Choosing a college as an LGBTQ student poses unique challenges, so BestColleges.com and Campus Pride teamed up to rank the top schools in the United States for students who identify across the gender and sexuality spectrum, Quinn Tomlin writes for BestColleges.com.
About 23% of LGBTQ students are more likely to experience harassment and less likely to feel comfortable on campus than their heterosexual peers, according to a survey by Campus Pride.
The ranking celebrates the academic institutions that have cultivated an inclusive, welcoming, and educational environment for LGBTQ students and their allies, Tomlin writes.
The ranking methodology combines BestCollege.com's Academic and Affordability Index and the Campus Pride Index, which measures LGBTQ-inclusive factors such as counseling support, academic life, and retention efforts.
Here are the top schools for LGBTQ students:
1. Princeton University*
2. Tufts University*
3. University of Pennsylvania*
4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology*
5. University of Washington*
6. Harvey Mudd College
7. University of Maryland, College Park*
8. Williams College
9. University of California, Los Angeles*
10. Cornell University
*Editor's note: EAB congratulates our member institutions who made the list. Member institutions listed above are marked with an asterisk.
The University of Pennsylvania's Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Center is one of the oldest in the country. For the past 35 years, the center has served a social and political hub for its LGBTQ students, faculty, and allies, Campus Pride writes. In addition, the campus' SafeZones ensure that any student who is interested in sexual orientation or gender issues feels welcome. In every SafeZone, faculty and staff who have completed intensive training are ready to listen, support, and refer students to appropriate resources.
Related: Creating gender-inclusive restrooms on campus
For other colleges, like Kansas State University who secured the 25th spot, the campus LGBTQ community may be newer, but no less important, Sam Zeff reports for KCUR. The university's first-ever LGBT Resource Center was established in 2010.
K-State has a responsibility to prepare students for life outside of campus, says Brandon Haddock, the LGBT Resource Center coordinator. That means preparing students to be tolerant people and professionals who can work side-by-side with anyone, regardless of their gender or sexual identify, Haddock says (Tomlin, BestColleges.com release, 11/16; Zeff, KCUR, 11/16; BestColleges.com rankings, 11/16).
Also See: Why inclusion efforts aren't keeping up with diversity on campus
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