Tuesday, June 18, 2024

The Best LGBTQI Colleges in Every State You Should Know About!

Embrace inclusivity in higher learning!

There’s no doubt about it: going to college can be one of the best experiences of your life. But sadly, that’s not always the case for LGBTQ+ students as hostile school climates force more than 1 in 4 LGBTQ+ students to drop out.

Queer people may find it hard to feel a sense of belonging; thankfully, a number of US universities are making tremendous progress in creating safe and welcoming LGBTQI+ spaces. 🌈

Looking for the best rainbow district to call home for the next four years? Here are the best LGBTQI colleges in each state that will make your college experience one to remember.

1. University of Alabama

group of smiling students enrolled at an lgbtqi colleges sitting outdoors
LGBTQI+ students have access to educational outreach, community support, and crisis intervention resources at the University of Alabama. Photo: akesin@gmail.com/Depositphotos

Not one but two organizations have named the University of Alabama holds “advocacy for its diverse student population” as a core value.

UAB has gender-inclusive washrooms in dorms, various LGBTQI+ support and affinity groups, and a straightforward procedure for students to change their names on university ID and documents. 

There’s also an LGBTQ+ wellness center that provides mental health services for the queer community. 😊

Every spring, UAB hosts a Lavender Celebration to recognize students, staff, and faculty who contribute to keeping the campus a vibrant LGBTQI+ space

📍 Location: Birmingham, Alabama
✔️ Admissions Requirement: Minimum overall GPA of 2.75 on a 4.0 US grading scale
💰 Tuition (per year): $30,407 (in-state), $46,445 (out-of-state)  

2. University of Alaska Southeast

For the benefit of LGBTQI+ students living on campus, residence staff at UAS receive training on LGBTQ+ affairs. Photo: Rawpixel/Depositphotos 

What makes the University of Alaska Southeast one of the best schools for gender minorities? UAS makes diligent efforts to reduce homophobia and heterosexism through its programs, training sessions, events, and an LGBTQI+ Support center.

The school hosts a Campus Inclusivity Alliance, a Transgender Support Group, and Green Dot training to address and prevent power-based violence. 

You can also find a Care Team assisting LGBTQI+ students through counseling services and other efforts for campus safety.

Further, the university provides housing and residential resources, including gender-inclusive on-campus accommodation and restrooms, as well as roommate matching services to pair LGBTQI+-friendly housemates together. 👬

📍 Location: Juneau, Alaska
✔️ Admissions Requirement: Minimum overall GPA of 2.94 on a 4.0 US grading scale
💰 Tuition (per year): $6,960 (in-state), $21,096 (out-of-state)

3. University of Arizona

From clubs and organizations to mental health services, gender minorities receive all kinds of support at the University of Arizona. Photo: marcbruxelle/Depositphotos

For the last 30 years, the University of Arizona’s Lesbian Looks, an annual film screening event, has been showcasing documentaries, shorts, and features on queer history and trans identity.

It also has inclusive housing, confidential advocacy services for survivors of sexual or gender-based violence, and the UA Queer Closet – a free pop-up clothing exchange. 👗👠

But that’s not all! Students can make their CV stand out through year-long internship opportunities with the school’s LGBTQ+ Resource Center, where gender minority students serve as leaders for on-campus projects and outreach events.

📍 Location: Tucson, Arizona
✔️ Admissions Requirement: Minimum overall GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 US grading scale
💰 Tuition (per year): $12,716 (in-state), $36,743 (out-of-state)  

4. Hendrix College

Share an open and affirming space with like-minded people at Hendrix College. Photo: Krakenimages.com/Depositphotos

At Hendrix, gender-inclusive services are not limited to students. School employees are eligible for same-sex partner benefits, and the school’s health insurance plan covers hormone replacement therapy. 😌

Hendrix also provides access to gender-inclusive housing options on campus — the only college in the state to offer gender-neutral residences for gay and trans students. 

Several active student-run organizations on campus support LGBTQI+ and allied concerns. For instance, Trans@HDX works around issues related to gender and sexuality, such as coming out, reproductive justice, and sexual health. 

📍 Location: Conway, Arkansas
✔️ Admissions Requirement: Minimum overall GPA of 3.79 on a 4.0 US grading scale
💰 Tuition (per year): $48,700 (in-state), $66,310 (out-of-state) 

5. San Diego State University

Move beyond simple inclusion to true connection with the supportive culture at San Diego State. Photo: gpointstudio/Depositphotos

There’s a reason why Campus Pride named San Diego State the “Best of the Best” for LGBTQI+ students in 2021. 🤩

The campus has a Pride Center, where gender non-conforming students can “explore, expand, evolve, and embrace their understanding of sexual orientation.” This inclusive space provides resources and support through counseling, peer mentoring, community-building events, and more. 🫂

There are gender-neutral restrooms and plenty of student organizations committed to enhancing students’ lives regardless of their sexual orientation or identity. 

The college’s support of LGBTQI+ students also extends from student life into the academic realm, as it is the second institution in the US to offer LGBTQI+ Studies as a major.

📍 Location: San Diego, California
✔️ Admissions Requirement: Minimum overall GPA of 3.77 on a 4.0 US grading scale
💰 Tuition (per year): $7,720 (in-state), $19,600 (out-of-state)  

6. University of Colorado Boulder

Be part of an inclusive academic environment at the University of Colorado Boulder. Photo: nicomenijes/Depositphotos

Are you a prospective student looking for LGBTQI+-friendly neighborhoods where you can live off-campus with queer and trans roommates? You’re in luck! 

