campus. UT ranks lower than some of the other schools on the list in terms of the Campus Pride Index, however, LGBTQA+ initiatives, which operate out of the school’s Office of Multicultural Student Success (OMSS), are working to extend inclusion to the LGBTQ community. Safe Place stickers can be found throughout campus, representing the places and people that are trained allies. Gender-neutral restrooms are included on campus maps, and there is a gender-neutral community housing option. On the OMSS webpage, you can visit the Out Rockets page, which showcases the names and pictures of proudly out students, staff and faculty. The webpage also provides links to LGBTQ-specific scholarship opportunities, directions for changing your preferred name, a calendar for LGBTQ campus events, and a list of LGBTQ campus groups. PEOPLE in Healthcare is one such organization for medical students seeking to improve services for the LGBTQ community.

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29 San Diego State University San Diego, CA $14,344

Situated in one of the nation’s most LGBTQ-friendly cities, San Diego State University advocates for inclusion throughout their campus, beginning with the Office of the President. The President’s Advisory Committee on Equality (PACE) is made up of leaders working to ensure that issues of diversity are addressed and responded to. This includes continuing to expand the availability of gender-neutral restrooms beyond the existing 22 locations, and maintaining established gender-inclusive housing options. The Pride Center keeps students updated on these campus changes, as well as connects students to the multitude of LGBTQ student groups. Gamma Rho Lambda and Delta Lambda Phi are LGBTQ-centered Greek organizations at SDSU, while Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (oSTEM) creates networking opportunities for LGBTQ students in the STEM fields. The Pride Center also puts on a variety of events throughout the year, such as the annual Trans Week of Empowerment. Also impressive to note: SDSU is one of two colleges in the nation to offer an LGBT studies major.

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30 University of California-Santa Cruz Santa Cruz, CA $16,261

LGBTQ activism at the University of California in Santa Cruz is no recent movement. UCSC’s first Gay and Lesbian Alliance (GALA) was formed in 1975. Students can learn more by visiting the school’s GALA Gallery and the Cantu Queer Center’s library. The Lionel Cantu Queer Center acts as the main hub for linking students, staff, and faculty to LGBTQ resources. They offer a welcoming space for students to meet and study, provide advising and referrals, collaborate with campus and community groups to address LGBTQ issues, as well as implement educational trainings to classrooms and faculty. They also assist in creating safe and supportive study abroad experiences for LGBTQ students. The center’s staff spearheaded the establishment of gender-neutral restrooms throughout the majority of campus. There are eight LGBTQ-centered residence halls, including a trans-inclusive housing option. Nearly every day of the week, students can be involved in an LGBTQ-related event or group. Tuesday’s Queer Coffeehouse promises good conversation and delicious vegan baked goods.

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31 University of Wisconsin-Madison Madison, WI $15,874

The Gender and Sexuality Campus Center (GSCC) at UW recently teamed up with the school’s health services in supporting transition care for the transgender community. Students can receive hormone replace therapy (HRT) by means of the informed consent model, negating the requirement to provide a referral letter from a health provider. The GSCC also collaborates with University Housing and other Madison area resources to ensure that LGBTQ students receive safe and welcoming on-campus or off-campus housing experiences. Open House is a residence hall offering gender-inclusive rooms, as well as the opportunity for residents to enroll in a single credit seminar focused on LGBTQ issues. For non-residents, there remains an abundance of LGBTQ-focused student organizations, mentoring programs, and discussion groups to connect with. Students can expand their knowledge of the LGBTQ movement in Madison by visiting the school’s LGBTQ resource library or enrolling in the LGBTQ+ studies certificate program.

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32 Portland State University Portland, OR $14,481

The Smith Memorial Student Union at PSU is home to the Queer Resource Center (QRC), a welcoming space for LGBTQ students to collaborate, study and connect with campus and community resources. Here you can find maps to locate gender-neutral restrooms, instructions for accessing gender-inclusive housing options, information on LGBTQ-focused study abroad experiences, and support for veterans of the LGBTQ community. The Queeries Speakers Bureau, SAGE/LGBTQ Campus Policy, and QuEST Seminars & Trainings are faculty and student-led organizations working to create a more inclusive campus environment through workshops and lectures. The QRC aids in these efforts by coordinating programs such as OUTober, a month-long celebration of coming out. Temprr is a series of November events honoring the experiences of the transgender community. There are a number of scholarships and grants awarded to LGBTQ students annually, including emergency financial assistance. Some use this support to help fund a minor in sexuality, gender and queer studies.

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33 Bowling Green State University Bowling Green, OH $17,313

LGBTQ and ally students can expect to receive a “Big Gay Welcome” during welcome week at BGSU. The event celebrates the LGBTQ community through drag king and queen performances, spoken word and dance. Located in the Bowen Thompson Student Union, the LGBTQ+ Resource Center implements the Safe Zone Program throughout campus in an effort to create a supportive and inclusive network of allies. Their webpage provides a link for anonymously reporting bias incidents, as well as information regarding the Office of Residence Life’s gender-inclusive housing option. The center’s staff also connects students to a number of campus organizations, including OUT(?) Falcons, a support group for people who are exploring their identity or sexual orientation. The Multicultural Greek Council includes LGBTQ-focused fraternities and sororities. Interested in studying abroad? Education abroad advisors are equipped to plan experiences that are mindful of LGBTQ concerns, and there are a number of LGBTQ-specific scholarships available to help fund your journey.

