Ensuring Equal Access - Policies for Supporting Gender Variant Students

Topics: Special Populations, Student Experience, Student Affairs, Student Health and Wellness

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Research Questions

  • How do nondiscrimination policies incorporate the rights of gender variant students?
  • What are the categories of gender listed on official campus paperwork?
  • What are institutions’ policies for student name changes on campus records?
  • How do nondiscrimination policies support gender variant students with respect to academic and extracurricular activities?
  • What models for gender-inclusive housing do institutions use? What policies for the construction or renovation of campus buildings ensure that the needs of gender variant students are met?
  • How do institutions make students, faculty, staff, and parents aware of their policies for gender variant students?
  • How do institutions promote retention of gender variant students?


Gender variant students face many challenges in pursuit of higher education, and in response to these challenges, many administrators seek to foster a campus climate that respects, accommodates, and welcomes gender variance. This brief explores policies and practices for gender variant students, including nondiscrimination policies, gender-inclusive housing, and extracurricular participation. The brief also highlights strategies for communicating support for gender variant students.


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