The University of Colorado Boulder provides one-on-one help in navigating housing and other facilities for gender minority students.

Besides queer-friendly housing, restrooms, and locker rooms, UC Boulder also has a Pride Office to assist students, staff, and faculty with coming out to family and friends and finding local LGBTQI+ activities and communities.

Need more reasons to move to colorful Colorado? Queer students at UC Boulder have access to LGBTQ+-specific scholarships, and mental and medical healthcare, including hormone therapy and identity-affirming surgical options. 😌

📍 Location: Boulder, Colorado
✔️ Admissions Requirement: Minimum overall GPA of 3.66 on a 4.0 US grading scale
💰 Tuition (per year): $12,496 (in-state), $38,314 (out-of-state)  

7. Connecticut College

Study, socialize, and relax amid like-minded LGBTQ+ students at Connecticut College. Photo: iakovenko123/Depositphotos

If you’re looking to be part of a queer-friendly university that has scored perfect marks for the safety and support of gender-minority students, your search will lead you to Connecticut College. 

Conn College has gender-inclusive bathrooms and housing options, and a smooth name-change procedure to better serve transgender and gender non-conforming students. 

Founded in 2007, the school’s LGBTQIA Center also provides a  resource library and educational programming for the queer community. 

Looking for LGBTQ+-specific activities? Sign up for local events like pride marches and mentorship programs

You can also participate in national events like Transgender Day of Remembrance, National Coming Out Day and World AIDS Day — all of which are widely celebrated at the institution. 🏳️‍🌈

📍 Location: New London, Connecticut
✔️ Admissions Requirement: Minimum overall GPA of 3.84 on a 4.0 US grading scale
💰 Tuition (per year): $18,524 (in-state), $41,192 (out-of-state)  

8. University of Delaware

Let your hair down, enjoy refreshments, play games, and relax among other LGBTQ+ students, allies, and faculty at the University of Delaware. Photo: creatista/Depositphotos

The open, biweekly discussion hosted by the University of Delaware for students part of the LGBTQ+ community was formed by the school’s Lavender Board for a slew of reasons. 

These sessions become a way for students to safely discuss LGBTQI+ topics, like coming out to and building relationships with family and friends, exploring gender and sexual expression, and overcoming bigotry..

To make it even better, these gatherings also offer free pizza and soda! What’s not to love? 🍕

UD also offers all-gender housing options, LGBTQ+-student groups, and the Lavender Graduation Celebration, where gender-minority students are given lavender cords at the university commencement ro recognize their hard work and success.

📍 Location: Newark, Delaware
✔️ Admissions Requirement: Minimum overall GPA of 3.77 on a 4.0 US grading scale
💰 Tuition (per year): $15,020 (in-state), $36,880 (out-of-state)  

9. University of North Florida

The University of North Florida is the only higher education institution in Florida to be named as one of the Top 40 Best of the Best Colleges and Universities for LGBTQ+ students. Photo: Freepik

What makes UNF a favorite among the LGBTQ+ community? To start, the school has LGBTQ+ support groups, gender-inclusive housing, gender-neutral restrooms, and free monthly HIV/STI testing. 

Plus, the university has month-long celebrations during Pride month every year, honoring the beauty and diversity within the rainbow community. 

Sign up for UNF signature events such as the Drag Queen Brunch (an event to raise funds for the school’s LGBTQ Center) and their own Lavender Celebration each spring. ✊

The school hosts its Queer Prom annually to give gender-minor students a second chance to relive their high school prom.

📍 Location: Jacksonville, Florida
✔️ Admissions Requirement: Minimum overall GPA of 3.91 on a 4.0 US grading scale
💰 Tuition (per year): $6,389 (in-state), $20,793 (out-of-state)  

10. Emory University, Georgia

Enjoy greater visibility on campus with LGBTQ+-specific policies and programs at Emory. Photo: AndreyPopov/Depositphotos

The Office of LGBT Life at Emory is the country’s 10th-oldest LGBTQI campus office. 

It was founded in 1991 to improve networking, professional development, and educational opportunities for the queer community. 🙂

The Georgia college even offers domestic partner benefits for students and employees, as well as queer healthcare services through a transgender clinic that provides hormone therapy and vocal surgeries .

“We were one of the earliest institutions in the country — and the first in the Southeast — to provide LGBT support services, and we’ve continued that progress,” director of the Office of LGBT Life Michael Shutt said

📍 Location: Atlanta, Georgia
✔️ Admissions Requirement: Minimum overall GPA of 3.78 on a 4.0 US grading scale
💰 Tuition (per year): $53,070 (in-state and out-of-state)

11. University of Hawaii at Manoa

Be part of healthy, life-affirming communities and celebrate your academic achievements with other LGBTQ+ students at UH Manoa. Photo: Freepik

Want to know where you’ll find the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s LGBTQI students every Wednesday between 4 PM and 5 PM? 🤔

Chances are they’ll be at the college’s weekly LGBTQ+ and Ally Coffee Hour, where students can make new friends, plan campus events, and get involved in the Honolulu Pride parade.

You can take advantage of the school’s peer mentorship program for gay, lesbian, and trans students that provides opportunities for university and community service. 

UHM also hosts its Rainbow Graduation program each spring to celebrate its LGBTQ+ graduates and has a dedicated LGBTQ+ Center to address issues around harassment, coming out, and academic success.