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34 Washington State University Pullman, WA $17,815

The Commission for Gender Identity/Expression and Sexual Orientation is on a mission to improve LGBTQ education and awareness on the WSU campus by keeping the school’s president updated on relevant issues, including maintenance of gender-neutral restrooms and the gender-inclusive McCroskey residence hall. Most LGBTQ initiatives operate out of the Gender Identity/Expression and Sexual Orientation Resource Center (GIESORC). The UndocuQueer Conference welcomes immigrant students of the LGBTQ community. InQueery Symposium and Lavender Graduation are two annual events celebrating LGBTQ students and their accomplishments. The Ally Trainings and Trans* Ally Trainings, which occur multiple times throughout the year, teach students and faculty to better support the LGBTQ community. The webpage for the GIESORC showcases a quick guide for understanding LGBTQ terminology and pronouns. It also links students to an abundance of local and national resources, including hotlines, legal information and health and wellness options.

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35 Stanford University Stanford, CA $16,695

Looking for a fun and inclusive place to hang out? There is no shortage of safe spaces on the SU campus. Terra House is an LGBTQ-themed co-op featuring happy hours, drop-in counseling time slots and an open kitchen that promises its visitors tasty baked goods at any time of day. The QSpot is host to a library and computer workstations. It can be found on the 2nd floor of the Firetruck House, which has been a gathering place for the LGBTQ community since 1971. Queer Student Resources is made up of a number of organizations and programs, including the Queer Campus Team, Queer Events and Services Team (QuEST), and the LGBTQ-specific Vaden Health Center. Gender Inclusive Stanford is a recent initiative to foster collaboration among this network of students, staff and faculty. Assisting faculty in developing more LGBTQ-aware curriculums, expanding gender-inclusive restrooms and housing and improving LGBTQ health services are among their key areas of focus. The webpage for Queer Student Resources allows students to easily navigate through the seemingly endless opportunities for financial assistance, engagement with the LGBTQ community and information for campus and community resources.

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36 University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Milwaukee, WI $14,747

Established in 1956, UWM is the largest university in the Milwaukee area. The university offers a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees including a undergraduate minor in LGBTQ studies. The LGBTQ resource center at UWM offers many ways for students to get involved in supportive events like LGBTQ art exhibits, film festivals, and student organizations. With a 4.5 out a 5.0 ranking on the Campus Pride Index, UWM's dedication to the LGBTQ community goes beyond its resource center. UMW promotes safe and enriching environments for its student, faculty, and staff through active engagement with student groups, the student government association, and academic departments across campus. Students will also find a welcoming and diverse Greek Life community. Three merit-based scholarships are available for LGBTQ students, one of which is reserved for incoming freshman.

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37 University of Massachusetts Amherst Amherst, MA $20,093

UMass Amherst is public research university established in 1863. With over 30,000 students, it is the largest public university in New England. With a perfect 5.0 ranking on the Campus Pride Index, UMass Amherst houses the Stonewall Center, an academic, social, and emotional support office for its LGBTQ community. The Stonewall Center provides a range of services including HIV/STI testing, workshops, and campus-wide anti-bullying initiatives. Through the Stonewall Center, UMass Amherst hosts a strong mentorship program that matches first-year students with returning student mentors in the queer community. The university also offers gender inclusive housing options, where students of any gender identity can live together. Numerous residence halls feature gender inclusive bathrooms and shower facilities. For LGBTQ students, financial aid is available in the form of scholarships, grants, work-study programs, and loans.

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38 Western Michigan University Kalamazoo, MI $15,489

With 23,500 students, WMU is a large public research university that provides admirable support for its LGBTQ community. The LGBTQ student services office provides open space for community, boasts an extensive lending library, and serves as an information hub for LGBTQ events around campus. To create a safe and welcoming environment for students, faculty, and staff, WMU includes sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity in its official non-discrimination policy. There is also a preferred name policy, gender inclusive housing, and gender-neutral bathrooms and locker rooms. The most common LGBTQ scholarships at WMU are offered through three state-sponsored programs and one national program. The student services office helps connect students to additional local, regional, and national scholarships and their application requirements.

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39 University of Colorado-Colorado Springs Colorado Springs, CO $15,248

Housed within the Multicultural Office for Student Access, Inclusiveness and Community (MOSAIC), the University of Colorado has a dedicated LGBTQ Resource Center. The center advocates for LGBTQ interests across campus to protect the voices and rights of LGBTQ students. Program directors of MOSAIC and the LGBTQ work hard to celebrate and educate the student community about the backgrounds and identities of all students. With a Campus Pride Index ranking of 4.5, UCCS offers an inclusive environment, with gender inclusive housing, safe spaces, and campus services for sensitive and life-changing events. UCCS offers campus transitioning guides, safe zone training for students and faculty, supportive and affirming student associations, and a series of campus diversity initiatives. Greek Life at UCCS has LGBTQ affirming organizations and creates additional opportunities for students to participate in activities that enhance student life.

