BestColleges and Campus Pride Unveil 2020’s Best Colleges for LGBTQ+ Students

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The rankings weigh inclusivity, academic support, and affordability to determine which colleges provide the best support for LGBTQ+ students

This June for Pride Month we want to show our ‘campus pride’ for all the campuses working hard to create safer, more LGBTQ-friendly learning environments.

BestColleges, in partnership with Campus Pride, released its 2020 college rankings for LGBTQ+ students in recognition and celebration of LGBTQ Pride Month. The announcement features two separate rankings, the Best Colleges for LGBTQ+ Students and the Best Colleges for LGBTQ+ Students in Each State, which help students of various gender and sexual identities find an inclusive and quality institution to begin their college journey.

Historically, LGBTQ+ populations have been underserved in higher education environments. However, this has gradually improved in recent years as many colleges spearhead efforts to create environments and policies that meet the needs of students with varying gender and sexual identities. The Best Colleges for LGBTQ+ Students ranking recognizes U.S. schools that have established the highest standards for inclusive environments while maintaining strong academic programs for students.

The Best Colleges for LGBTQ+ Students in Each State ranking evolved from the recognition that not all students have the opportunity to attend or finance college out-of-state, but still deserve an inclusive educational environment. As a result, the ranking offers a guide for prospective LGBTQ+ students to identify schools that are culturally inclusive, affordable, and closer in proximity to their geographic location. Additionally, the schools featured on the list were vetted by Campus Pride using their knowledge of the LGBTQ+ education landscape.

“Every student deserves to go to a college that is inclusive and a safe space - to learn, live and grow,” said Shane Windmeyer, Executive Director of Campus Pride. “This June for Pride Month we want to show our ‘campus pride’ for all the campuses working hard to create safer, more LGBTQ-friendly learning environments.”

The rankings combine BestColleges’ traditional methodology of academic support and affordability data along with the Campus Pride Index score, which is a comprehensive national rating system that measures LGBTQ-friendly campus life. Campus Pride takes an exhaustive and multifaceted approach, considering eight LGBTQ+ inclusive factors to reach a measurement. The rankings also include descriptions of unique campus resources that provide support to students of various gender and sexual identities.

“We are incredibly excited to work with Campus Pride for the third year in a row to bring prospective students this inclusive ranking and guide. By combining our most recent data, we were once again able to create a list that reflects the best higher education options for LGBTQ+ students in the United States,” said Stephanie Snider, General Manager of BestColleges.

Several prominent schools made this year’s Best Colleges for LGBTQ+ Students list, with the University of Maryland ranked as the top college for LGBTQ+ students in the nation. The University of Washington, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton University, and Tufts University round out the top five.

“We commend all the universities listed on these LGBTQ+ rankings for creating educational environments that allow students of different gender and sexual identities to feel safe and welcome,” added Snider. “In these uncertain times, we hope to see more academic institutions support and accommodate these students while making strides to create inclusive educational environments.”

You can view the 2020 Best Colleges for LGBTQ+ Students ranking at:

You can view the 2020 Best Colleges for LGBTQ+ Students in Each State ranking at:

2020 Best Colleges for LGBTQ+ Students (in alphabetical order):

Columbia University in the City of New York
Emory University
Harvey Mudd College
Kenyon College
Lehigh University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Ohio State University
Princeton University
Purdue University
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
San Diego State University
The University of Texas at Dallas
Tufts University
University of California, Davis
University of California, Los Angeles
University of California, San Diego
University of Central Florida
University of Maryland, College Park
University of Minnesota Twin Cities
University of Pennsylvania
University of Pittsburgh
University of Virginia
University of Washington
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Williams College

About BestColleges
BestColleges empowers students to make smarter educational decisions and find schools that best fit their needs through proprietary research, user-friendly guides, and hundreds of unique college rankings. As a trusted education advisor, they also provide a wide array of college planning, financial aid, and career resources to help students realize life goals and overcome educational challenges as they prepare for careers after college.

About Campus Pride
Campus Pride is the leading national educational organization for LGBTQ and ally college students, as well as campus groups building future leaders and safer, more LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities. The organization provides resources and services to thousands of college students and nearly 1,400 campuses annually.

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Quinn Tomlin
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