📍 Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
✔️ Admissions Requirement: Minimum overall GPA of 3.00 on a 4.0 US grading scale
💰 Tuition (per year): $53,070 (in-state and out-of-state)

12. University of Idaho

The University of Idaho provides a safe and welcoming space for LGBTQ+ students on campus. Photo: Depositphotos

From rocking gender-diverse faculty to offering super-inclusive counseling sessions, the University of Idaho is all about making you feel right at home. 🤝

First up, they’ve got some eye-opening educational events focusing on the challenges faced by the transgender community. It’s all about spreading awareness and creating a supportive environment for everyone. 

There are also gender-inclusive restrooms and an Emergency Scholarship for those who lose out on financial support from their family when they make the courageous decision to disclose their sexual orientation.

Get involved on campus by connecting with the LGBTQA Office to help with general office work or volunteer for year-round events such as film screenings, lunch discussions, and annual observances.

📍 Location: Moscow, Idaho
✔️ Admissions Requirement: Minimum overall GPA of 3.41 on a 4.0 US grading scale
💰 Tuition (per year): $8,396 (in-state), $27,632 (out-of-state)

13. University of Chicago

Connect with the LGBTQ+ community — both within and outside UChicago — through the school’s year-round events. Photo: VadimVasenin/Depositphotos

Sometimes, finding a college that also focuses on LGBTQI+ activities can be one in a million.But it’s a good thing you’ve come across the University of Chicago! 

You can find more than 60 programs for the LGBTQI community, with more than 2,000 students attending these campus events.

The Office of LGBTQ Student Life also has an email list you can subscribe to receive information on programs, resources, and on-campus leadership opportunities

Additionally, the university offers a mentoring program for gender-diverse students, gender-inclusive restrooms, and celebrates Transgender Day of Remembrance every November to honor the individuals who lost their lives to transphobic violence in 2020. 🌈

📍 Location: Chicago, Illinois
✔️ Admissions Requirement: Minimum overall GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 US grading scale
💰 Tuition (per year): $57,642 (in-state and out-of-state)

14. Indiana University

Participate in events, build connections, and take advantage of other LGBTQ+ campus resources at Indiana University. Photo: Sheilaf2002/Depositphotos

Hang out, chat, and share pet photos with like-minded people at Indiana’s LGBTQ+ Culture Center — a safe and welcoming hub for the school’s gender-diverse population.

Besides all-gender restrooms, an LGBTQ+ library, and a mentorship program for incoming students who identify as queer or trans, the school’s gender-affirming closet (an online inventory for free clothing) is also quite popular among students! 

Indiana offers scores of LGBTQ+-specific scholarships (for both full-and part-time students) based on academics, career goals, financial need, leadership, and community service. 

The Bill Shipton LGBTQ+ Scholarship, for instance, supports economically disadvantaged queer students. 💰

📍 Location: Bloomington, Indiana
✔️ Admissions Requirement: Minimum overall GPA of 3.24 on a 4.0 US grading scale
💰 Tuition (per year): $11,446 (in-state), $39,118 (out-of-state)

15. Iowa State University

Through educational events and outreach programs, Iowa State helps LGBTQ+ students feel like a part of the college’s community. Photo: Depositphotos

Socialize, build a community, and become a leader, through Iowa State’s Greek Life organizations that are dedicated to connecting non-binary gender students through campus activities. 

The Gamma Rho Lamba Fraternity, for instance, organizes regular game nights, cookie decorating sessions, and volunteering opportunities.

Plus, the school’s LGBT Center offers queer students plenty of employment opportunities along with career prep, mock interviews, and networking events. 

It also has a one-stop scholarship portal, OneApp, where students can access all kinds of LGBTQ+-specific funding. 

📍 Location: Ames, Iowa
✔️ Admissions Requirement: Minimum overall GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 US grading scale
💰 Tuition (per year): $4,339 (in-state), $12,581 (out-of-state)

16. Kansas State University

There are tons of opportunities and experiences available to you as a gender-minority student at Kansas State. Photo: Iordani/Depositphotos

Calling all queer science lovers, we found a college for you! The oSTEM society at Kansas State, for instance, brings together gender-minor students in STEM through career fairs, internships, and interviews. 🧪🔬

Appropriate housing communities, restroom facilities, gender and sexuality resources, and a host of organizations work to support LGBTQ+ students, faculty, and staff at the university.

With a maximum five-star rating by Campus Pride, Kansas State is big on campus safety measures, counseling services, and efforts to retain and recruit students from the genderqueer community.

📍 Location: Manhattan, Kansas
✔️ Admissions Requirement: Minimum overall GPA of 3.25 on a 4.0 US grading scale
💰 Tuition (per year): $9,632 (in-state), $25,944 (out-of-state)

17. University of Louisville

ULouisville offers a variety of programs to support and educate the queer population on campus. Photo:kritchanut/Depositphotos

One of the things that makes ULouisville a perfect LGBTQI college is its LGBT Center. 

This all-in-one center offers everything from LGBTQ+ scholarships to gender-inclusive restrooms, and a variety of programs to enrich and educate the college’s genderqueer community.

Pride Month becomes even more of a celebration with events like t-shirt design contests, movie marathons, and costume competitions. 

Or you can take part in the university’s annual drag show Pink. The show also happens to be the longest-running student-produced event at the university and many participants go on to work at event companies and some even became professional performers! 💃 

The School of Medicine’s curriculum inclusion efforts include LGBTQI clubs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, trans-inclusive healthcare, and free and anonymous HIV/STI testing. 