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40 Rowan University Glassboro, NJ $18,067

Established in 1923, Rowan is a midsized and historic public research university located in Glassboro, NJ. Scoring a 4.5 on the Campus Pride Index, Rowan's LGBTQ center supports students of all identities and strongly advocates for the LGBTQ community on campus. The center keeps a highly active events calendar with festivities, trainings, and workshops. They also encourage student participation in national LGBTQ events such as National Coming Out Week and Pride Week. Rowan offers an extensive Ally Network with faculty members across campus. They provide safe zone training for faculty and students designed to teach daily practices to aid the LGBTQ community on campus. Student groups include Queer People of Color, Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, and other student-led organizations geared toward both leisure activities and social justice. Students will also find additional LGBTQ- friendly features like gender inclusive housing and study abroad scholarships for LGBTQ undergraduates.

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41 University of California-Berkeley Berkeley, CA $17,160

UC Berkeley has a long history as a favorable campus for members of the LGBTQ community. Resources and organizations dedicated to supporting students include the Gender Equity Resource Center (GenEq) and the Queer Alliance Resource Center. There are a host of active campus organizations and resources for LGBTQ students, including Ace Space for asexual students, Cal Queer and Asian, the Gamma Rho Lambda sorority, Q-Jew, the Oscar Wilde House, and LavenderCal, an organization of Cal’s LBGTQ faculty and staff. Many LGBTQ students enjoy a unique residential experience of living at Unity House, a living-learning community and resource center situated a block from campus. Cal also offers an LGBT studies minor. UC Berkeley features an exceptional 92 percent graduation rate and average net price of $17,160, with 63 percent of students receiving some form of financial aid. Annual scholarships for LGBTQ students include the $5,000 BATTELLE/NOGLSTP Out to Initiative scholarships, the $1,500 Cal Alumni Pride scholarships, and the ~$15,000 Tang scholarship.

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42 University of Nebraska-Lincoln Lincoln, NE $16,462

Nebraska’s LGBTQA + Resource Center is the campus’s pre-eminent resource for people of all sexual orientation and gender identity. In addition to providing an inclusive space for studying and socializing, the center hosts numerous presentations and workshops on topics such as gender identity, sexual orientation and social justice. It also provides counseling services for LGBTQA students and assistance with instances of bias. Nebraska scores a favorable 3.5 on the Campus Pride Index, which provides a benchmark for LGBTQ-friendly campuses across the county. Scholarships for LGBTQ students include the $1,500 Crompton/Diaz-Perdomo Scholarship, awarded to a student enrolled in the university’s LGBTQ/sexuality studies minor. Student dorm options include Gender Inclusive Housing, where students can room with other LGBTQ students regardless of gender or sexual expression.

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43 Kent State University Kent, OH $18,180

This public university system headquartered at Kent, Ohio features eight campuses in the Buckeye State, as well as six other U.S. locations and four abroad. Famous alumni include TV personalities Drew Carey, Steve Harvey and Arsenio Hall, author Stephen R. Donaldson, and boxing promoter Don King. Kent State’s LGBTQ Student Center provides a welcoming environment for LGBTQ students, faculty and staff, as well as many gender-inclusive resources. Active on-campus organizations include Trans*Fusion, the Kent State transgender group, PRIDE! Kent, Threads KSU for LGBTQ and people of color, and the Delta Lamba Phi fraternity for gay, bisexual and progressive men. LGBTQ scholarships include the Curry and Meyers LGBTQ Studies Endowment Fund, the Harry E. Jackson LGBT Endowment Fund, and the PLFAG Akron Scholarship.

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44 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL $16,683

This public land-grant university in east-central Illinois was founded in 1867. LGBTQ students can find a safe and inclusive environment at the university’s LGBT Resource Center, which is open to students of all sexual and gender identities. Resource center staff collaborate with other university organizations and groups to ensure a campus-wide inclusive environment and also provide a wide range of educational resources on LGBTQ issues. Student groups dedicated to the LGBTQ community on campus include the Queer Support Group, the Transgender Support Group and the LGBTQA Alumnae Group. The university’s Allen Hall provides a wing dedicated to gender-inclusive housing, and Wassaja Hall has two clusters of co-ed gender-inclusive rooms. Both halls are staffed by multicultural advocates who create inclusive programming and education for LGBTQ students. The university features a strong 85 percent graduation rate and an average net price of $16,683. Two-thirds of students receive financial aid.

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45 University of Connecticut Storrs, CT $19,064

More than 32,000 students attended UConn’s four regional campuses in fall of 2017. The university, founded in 1881, has long supported students of diverse sexual orientation and gender through the Rainbow Center, which opened in 1998. The center offers educational and social programs, an alternative LGBTQ spring break trip, regular social events, and it also hosts the popular True Colors conference, the largest LGBT youth conference in the nation. These factors and others are why UConn scores a strong 4.5 on the Campus Pride Index, the highest ranking in the state along with Connecticut College in New London. Gender-inclusive housing is available on the first and second floors of Brock Hall. Average net price of attending University of Connecticut is just over $19,000, and three-quarters of all UConn students receive some form of financial aid. The university also has a favorable 82 percent graduation rate.

