QUEER VOICES
08/22/2016 12:01 pm ET Updated Aug 23, 2016

15 Of The Most LGBT-Friendly Universities And Colleges, Via Campus Pride

Researchers say the safety of queer students is more critical than ever.
The 2016 index is based on research regarding college policies, programs and practices. 
Matthew Borkoski Photography via Getty Images
The 2016 index is based on research regarding college policies, programs and practices. 

It may be hard to believe, but back to school season is nearly upon us once again. The start of a new school year means high school seniors will be sorting through a seemingly endless list of prospective universities and colleges before they graduate next spring. 

No doubt that decision remains particularly critical for students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning (LGBTQ), which is why researchers feel compelled to publish the annual Campus Pride Index year after year.

Once again, this year’s survey measures the academic strengths and overall safety that higher educational institutions provide for their LGBTQ student bodies, and rates the top 30 of those schools. As in previous years, the 2016 index is based on research regarding college policies, programs and practices conducted by Campus Pride, and serves as a national benchmarking tool to assess the LGBT-friendly nature of individual schools. 

Given the current political climate, Shane Windmeyer, who is the group’s executive director, says the safety of LGBTQ students is perhaps more critical than ever before.

“Prospective students and their families today expect colleges to be LGBTQ-friendly. They want to know what LGBTQ programs, services and resources are available on the campus ― and which are the ‘Best of the Best,’” Windmeyer said in a statement. “There are colleges that are recruiting LGBTQ youth ― and they are investing in a campus that is fully supportive of LGBTQ students. This Top 30 list showcases those ‘Top’ campuses leading the way.”

Take a look at 15 of the 30 most-LGBT friendly universities and colleges, and then head here to check out the full survey. 

  • Cornell University
    Dennis Macdonald via Getty Images
  • Rutgers University
    Eduardo Munoz Alvarez via Getty Images
  • University of California, Los Angeles
    Cameron Davidson via Getty Images
  • Elon University
    Bobbi Gathings via Getty Images
  • San Diego State University
    Arpad Benedek via Getty Images
  • Tufts University
    Zsolt Biczó via Getty Images
  • Pennsylvania State University
    aimintang via Getty Images
  • University of Maryland, College Park
    Andriy Prokopenko via Getty Images
  • University of Massachusetts, Amherst
    DenisTangneyJr via Getty Images
  • Harvey Mudd College
    Ted Soqui via Getty Images
  • University of California, Davis
    Billy Hustace via Getty Images
  • Portland State University
    Gary Braasch via Getty Images
  • University of California, Santa Barbara
    Patricia Marroquin via Getty Images
  • University of Louisville
    Raymond Boyd via Getty Images
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