📍 Location: Louisville, Kentucky
✔️ Admissions Requirement: Minimum overall GPA of 3.62 on a 4.0 US grading scale
💰 Tuition (per year): $12,324 (in-state), $28,670 (out-of-state)

18. Tulane University

Whether you’re looking for on-campus activities or health and wellness information, Tulane has all the resources LGBTQ+ students need. Photo: Aiden Craver/Unsplash

Campus programs that celebrate LGBTQI lives are a hallmark of Tulane. The college’s queer South Asian performance, literary arts pair Darkmatter and the annual Audre Lorde Week are some of what you can expect. 🎤

That’s not all! The school has a multicultural LGBTQI orientation, an epic Pride Prom, and if that’s not enough, a queer leadership retreat in Mississippi. 🌟 🌈

A non-discrimination policy covering gender identity and expression is implemented. This allows students to change names and gender on college records, and health insurance programs that cover transition-related medical costs.

📍 Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
✔️ Admissions Requirement: Minimum overall GPA of 3.56 on a 4.0 US grading scale
💰 Tuition (per year): $54,766 (in-state and out-of-state)

19. Bates College 

Various departments and offices provide advice and support to gay and trans students and staff at Bates. Photo: Rosemary Ketchum/Pexels

Physical and mental health services for queer students — check! Policies to prevent gender-based harassment — check! Peer support for the LGBTQI community — also check! ✅

Whether you’re looking for LGBTQI-focused activities on campus or just need someone to talk to, Bates faculty, staff, and students are trained to provide information, sensitivity, and advocacy around gender and sexual diversity. 

Learn to cook, share a meal, and discuss your personal experiences with fellow LGBTQI students during year-round events such as Out2Lunch and QConnect. 

📍 Location: Lewiston, Maine
✔️ Admissions Requirement: Minimum overall GPA of 3.88 on a 4.0 US grading scale
💰 Tuition (per year): $75,680 (in-state and out-of-state)

20. University of Maryland

There are visible and vibrant LGBTQI+ communities on the UMaryland campus. Photo: Rosemary Ketchum/Pexels

Diversity training and a dedicated LGBTQ+ Equity Center — these are some examples of UMaryland’s inclusivity that has earned it the topspot among the best LGBTQI colleges in the US

The dedicated staff from the center concentrates on implementing campus policies, including the use of inclusive language in university communications, reporting incidents of bias, and accessibility to all-gender restrooms. 

Have you heard of the Lavender Leadership Honor Society? It’s actually a first-of-its-type initiative from the college that prepares future leaders of LGBTQI+ social justice efforts.

Another fun tradition that might lure you to UMaryland is the Quelcome, a social and networking event for queer students held at the start of the academic year. 😊

📍 Location: College Park, Maryland
✔️ Admissions Requirement: Minimum overall GPA of 3.68 on a 4.0 US grading scale
💰 Tuition (per year): $4,847.50 (in-state), $18,965.50 (out-of-state)

21. Tufts University

Explore your unique relationship with gender and sexuality through the enriching student life on offer at Tufts. Photo: 42North/Pexels

Started in 2006, the Queer History Project at Tufts reflects on national trends in queer history that were loosely paralleled at the university

This includes the first Tufts student coming out in 1969, the school’s first gay awareness campaign (aka Blue Jeans Day) in 1976, and the first Tufts gay history class in 1989.

The school continues to foster a welcoming environment for LGBTQI students, with the inclusion of an LGBT Center that provides easy access to campus-wide programs. The center’s staff is always ready to offer assistance and direction to queer students. ✨

Tufts has special interest lodging, and the campus health center offers a variety of services related to sexual health and gender-affirmation. 

There’s free (and confidential) STI testing for all students, which includes HIV Testing, as well as support groups and workshops for HIV+ individuals. 

📍 Location: Middlesex County, Massachusetts
✔️ Admissions Requirement: Minimum overall GPA of 3.6 on a 4.0 US grading scale
💰 Tuition (per year): $59,560 (in-state and out-of-state)

22. University of Michigan

Arounnd 40 percent of young, homeless people identify as LGBTQI which inspired the need for the Ozone House initiative at UMichigan.

To help homeless non-binary youth find safety and support, the college extends counseling, employment assistance, or even a hot meal for struggling students. 🍲

The university’s Spectrum Center — a collaborative space for gender-variant members of the university and local community — offers mentorship, health and wellness resources, as well as information about LGBT-specific scholarships.

UMichigan also boasts medically (and essential) gender-affirming services for transgender individuals under its university health care plans. 🏥 

But you don’t have to just take our word for it — listen to this compelling story of a trans woman navigating her mental health and medical care at UMichigan.

📍 Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
✔️ Admissions Requirement: Minimum overall GPA of 2.7 on a 4.0 US grading scale
💰 Tuition (per year): $16,736 (in-state), $18,836 (out-of-state)

23. Macalester College 

Support from fellow LGBTQI+ students and faculty can make college life a smooth ride for you at Macalester. Photo: Brett Sayles/Pexels

What’s in store for LGBTQI students at Macalester? Your calendar will be filled with events like the Queer Cabaret which features drag shows, music, and poetry that’ll make your heart soar and your glitter sparkle! 🌈

Celebrate diversity with a wild Sex Positive Week on campus. Embrace all the good vibes and explore the colorful spectrum of human connections. 

You can also enjoy some tea and bond at the school’s weekly Tea Time! LGBTQI students unite to chat about gender, sexuality, college life, and more while building meaningful connections in a safe space.