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46 Kennesaw State University Kennesaw, GA $17,441

KSU has campus locations at Kennesaw and Marietta, Ga. More than 35,800 students were enrolled at the university in the fall of 2017. Kennesaw State University scores a 4.5 on the Campus Pride Index for a variety of reasons. The university’s Stonewall Housing in the Austin Residence Complex is an LGBTQ-inclusive community that also features an LGBTQ first-year learning community to support students making the transition from high school to college. The university also supports students through its LGBTQ Student Programs and Resource Center. The center sponsors many different academic, social and cultural programs throughout the school year that emphasize gender identity and sexual orientation. Signature programs include Stand Bi Me Pride Day, LGBTQ History Month exhibit, and KSU walking in the annual Atlanta Pride Parade. The university also has an LGBTQ Support Group that meets monthly.

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47 Miami University (Ohio) Oxford, OH $20,186

Located 35 miles north of Cincinnati, Miami University has its main campus at Oxford, Ohio and regional campus locations in West Chester, Middletown and Hamilton. Enrollment among the four locations was more than 24,400 in fall of 2017. For many LGBTQ students, the university’s $20,186 average net price is offset by financial aid – nearly 80 percent of Miami students receive aid. Other students pursue the Miami University 1809 LGBT Alumni Association Scholarship or the Maxim Law Social Justice Scholarship to help pay for tuition costs. The school’s Office of Diversity Affairs can help LGBTQ students find their way through its LGBTQ Services, which is located on the third floor of the Armstrong Student Center. The center sponsors Safe Zone training and the Safe Zone Network, which is designed to foster a campus-wide inclusive environment for all Miami University students. The University’s Office of Residence Life provides gender-inclusive housing options for LGBTQ students.

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48 Ohio University Athens, OH $21,899

Ohio University at Athens scores a solid four out of five stars on the Campus Pride Index on the strength of its LGBTQ counseling and health services, as well as for its academic life. The university’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Center – the first in the state of Ohio -- is open to all students. Its mission is to provide confidential assistance and support to LGBTQ students, as well as various student resources, community outreach and advocacy on LGBT issues. The center was founded in 1998, but the campus has had organized social groups since the early 1970s, beginning with the Gay & Lesbian Association. The school offers two LGBTQ scholarships – the Wayne Hadley Scholarship Fund LGBT Award and the Tom and Jan Hodson LGBT Student Support Scholarship. Gender-neutral housing is a permanent option at Ohio University and is located at Smith House on the campus’s South Green.

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49 Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester, NY $29,111

This private co-educational college in Rochester, N.Y. was founded in 1829 and had a total enrollment of 18,963 students in fall of 2017. Incoming freshman are guaranteed housing at RIT, and the college’s LGBTQ students enjoy gender-inclusive housing at Mark Ellingson Hall. RIT scores a 3 on the Campus Pride Index, with excellent marks for its LGBTQ housing options and student life. The school’s Office of Career Services provides a wide range of LGBTQ resources, and the RIT Q Center is a primary gathering place for students. Popular student organizations on the RIT campus include ENBX for questioning, nonbinary and agender students, OUTspoken, Spectrum, LABRY’S Women’s Alliance, the ritGA gay alliance, and the Tangent transgender network. Rochester Institute of Technology has an average net cost of $29,111, but 96 percent of students receive financial aid.

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50 Duke University Durham, NC $19,950

Duke University in Durham, N.C. is much more than just national-championship NCAA basketball – the private research university ranks among the most prestigious colleges in America in many categories. The college features an 8:1 student-faculty ratio, but it also has overall acceptance rates hovering around 10 percent or lower. Still, it’s a great place for LGBTQ students to attend college, scoring four stars in the Campus Pride Index due to its inclusionary policies for LGBTQ students, quality of student life, institutional support and campus safety. Duke’s Center for Sexuality and Gender Diversity provides many programs and resources to support LGBTQ students, as well as a meeting space for students. Popular students groups on campus include Blue Devils United, DukeOUT, OUTLAW, DukeMed Pride and Sanford Pride. Duke University features an exceptional 95 percent graduation rate, with an average net price just under $20,000. Many students pursue the annual Carolinas Gay & Lesbian Scholarship at Duke.

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51 University of Kansas Lawrence, KS $18,014

KU, or the University of Kansas, offers outstanding support to LGBTQIA students, staff and faculty. Its Center for Sexuality and Gender Diversity functions not only as an office where events are organized and support services are available, but also as a hangout spot for all members of the LGBTQIA community. KU Students have the option to apply for gender-inclusive housing, which allows them to live in a suite irrespective of their gender identity, gender expression, or sex; but act fast, because gender-inclusive housing is first-come, first-served. The good news for money-minded prospective students is that, at KU, a whopping 82 percent of students receive some financial aid. KU also offers four annual scholarships exclusively for LGBTQ students. The nonprofit Campus Pride rates University of Kansas a 3 out of 5 stars on their index.

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52 University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, OH $19,978

The Campus Pride Index rates Ohio’s University of Cincinnati a 2.5 out of 5 on their index for “LGBTQ-inclusive policy, program and practice.” The on-campus LGBTQ Center is open during normal business hours Monday through Friday and works toward enhancing visibility and acceptance of University of Cincinnati’s LGBTQ community. Students can access resources and support services at the center, including three ongoing support groups: Grounds for Support, which introduces students to the LBGTQ community on campus, Kaleidoscope, for students who identify as transgender, non-binary, gender non-confirming and no label, and Queer Spirituality, which explores the intersection of spiritual practice and the LGBTQ community. For UC students who dream of studying abroad, the University offers a number of scholarships, including its Rainbow Scholarship, which is funded by a group of international education professionals and is open exclusively to LGBTQI students.

