PRIDE Poll: LGBTQ+ Factors to Consider When Picking a College & What Are Some LGBTQ-Friendly Colleges?

Happy Pride! Our editorial team compiled a list of LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities in the United States. The list comes from the Campus Pride Index by Campus Pride, which is a database tool that ranks colleges based on the school’s commitment to LGBTQ+ inclusivity. Check it out here and let us know in the comments below what’s missing.

Also, take the polls below and let us know what factors you considered when picking your LGBTQ-friendly college. The answers are anonymous, so we will not show who voted what.

Do you consider how LGBQT-friendly a school is when searching for colleges?
  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

What is the most important LGBTQ-related factor when picking your college?
  • LGBTQ policy inclusion
  • LGBTQ support & institutional commitment
  • LGBTQ academic life
  • LGBTQ student life
  • LGBTQ housing
  • LGBTQ campus safety
  • LGBTQ counseling & health
  • LGBTQ recruitment & retention efforts
  • Other (comment below)

0 voters

Note that campus administration friendliness (the main focus of CPI) is not the only thing to consider. Attitudes of students, the local non-student population, and the local and state governments (in terms of laws enacted) can also matter. (Similar things can matter for members of any minority group.)

Note also that issues and potential social and political hostility faced by various subsets of LGBTQ may differ.

Some CPI factors may be inapplicable at some campuses. For example, those relating to fraternities / sororities, graduate students, or campus housing may be inapplicable at campuses where these are not present at all.


@ucbalumnus, do you have examples of others schools that you would add to the list?

I think you missed Brandeis on your list?

Older D attends grad school there & I just received an email that Brandeis sent out to the entire school community about Pride events on and off campus!


What’s missing here are categories for “thriving queer scene” and “dating opportunities” among others. The Campus Pride Index is a convenient place to look up a school’s administrative policies, but it can’t really capture the social scene.

For example, Mankato State may have a great Pride index score, but it still isn’t where I would tell a young lesbian to look. Instead I would encourage her to check out some historically women’s colleges that have large and thriving queer communities.

ETA: I do really appreciate that CC included schools from a wide geographic range and wide range of selectivity, though!


CPI probably chose things that are easy to check-box (administrative policies are easy in this respect), rather than go into subjective evaluations of aspects that can only be evaluated subjectively and which different people may disagree on them.

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17% of students chose Other. It would be useful to know what Other refers to. I assume they can leave a comment to explain?

Yes. Would appreciate if everyone comments here what other factors they consider.


Given comments in other threads, “LGBTQ related laws and legislation in the jurisdiction the college is located in” should probably be an option in the survey.


And sometimes even then, you have to tread carefully:
Barnard vs Vassar vs Wesleyan vs Cornell ILR vs Smith - College Search & Selection - College Confidential Forums

It is possible that some took “Other” to include not-specifically-LGBTQ-related reasons, such as cost, academic programs / majors, or prestige. It is likely that some students’ top reasons for college choice are not the specifically-LGBTQ-related ones.

If the intent was to survey on specifically-LGBTQ-related reasons, the question should be reworded as “What is the most important LGBTQ-related factor when picking your college?”


Just saying but when my daughter was looking at colleges she looked at how inclusive the college was. This list seems very limited. But my daughter went to Beloit College for her last two years and it was very open and accepting. She’s gay and wanted to be at a school that was very accepting of everyone. Great school, students, families BTW.


When I was putting together my college application list a strong majority were Women’s colleges. I was not open to applying to any Women’s colleges that didn’t accept Trans and non binary students.


I live in NC and Elon is definitely NOT the school I think of here when I think of LGBTQ friendly schools. It may have some good policies, but schools like UNC-Asheville and Warren Wilson College are way more gay. I would also rank UNC- Chapel Hill, Duke, UNC-Greensboro ahead of Elon.

Need more women’s colleges on the list.

I answered “other” for my kid because the LGBTQ stuff was not the most important factor when deciding on a college. Like straight kids it was cost, and academics, and then general vibe which included the LGBTQ scene, but was not limited to that. If you meant what was the most important LGBTQ factor then you need to say that.


Yes, that’s totally correct. We only meant LGBTQ-related factor. Unfortunately I cannot update the poll cause we’ll lose all previous answers :frowning:

There’s not that many posts here. You should update it because it’s getting wrong answers. Only 23 votes.

I made the edit and was able to retrieve the votes. All who voted “Other” please vote again with the option that suits you best. Appreciate the great feedback!


Not that I care much, but it’s ironic that Barnard College is somehow omitted from Campus Pride index. Maybe because there one’s orientation had been a “non-issue” (as in: “so what?”) for so long already; I would not be surprised if Barnard had been “inclusive” decades before it became a buzzword, or someone came up with an alphabet soup for it, or started to compile lists/indices?

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