Macalester faculty and staff who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and/or asexual can also add their names to the online Out and Proud community list in order to increase the visibility of the queer community on campus. 👬

📍 Location: Saint Paul, Minnesota
✔️ Admissions Requirement: Minimum overall GPA of 3.68 on a 4.0 US grading scale
💰 Tuition (per year): $58,248 (in-state and out-of-state)

24. Mississippi State University

group of lgbt people under a giant lgbt flag at an event outdoors
At Mississippi State, university policies protect gay and trans students from discrimination in employment, academics, and other programs. Photo: Mercedes Mehling/Unsplash

Going to college can be nerve-wracking but it can be so much easier if you have a community of fellow students who feel like your sisters! 

MSU has a gender-inclusive sorority “that works to develop a better understanding of sexuality and gender identity.” 🤝

If Greek life is not your thing, the university frequently hosts lectures, movie screenings, and other campus events to highlight the distinctive experiences of LGBTQI+ people

Further, MSU offers a minor and a certificate course for anyone who is looking to better understand issues related to gender in contemporary societies. 

📍 Location: Oktibbeha County, Mississippi
✔️ Admissions Requirement: Minimum overall GPA of 3.20 on a 4.0 US grading scale
💰 Tuition (per year): $9,398 (in-state), $25,444 (out-of-state)

25. Washington University in St. Louis 

WashU provides several on-campus amenities catered specifically to the needs of LGBTQI+ students, instructors, and staff. Photo: Nicolas Swatz/Pexels

Retreats, leadership opportunities, and special interest organizations — there’s something for every student at WashU who identifies as a member of the LGBTQI+ community.

Interested in college sports? Reach out to the WashU Athlete Ally. 

Science geeks can join oSTEM which is not only a great community for those interested in science, technology, and math but also is the perfect place to find meaningful internships and job opportunities.

That’s not all! The Transcending Gender group is another option for those who just want some support for their gender identity or expression. ☿️

WashU also boasts academic organizations such as OUTgrads, LGBTQ+Med Alliance, and OUTLaw, which cater specifically to queer students. 

📍 Location: St. Louis, Missouri
✔️ Admissions Requirement: Minimum overall GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 US grading scale
💰 Tuition (per year): $56,300 (in-state and out-of-state)

26. Montana State University

Enjoy a host of programs, educational events, and support services for queer students at Montana State. Photo: raulmellado/Depositphotos

Montana State continues to earn its spot as one of the best LGBTQI colleges in the state (says Campus Pride) for plenty of reasons. 

Gender non-conforming students can expect safe housing and restrooms, as well as student support groups that guide them throughout the college experience. 🤩

Get involved in year-round LGBTQI+-centered events such as the DISC Social, an evening to have fun and let down your hair before the winter break, and the Rainbow Rockies, a free, yearly networking summit.

Students contending with minority stress or any sexual and/or gender minority-related concerns can seek help from a dedicated team of counselors trained in a variety of diversity issues.

📍 Location: Bozeman, Montana
✔️ Admissions Requirement: Minimum overall GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 US grading scale
💰 Tuition (per year): $7,727 (in-state), $27,990 (out-of-state)

27. University of Nebraska at Kearney

UNK provides a safe zone for genderqueer people so that they feel welcome on campus. Photo: marcoscastillo/Depositphotos 

Did you know that in 2017, the University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK) started Safe Space training for students and staff to raise awareness of groups that are marginalized based on their sexual orientation and gender?

Four years later, the school adopted a Chosen Name and Gender Identity Policy so students and staff can choose how they wish to be addressed on campus. ⚧️

In addition to hosting a yearly drag performance, a Pride Month celebration, and a Rainbow Ball that unites the UNK community, the school also works with LGBTQI+ groups like the Multicultural Coalition, OutNebraska, and the Nebraska AIDS Project. 

📍 Location: Kearney, Nebraska
✔️ Admissions Requirement: Minimum overall GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 US grading scale
💰 Tuition (per year): $6,270 (in-state), $13,650 (out-of-state)

28. University of Nevada, Las Vegas

UNLV works alongside LGBTQI+ students to create a queer and trans-affirming campus. Photo: Mapbox/Unsplash

Did you know that UNLV organizes a Financial Aid Night every fall to address the financial needs of members of the LGBTQI+ community? But that’s not all this college does to make queer students feel welcome! 💰

The school’s Ace Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness around LGBTQ+ challenges, there’s also an annual Lavender Graduation for graduating gender nonconforming students.

Finally, the school organizes regular monthly meetups to foster community among queer and trans people of color.

Inclusive healthcare, free and confidential support services for those impacted by abuse or assault, and legal services for sex/gender diverse persons are some of the programs also on offer at the university.

📍 Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
✔️ Admissions Requirement: Minimum overall GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 US grading scale
💰 Tuition (per year): $9,102 (in-state), $25,644 (out-of-state)

29. Hampshire College

Hampshire College fosters a friendly atmosphere for queer students by hosting activities like movie and game nights. Photo: Alexander Grey/Pexels

Scholarships, study abroad programs, and work-study opportunities — Hampshire College only serves the best perks to its LGBTQ+ students.

The school boasts top-notch medical services, including gender-affirming surgeries, hormone therapy, and voice therapy, as well as counseling and support groups for transgender students undergoing the transition process. 👨‍⚕️

Looking to surround yourself with like-minded people? Take advantage of the institution’s identity-based housing communities to enjoy a certain level of physical and psychological safety by living with people who also identify as LGBTQ+. 