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53 Oregon State University Corvallis, OR $19,484

After two years in development, the first iteration of Oregon State University’s Pride Center opened in 2001. In 2004, the Center moved to a bigger space. Today, the Pride Center is among the attributes of OSU that earn its rating of 4 out of 5 stars on the Campus Pride Index. The Pride Center offers lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual community members a space for consultation and support, and a place to come together for community development and advocacy. The resources at the Pride Center---from study space to books on queer history to its kitchen lounge---are open to all students. As of Fall 2018, OSU will offer a Pride Floor on the sixth floor of the Wilson building: Pride Floor will have no gender restriction in room assignment. Off-campus, the Corvallis/Albany chapter of PFLAG exists as support for parents, families and friends of the LGBT community and meets the fourth Monday of each month.

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54 George Mason University Fairfax, VA $18,032

On its website, George Mason University proudly announces its 3.5 star rating on the Campus Pride Index, a rating which already places George Mason among the top-ranked Virginia schools, and the website declares they intend to surpass that ranking going forward. Beginning in 2002, Mason’s LGBTQ+ and ally communities started working with LGBTQ Resources. Mason now offers awareness and training modules as well as events and workshops. In 2011, the LGBTQ Campus Climate Task Force was established and in the course of 18 months reviewed concerns across Mason’s LGBTQ community: one outcome of that project was creating a public list of all gender bathrooms on campus. Mason students who live on campus and who are eligible for on-campus housing the following year may elect to live in flexible – gender neutral – housing. For the cost-minded prospective student, average annual tuition at George Mason is just over 18,000 a year, though nearly three-quarters of students receive financial aid and Mason publishes a list of scholarships on its website available to LGBTQ students.

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55 Dartmouth College Hanover, NH $21,177

This Ivy League college is demonstratively open and inclusive to students and community members of all gender identities. One-on-one and group resources are available at the peer undergraduate level, there are a number of scholarship resources for LGBTQ+ postgrads, and the fostering of community continues beyond campus with Dartmouth’s alumni group for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender graduates. Dartmouth even hosts an annual Pan-Ivy League conference – Darmouth IvyQ – for the wider Ivy community of LGBTQ+ students and allies. LGBTQ+ Dartmouth students can rely on the Center for Professional Development to help them learn about internship opportunities and access professional communities friendly to and supportive of LGBTQ+ community aims. Given Dartmouth’s investment in the welfare of its LGBTQ students both past and present, it’s unsurprising that the Campus Pride Index rates them 4.5 out of 5 stars.

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56 Whitman College Walla Walla, WA $34,272

In Walla Walla, Washington, Whitman College’s Office of LGBTQIA+ actively engages the community. It hosts Safe Zone trainings and social events for the benefit of campus community learning and in support of LGBTQIA+ students. The program coordinator at the Office of LGBTQIA+ is available to talk to students struggling with coming out, and Whitman has practical information for trans students seeking to change their gender, sex or name in Washington state. There are gender-inclusive housing opportunities at Whitman. Students can specify by name any differently-gendered individual who they would like to room with.

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57 Hofstra University Hempstead, NY $32,169

Since 2002, Hofstra has offered an ambitious scholarship program to honor students who are of service to the LGBTQ+ community. Applicants will be evaluated based on their commitment to working on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community. There are six scholarships, and some are more specific than others. For example, while one scholarship is geared towards any LGBTQ+ student or straight ally with a demonstrable record of activism, another is open to freshman English majors with a commitment to LGBTQ+ activism, and still another is open to students with a 3.0 studying elementary or secondary education. Any student enrolled in Hofstra’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences may elect to earn a minor in LGBTQ+ studies, and a winter study abroad opportunity is available in Paris, with the aim of enabling students to view the gay experience in a broader cultural context.

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58 Pace University New York City, NY $31,040

On the 10th floor of its William Street building, students will find Pace’s LGBTQA Social Justice Center, mere blocks from Manhattan’s City Hall and the Brooklyn Bridge. The Social Justice Center is emblematic of Pace’s pragmatic demonstration of support for its LGBTQA students, staff and faculty. The LGBTQA Center provides advisement, training, peer mentorship, leadership development, referral services, career networking and other valuable services to the LGBTQA community on campus. In a separate but nearby location, Pace also offers on-campus counseling, and there is also a counseling office on Pace’s Westchester campus. The university’s New York City campus allows students to apply for housing not restricted to the traditional gender binary. Pace’s Multicultural Affairs & Diversity Programs (MADP) works closely with the student-run Gay Straight Alliance. MADP also offers SAFEZONE trainings, which are three-hour workshops that anyone can take to receive training regarding sensitivity toward and understanding of LGBTQ issues and concerns. The Campus Pride Index awards Pace University an outstanding 4.5 out of 5 stars.