📍 Location: Amherst, Massachusetts
✔️ Admissions Requirement: Minimum overall GPA of 3.71 on a 4.0 US grading scale
💰 Tuition (per year): $50,030 (in-state and out-of-state)

30. Princeton University 

The LGBT Center at Princeton serves the campus’ queer community through training, consultation, and advocacy. Photo:Michele Wales/Unsplash

Want to know what LGBTQI+ students have to say about their experience at Princeton? 23-year-old Alexis Maze said: “Since coming here and being surrounded by a queer community through my theater company, I feel not only do I not have to hide my queerness, but I can be proud of it.”

The Ivy League school opened its LGBT Center in 2006 to address gender-related issues. Students can take advantage of counseling services, regular mentorship programs, and monthly dinners for “LGBTQIA students of color to meet, talk and relax while sharing a meal.”

Princeton also has over 100 gender-inclusive restrooms across campus, a dozen queer groups, and two full-time positions that go to LGBTQ+ staff. 

The school’s LGBTQIA Oral History Project is another feather in its rainbow-colored cap. 🌈The project aims to engage with gender-queer students to learn about their lives. Currently, it has a collection of over 100 interviews! 💬

📍 Location: Princeton, New Jersey
✔️ Admissions Requirement: Minimum overall GPA of 3.9 on a 4.0 US grading scale
💰 Tuition (per year): $57,410 (in-state and out-of-state)

31. University of New Mexico

The LGBTQ Resource Center at UNM offers resources to ensure the safety, education, advocacy, and support of gay and trans students. Photo: nd3000/Depositphotos

If you’re looking for an inclusive academic environment, the University of New Mexico is one of the LQBTQI colleges that will check all of your boxes. 

From universal restrooms and safer sex resources, to counseling and HIV testing, the institution offers all kinds of support for gender-minority students.

The Cafe Q* Lecture series brings in one to two presenters each month to educate students, faculty, and staff on a wide range of topics relevant to the LGBTQ+ and allied population.

Looking to have a more active college experience? There are plenty of on-campus events for gender-minor students. For example, the UNM LGBTQ Resource Center hosted its first-ever Lobo Pride event as part of National Coming Out Day in October last year. 🌈

📍 Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
✔️ Admissions Requirement: Minimum overall GPA of 2.75 on a 4.0 US grading scale
💰 Tuition (per year): $10,860 (in-state), $27,166 (out-of-state)

32. Ithaca College 

LGBTQI+ students will find the Ithaca campus an ideal place to live and learn. Photo: josecarlosichiro/Depositphotos

Ithaca College totally nails the LGBTQI+ friendliness, earning a top spot by Campus Pride!

And they back it up with awesome events like movie shows, lectures, Gaypril, and LGBT Awareness Month. 

But it doesn’t stop there! The school goes all out to create a safe and comfortable environment for LGBTQI+ students, starting with gender-inclusive housing and queer living spaces with matching roommates – how cool is that? 😎

The support for LGBTQI students is top-notch too, with a dedicated LGBTQ+ studies department, counseling services, and support groups. They really know how to make everyone feel at home. 🏠

Finally, the school also boasts an IC Pride Fellowship. It’s a great opportunity for young professionals and recent graduates to dive into gender-related issues, higher education, and student affairs while getting paid. 

📍 Location: South Hill, New York
✔️ Admissions Requirement: Minimum overall GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 US grading scale
💰 Tuition (per year): $46,610 (in-state and out-of-state)

33. Warren Wilson College 

Warren Wilson offers programming, workshops, affinity support groups, training, and outreach that are innovative and relevant to LGBTQI+ students. Photo: Delia Giandeni/Unsplash

Almost 85 colleges and universities can be found in North Carolina, but only one calls itself the most LGBTQI+-friendly school — Warren Wilson College.

The liberal arts college houses the Gender and Relationship Center which provides LGBTQ+-specific courses. This is also where you can go to arrange housing alternatives for transgender students and find supports groups like S.A.F.E. (Student Alliance for Equality) and EMPOWER. ✊

Plus, these resources aren’t just for LGBTQI+ students! They offer events, activities, and discussion groups that address all aspects of social injustice and inequality, including but not limited to, racism, sexism, classism, and heterosexism.

📍 Location: Swannanoa, North Carolina
✔️ Admissions Requirement: Minimum overall GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 US grading scale
💰 Tuition (per year): $37,500 (in-state and out-of-state)

34. University of North Dakota

UND supports LGBTQi+ students in their self-discovery and coming out process. Photo: Monstera/Pexels

Find support and meet new people through a variety of events for genderqueer students like Coming Out Day, Lavender Graduation, LGBTQ+ History Month, Transgender Awareness Week, and more!

The school’s health clinic also provides ongoing training for staff on transgender health concerns and helps LGBTQI students fill out paperwork to modify their name and chosen pronoun.

Short on cash but need trendy clothes for your first university party? There are free, gender-affirming clothes at the school’s Gender Expression Closet. 

The closet enables transgender, non-binary, and gender-diverse students to feel at ease and validated on campus by allowing them to express themselves through their fashion choices. 👚

📍 Location: Grand Forks, North Dakota
✔️ Admissions Requirement: Minimum overall GPA of 2.75 on a 4.0 US grading scale
💰 Tuition (per year): $10,951 (in-state), $15,570 (out-of-state)

35. Kent State University 

Connect with other students in the LGBTQ+ community through events and activities at KSU. Photo: Ischukigor/Depositphotos

Get ready for an incredible ride at Kent State (KSU) because they’ve got your back from day one! 

From an awesome semester kick-off event with networking opportunities and LGBTQI+ affirming organizations to the vibrant Lavender Graduation, the school has a ton of activities to make your journey as a genderqueer person unforgettable! 🌈🎓

Want to stay fit during your college experience? The LGBT Center at KSU hosts a 5K Rainbow Run every year. Need career guidance? A mentorship cohort provides one-on-one coaching and general support.

The LGBT Center also offers counseling, legal services, and a host of scholarships exclusively for the queer community. 💸

📍 Location: Portage County, Ohio
✔️ Admissions Requirement: Minimum overall GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 US grading scale
💰 Tuition (per year): $12,464 (in-state), $21,570 (out-of-state)

36. University of Oklahoma

Learn and grow in an affirming, educational, and diverse community at the University of Oklahoma. Photo: Christian Lue/Unsplash

Whether you’re a fan of trivia nights or trigonometry, there’s an LGBTQI community in OU just for you! 🤓

There are now seven different LGBTQI+ student organizations at the university, each with a unique specialty ranging from science and math to community hangouts. 

The OU Counseling Center also provides a wide range of group counseling experiences, including support groups for queer students. 

So whether you’re looking for legal help with your name change process or want to celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month with warm beverages, crafts, and other fall activities, there’s something for all queer-identifying students at OU.

📍 Location: Norman, Oklahoma
✔️ Admissions Requirement: Minimum overall GPA of 3.28 on a 4.0 US grading scale
💰 Tuition (per year): $9,312 (in-state), $25,880 (out-of-state)

37. Southern Oregon University

From academic courses to residential living options, there are all kinds of facilities for LGBTQI+ students at this college. Photo: Shingi Rice/Unsplash

Want to know why Southern Oregon (SOU) has been recognized as a top LGBTQI+ institution for nine years straight

SOU’s nondiscrimination policy encompasses sexual orientation and gender identity, and to top it off, the university provides LGBTQ+ housing

The school’s Social Justice and Equity Center offers advocacy for gender and sexuality justice, while the Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies Program offers academic programs focused on LGBTQI issues. 📚

Plus, SOU holds college fairs tailored specifically to gender non-conforming students, and its counseling and health professionals offer services focused on queer and trans concerns.

📍 Location: Ashland, Oregon
✔️ Admissions Requirement: Minimum overall GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 US grading scale
💰 Tuition (per year): $9,405 (in-state), $27,765 (out-of-state)

38. Pennsylvania State University

Meet new people and get involved in year-round LGBTQ+-specific programs at Penn State. Janosch Lino/Unsplash

Penn State helps reduce the discomfort some queer students may feel while shopping in gender-conforming stores by helping them exchange clothing and accessories – all free of cost. 👚

The Ivy League school’s Clothing Transit is a signature program that provides LGBTQI students the freedom to find clothing that reflects their gender expression.

Students can take advantage of art camps, volunteer programs, leadership opportunities at the student government, and plenty of scholarships to further their education. 😊

The school also has a set preferred and/or chosen name policy, trans/non-binary inclusive housing, on-campus restrooms and locker rooms, and on-campus health services for both students and staff.

📍 Location: Centre County, Pennsylvania
✔️ Admissions Requirement: Minimum overall GPA of 3.59 on a 4.0 US grading scale
💰 Tuition (per year): $19,286 (in-state), $38,651 (out-of-state)

39. University of Rhode Island

URI helps queer students explore their own identities through a variety of resources and programs. Photo: Denim Lawley/Unsplash

Apart from the genius move to start a Bias Response Team that protects non-binary and trans students, the University of Rhode Island has a health insurance program covering up to 90 percent of hormone therapy costs.  

Did you know that queer students at the university enjoy a picnic dinner every September 7 (or the first day of classes)? 😊

Drag balls, trans awareness sessions, and gender and sexuality symposiums, are a few other gay-friendly events on campus.

“Coming from a small town I always felt that I couldn’t talk about my sexuality with my peers without being judged,” URI freshman Henry Thompson said. “But here at URI I feel the freedom to speak my mind and still be taken seriously without pause.”

📍 Location: South Kingstown, Rhode Island
✔️ Admissions Requirement: Minimum overall GPA of 2.8 on a 4.0 US grading scale
💰 Tuition (per year): $15,880 (in-state), $34,362 (out-of-state)

40. College of Charleston 

CofC wants its LGBTQI+ population to be out and proud as part of its diverse campus. Photo: Ischukigor/Depositphotos

If you’re looking for a vibrant and diverse campus for gender minority students in South Carolina, there’s no better place than the College of Charleston. 

The school’s LGBTQI project gathers oral history interviews and documentary proof to show that queer individuals have always lived in the area and have continually fought against discrimination. The project has almost 100 interviews now with people of all ages, races, orientations, and identities. ✍️🗣️

Students can also participate in Safe Zone training and check out college activities organized by student group Gay-Straight Alliance.

Additionally, LGBTQI students can access medical and psychological services and CoC’s Gender and Sexuality Equity Center voices campus-related concerns to promote diversity and equality.

📍 Location: Charleston, South Carolina
✔️ Admissions Requirement: Minimum overall GPA of 3.23 on a 4.0 US grading scale
💰 Tuition (per year): $12,978 (in-state), $35,798 (out-of-state)

41. South Dakota State University

SDSU provides a welcoming environment for students of all gender and sexual identities. Photo: Polina Tankilevitch/Pexels

If you’re looking for an institute that provides inclusive and quality education and also offers great support for genderqueer students, SDSU should definitely be on your list!

In addition to providing on-campus support, the school’s LGBTQI resource center offers a list of neighborhood resources, such as gay-friendly companies, churches, and healthcare institutions. 🏳️‍🌈

There are gender-inclusive restrooms on campus and the university offers counseling services with a counselor who is knowledgeable about LGBTQI issues. 