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59 George Washington University Washington, DC $39,562

George Washington University’s campus is in Washington D.C.’s Foggy Bottom neighborhood, a mile North of the Lincoln Memorial and less than a mile west of the White House. The LGBTQIA Resource Center is right in the middle of campus, on the first floor of GW’s Multicultural Student Services Center. The resource center can help with things like name and gender change on GW documents and email accounts, as well as on graduation papers and transcripts. Another practical but helpful indication of GW’s commitment to inclusiveness are the 100+ all-gender restrooms located throughout the Foggy Bottom and Mt.Vernon campuses. GW’s Lambda Fraternity (Delta Lambda Phi), founded in 1986, welcomes progressive, bisexual and gay male undergraduates. GW also offers Affinity Housing, where student groups and organizations can create their own housing communities tailored to their respective needs. The Allied in Pride & LGBTQIA group is already registered and offers housing at District House.

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60 Brown University Providence, RI $25,264

In 2004, the LGBTQ Center was established at Brown. This was yet another chapter in Brown’s longstanding commitment to inclusion; in 1974, the Sarah Doyle Women’s Center was established and still exists as a place for the Brown community to explore how gender-related issues both infiltrate and extend beyond the classroom. Brown’s annual Renn Program allows students, faculty and staff to apply to become either mentees or mentors in this LGBTQ+ mentorship program. The program is intended to support mentees who might be coming out at Brown or at home and to provide resources towards the mentees’ realizing and exploring of their identities. The commitment is to meet once a month for at least one year and applications are due in late October, so students still have some time to decide if the Renn Program is for them after arriving on campus. Every spring, the LGBTQ Center awards one graduating senior who has contributed positively to the community on campus with the LGBTQ Community Leadership award; recipients of the prize are honored during Commencement weekend and are awarded a prize funded by the LGBTQ alumni group (TBGALA) and the Brown Alumni Association.

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61 Columbia University New York, NY $22,973

Founded in 1754, Columbia University is a large, private, research institution located in the Manhattan area of New York City. LGBTQ students planning to attend this Ivy League college will be glad to hear that Columbia receives high marks on the Campus Pride Index and works hard to ensure that LGBTQ students are represented in academics as well as student life. Columbia offers a wide-range of LGBTQ-related courses, and some programs, including public health and law cover topics such as gay and lesbian issues in public health and gay marriage. Through LGBTQ @ Columbia, students can access resources specific to the LGBTQ community, including educational programs promoting understanding and diversity, inclusive and safe on-campus housing, transgender support, advocacy groups and counseling services. Campus Multicultural Affairs offers LGBTQ campus events and on-campus student groups specific to LGBTQ students. Health Services provides a LGBTQ Medical Concerns Team, and medical coverage for transgender students may include hormone therapy and gender affirming surgery.

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62 Northwestern University Evanston, IL $29,326

Northwestern University in Illinois is a large, high-ranking private college with a 94 percent graduation rate. Students attending the campus in Evanston can get the full college-town experience, while those attending the Chicago campus, located 12 miles away, can experience big city college life. Both campuses have a lot to offer LGBTQ students, including gender and sexuality resource centers, all-gender bathrooms, inclusive classrooms, gender-open housing, LGBTQIA student organizations, mental health counseling and coming out resources. In addition, LGBTQ students can access resources through specific colleges within Northwestern, like the Feinberg School of Medicine, which has LGBT Safe Space Training. Other resources include a voluntary support LGBT OutList and AllyList for students and faculty, a Queers and Allies student group and the Northwestern Chicago Out Network, which provides social networking opportunities for LGBT students and allies. As far as academics go, Northwestern does offer an undergraduate degree in gender and sexuality studies, along with a graduate certificate in gender studies.

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63 Syracuse University Syracuse, NY $31,823

Syracuse University (SU), a private research institution in New York State, was founded in 1870 and has a student body of about 20,000. SU offers hundreds of majors and minors, including a minor in LGBT studies. Students planning to complete the LGBT minor can also take courses abroad in Madrid, London or Florence through SU Abroad. LGBTQ students will find a wealth of resources through the LGBT Resource Center, which values social justice, accountability, awareness and community, and provides several opportunities for education and student involvement. Students can participate in one-on-one advising with senior staff, discussion groups and events during Coming Out Month. LGBTQ students can also access on-campus student services such as health care, counseling and career advisement. The LGBT resource center also promotes active allyship and offers ally training and development courses. SU also has a University Senate Committee dedicated to LGBT concerns, and several LGBT-centered student organizations.

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64 Washington University in St. Louis St. Louis, MO $28,824

Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL) has been around since 1853, and consistently ranks high in several areas, including those listed on the Campus Pride Index. WUSTL encourages individualism, leadership and achievement in all students, with several awards specific to LGBTQ students and active allies, such as the Holobaugh Awards, achievement honors through the Lavender Recognition Ceremony and the WUpan Leadership Development Award, which is a scholarship recognizing growth and leadership for those in the LGBTQIA community and their allies. LGBTQ students have access to several LGBTQIA resources, including peer mentorship, a free retreat, student groups, regular programs and events, an easy preferred name policy and gender inclusive campus restrooms and housing. SafeZones, a peer-facilitation group, continues to work towards a more open and inclusive college environment through discussion, education and training. Faculty, health and wellness personnel, Greek organizations, RAs, sports teams and student organizations are just a few examples of groups that have received SafeZones training.

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65 Tufts University Medford, MA $28,076

Tufts University is a private, mid-sized college based in Medford, Massachusetts, with two other campuses in the Boston area, and even one in France. The college began as a liberal arts college, and has evolved into a major research institution, while maintaining elements of its liberal arts roots. With a score of five out of five stars on the Campus Pride Index, Tufts is the total package for LGBT students. Tufts provides plenty of opportunities for involvement through LGBT events, peer-led groups for new students, educational workshops, discussion groups and student organizations at both the undergraduate and graduate level. The LGBT Center offers support and resources to those in the Tufts LGBTQ community, such as career and job-finding resources, study abroad opportunities, scholarships, queer-friendly and gender inclusive housing, wellness and healthcare. It is also worth noting that the Tufts-sponsored student health insurance covers counseling, hormone therapy and gender affirmation surgery for transgender students.

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66 University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA $32,932

The University of Southern California in Los Angeles has a large presence both locally and globally, as it is a well-respected research institution with a student body of over 40,000. The LGBT community is strong here, and LGBT students and allies will find a wealth of resources and opportunities for involvement. The LGBT Resource center offers support and education through programs, events, support groups, peer mentoring and counseling. LGBT student organizations can be found at both the undergraduate and graduate level, and through individual schools within the university. Examples include First-year Advocacy Board (FAB), Queers in Engineering, Science and Technology (QuEST), Queer People of Color (QPOC), Transgender Advocacy Group (TAG) and the Price Queer Policy Caucus. To balance cost with value, USC works to keep tuition affordable with generous in-house awards and financial aid packages. LGBT students can apply to several internal and external scholarships, and those showing leadership in the LGBT community may qualify for several USC Lambda Scholarships.

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67 University of San Francisco San Francisco, CA $35,054

The University of San Francisco (USF) is a Jesuit Catholic university located in the heart of the city that combines a diverse and socially responsible community experience with a top-notch education. As San Francisco’s first university, the school has a long history of promoting diversity, social justice, equality and dignity for all. Undergraduates are required to complete at least one course in cultural diversity, and the minor in gender and sexualities studies is a popular program here. For LGBT students wanting to get involved in local outreach and volunteer opportunities, they can do so through various avenues, such as service learning, student groups and campus organizations, including those that are LGBT-related. USF has several student resources dedicated to LGBTQ and ally students, such as the Queer Alliance, which is a support and social network, the LGBTQ Caucus of staff and faculty, support groups, semester collectives and events, plus counseling resources and the campus ministry.

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68 University of Colorado at Boulder Boulder, CO $22,727

The University of Colorado at Boulder, a large, public research university, has recently implemented some cost-cutting measures by providing a four-year tuition guarantee, no course and program fees and a pilot program using that uses electronic teaching materials to further cut costs. In addition, UCB offers several LGBTQIA-focused scholarships, along with a variety of other internal scholarships. With a five out of five stars rating on the Campus Pride Index, UCB is considered LGBTQ-friendly, which is evident in the college’s commitment to diversity, inclusivity and the LGBTQ community. The Gender and Sexuality Center is part of the Center for Inclusion and Social Change and provides a wealth of resources for LGBTQIA and ally students. Other resources include gender-neutral and LGBTQ-friendly housing, health care, counseling services and LGBTQ-related campus awareness and celebratory events. Students can also be part of a peer education team that gets paid to facilitate discussions, give social justice presentations and participate in professional development training.

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69 New York University New York City, NY $35,147

With enrollment currently around 50,000, New York University (NYU), is one of the largest private colleges in the country, with campuses and centers throughout New York City, along with several global options. Students can choose from hundreds of programs at the undergraduate and graduate level, including a bachelor’s degree in gender and sexuality studies. In addition, there is no shortage of support and student resources, including those for LGBTQ students and allies. Excellent health and wellness programs, unique social events, peer education, LGBTQ-related training and gender-neutral housing and restrooms are just a few examples. For students wanting to get involved, NYU is all about LGBTQ student clubs and organizations. Through the university’s LGBTQ Student Center, students can participate in clubs such as the LGBTQ Alumni Network, Queer Grads and First Year Queers and Allies (FYQA), plus several schools within NYU, including the law, engineering, social work and business schools have groups specific to LGBTQ students.

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Find Schools in Your State

*Please check with school not shown in our ranking directly to see what kind of LGBTQ+ resources they provide.

What Makes a College LGBTQ-Friendly?

When reviewing prospective colleges and universities based on their openness to and respect for LGBTQ+ individuals, students can look for several signs to make an educated decision. The schools in this year’s ranking made the list based on many factors, including the important factors below. Students should recognize that it’s rare to find one school that has all these factors, but they should look for a school that has the factors that matters most to them.

LGBTQ resource center

More schools now provide specific places on campus where LGBTQ+ students can find resources and support while in school. The University of Louisville’s LGBT Center provides an example of what to look for. In addition to offering several programs and training sessions, the center organizes the annual Pride Week, arranges Speak Out panels, and provides LGBT study abroad trips. While not all campuses provide dedicated centers staffed with professionals, potential students can ask if specific programs are organized on campus.

An abundance of LGBTQ+ clubs and organizations can be a good sign of inclusivity and representation on campus. The University of Chicago serves as an example of what to look for, as it highlights both general student groups and those specific to certain academic disciplines that serve LGBTQ+ degree seekers and their allies. If a prospective school doesn’t have any dedicated groups, consider talking to a student life representative about their openness to starting an organization.

According to policy provided by the U.S. Department of Education, every college and university must protect all learners – including those who identify as LGBTQ+ – from sex discrimination if they wish to be compliant with Title IX. According to Campus Pride, however, some institutions ask for Title IX exemptions based on the grounds of religion – the organization provides a list of colleges that have received exemption. Before enrolling in any school, speak with the office of student life to learn if the school is compliant.

In addition to seeking out LGBTQ+ specific scholarships from private foundations and nonprofits, students should also look for scholarships provided to this community by universities and colleges. Kansas University’s Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity and the University of San Francisco both provide examples of what to look for: a number of university-specific scholarships awarded based on leadership, advocacy, financial need and a history of involvement in supporting individuals who identify as LGBTQ+.

For students who want to live on campus and get the full college experience, finding a school that provides gender-neutral housing is key. Campus Pride provides a list of 265 colleges and universities in America that have gender-inclusive housing to help students get a sense of where to start their search. The University of San Francisco also offers a school-specific look at what to expect. In addition to providing housing that meets the needs of many students along the gender spectrum, the school also instills community standards to ensure all learners have a safe, restful space to come back to at the end of each day.

When reviewing the websites of prospective colleges, it’s always a good idea to see if the school provides a statement on inclusivity as it signals an abiding commitment to ensuring equal access for all. Examples of what to look for include Wesleyan University’s affirmative action and equal opportunities statement and the University of Arizona’s selection of statements and policies surrounding diversity.

Feeling at home on your college campus is essential, and one of the most basic ways to achieve that is being able to use the restroom or locker room that aligns with your gender identity. At Brown University, the institution has worked to ensure that all students, regardless of their gender identity, have access to personal spaces no matter where they are on campus. Students can read more about Brown’s progress to get a sense of questions to ask prospective schools and what to look for on a campus visit.

Students use campus mental health services for a variety of reasons while in college, and it’s important for schools to ensure all mental health counselors and psychologists receive specialty training on how to inclusively care for and support LGBTQ+ learners. The University of Maryland provides a range of LGBTQ+ health and sexuality resources, amongst those being appointments for counseling, health and wellness resources, tips for students and visitors to the campus identifying as LGBTQ+, and substance abuse support.

In addition to all the standard maladies a student sometimes deals with while in school (e.g. sinus infections, colds, strep throat, broken bones), LGBTQ+ learners may require additional healthcare services and it’s important to find a school that covers these services. At the University of Chicago, student health insurance provided by the school covers HIV/HPV testing, psychotherapy and counseling, gender affirmation surgeries, and hormone replacement therapy. Campus Pride also shares a list of colleges and universities that cover transition-related medical expenses.

Because students spend most of their time in college with faculty, administrators and fellow students, ensuring these people receive proper training on equality and inclusivity is critical to creating a welcoming campus for all. The University of Connecticut’s Rainbow Center provides details on creating inclusive curricula and classrooms for faculty and instructors, Purdue University offers information on supporting the transgender campus community and Northwestern University provides information on LGBT safe space training.

From the Expert

Sara Stanizai is a licensed psychotherapist and the owner of Prospect Therapy, an LGBTQ+ affirming practice in Long Beach, CA. Prospect Therapy welcomes individuals of all genders and orientations, and especially welcomes first-generation Americans. She is also the consulting clinician for Building Allies, an educational organization that offers training on best practices for serving the transgender and gender-nonconforming community. She is a proud graduate of Mount Holyoke College, the first women's college in the United States. 

What makes for an LGBTQ-friendly college? Are there certain things students should look for?

An LGBTQ+ friendly college will have a large LGBTQ+ population and resources in place that are specifically for this community. It will have affirming practices in the health clinics, counseling centers, financial aid, administration offices. Different genders and orientations are not "an option," they are the default.

Single-gender campuses throughout the nation are adopting admissions policies that reflect a more inclusive student body. For example, Mount Holyoke College welcomes applications for their undergraduate program from any student who is female or identifies as a woman. Almost any campus can place "safe space" stickers throughout their buildings, but that doesn't tell you if the infrastructure respects and affirms all identities. There should be language throughout the literature and in policies that reflects inclusive and affirming practices.

When touring campuses, what questions should students ask?

When touring campus, students can certainly ask about any LGBTQ+ and/or allied student or college-run organizations. But it will be especially helpful to ask about the percentage of LGBTQ+ identified students that apply and/or attend the college. Some other questions include:

  1. How does the college support its LGBTQ+ students? What policies are in place in terms of housing, admissions, and on-campus administration? When were these policies adopted, and how has any backlash been addressed?
  2. What is the grievance process for those who feel they have been discriminated against and when was the last issue filed?
  3. What are some of the annual social events for students?

If possible, are there certain people on campus students should try to talk to and get a sense of the culture?

To get a sense of culture, the most helpful people to talk to would be any member of a student-run organization focused on minority communities – including students of color, LGBTQ+ students, students with disabilities, first-generation college attendees, etc. These are the groups that will know if the college puts inclusive policies into action or not. It would also be helpful to shadow a class, talk to an upper level student, a resident adviser, the editor of the school newsletter, or the school radio station.

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