📍 Location: Brookings, South Dakota
✔️ Admissions Requirement: Minimum overall GPA of 2.6 on a 4.0 US grading scale
💰 Tuition (per year): $7,773 (in-state), $11,283 (out-of-state)

42. Vanderbilt University 

There are many educational, cultural, and social opportunities for LGBTQ+ students at Vanderbilt. Photo: Delia Giandeini/Unsplash

Annual events, affinity groups, scholarships, and leadership opportunities — you’ll have access to all this and much more as an LGBTQI student at Vanderbilt.

Relax on the most comfortable couches on campus, take advantage of a functional kitchen, and enjoy a sizable LGBTQ2S+ DVD and magazine collection with your peers at the K.C. Potter Center, a cultural hub and a place of affirmation for people of all identities.

Students can also benefit from the school’s preferred name choice policy, all-gender bathrooms, and the Office of Housing Assignments for specific needs and comfort levels while choosing their housing options. 🏠

📍 Location: Nashville, Tennessee
✔️ Admissions Requirement: Minimum overall GPA of 3.75 on a 4.0 US grading scale
💰 Tuition (per year): $52,781 (in-state and out-of-state)

43. The University of Texas at Dallas

Experience a colorful extravaganza at UT Dallas: celebrate National Coming Out Day, engage in gender workshops, and test your LGBTQI knowledge in thrilling jeopardy games! 🏳️‍🌈💥

The Gender and Sexuality Consultation Team at UTD is experienced in providing specialized services for transgender and gender nonconforming students. 

Students can ask the team for hormone therapy or gender-affirming surgery endorsements. It’s even possible to get evidence for a legal gender marker or name change. 

The university also has regular mindfulness and meditation workshops, plenty of LGBTQI student clubs, and even offers free one-on-one informal consultation services with a mental health professional exclusively for the queer community. 🗣️

44. University of Utah

The University of Utah supports students as they learn how to navigate academic systems, explore their identities, discover community, and grow as leaders. Photo: AlessandroBiascioli/Depositphotos

Genderqueer students at the University of Utah have an online group-chatting platform that connects them to people on-campus  and stay updated with the latest LGBTQI events.

Plus, the LGBT Resource Center at the school is well-known for its mentorship initiatives, healthcare programs (including gender-affirming services), and activities like Fabulous Fridays — a weekly gathering where queer students and allies can socialize and celebrate the end of the week with food and activities.

The Trans Futures Scholarship also provides funding to economically disadvantaged transgender, non-binary, and/or other non-cisgender students.

📍 Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
✔️ Admissions Requirement: Minimum overall GPA of 3.64 on a 4.0 US grading scale
💰 Tuition (per year): $10,287 (in-state), $33,045 (out-of-state)

45. University of Vermont

At the University of Vermont, you are part of a campus community where people of all sexual and gender identities can thrive. Photo: nicomenijes/Depositphotos

What makes the University of Vermont not only the friendliest LGBTQI college in the state but also in the whole northeast? 🏳️‍🌈

Top-notch counseling and health services, institutional commitment and support, and housing and restrooms that are gender inclusive make this gay-friendly college a top choice for students.

Plus, the Prism Center at the university always has a lineup of activities for gender minorities  centering around their sexuality or gender identity such as book club events, games tournaments, craft days, and community building workshops. 

📍 Location: Chittenden County, Vermont
✔️ Admissions Requirement: Minimum overall GPA of 3.6 on a 4.0 US grading scale
💰 Tuition (per year): $16,280 (in-state), $41,280 (out-of-state)

46. Virginia Wesleyan University

Be part of a diverse and unique community of LGBTQ+ students and staff at VWU. Photo: vivianaloza.gmail.com/Depositphotos

At Virginia Wesleyan, there are all sorts of reasons for LGBTQI students to stay. Who doesn’t want a school that actively recognizes the queer community through awards and scholarships? 🤗

Aside from half a dozen LGBTQI+ student organizations, the school also provides a health insurance policy covering transgender medical needs.

Have questions related to your gender and sexuality? The college’s LGBTQI Support Group discusses relationships, self-esteem, self-care, and societal and individual values.

📍 Location: Virginia Beach, Virginia
✔️ Admissions Requirement: Minimum overall GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 US grading scale
💰 Tuition (per year): $36,010 (in-state and out-of-state)

47. University of Washington

At UW, gender-diverse students are part of an affirming, liberatory, and celebratory environment. DMegias/Depositphotos

The University of Washington is like a jackpot for genderqueer students looking for perfect LQBTQI colleges. Imagine this: gender-neutral restrooms, a preferred name policy, and several awesome resources for transgender students. It’s all there!

The Washington school ranks highly on the Campus Pride list due to its inclusivity, housing options, campus safety initiatives, and counseling and support services. 

The Q Center, a student-run facility, provides support groups, a mentoring program, free HIV testing, and even free menstrual products for LQBTQI students who may need them.👫

📍 Location: Seattle, Washington
✔️ Admissions Requirement: Minimum overall GPA of 3.75 on a 4.0 US grading scale
💰 Tuition (per year): $12,242 (in-state), $40,740 (out-of-state)

48. West Virginia University

Find the support, programs and services you need to thrive as a gender minority student at WVU. Photo: smutkoalex@gmail.com/Depositphotos

What’s better than LQBTQI colleges? Affordable LQBTQI colleges! 💸 That’s what you’ll find at West Virginia University because the in-state tuition and fees at the school are just over $9,000 a year.

Destress before a test with free massages or enjoy free snacks while preparing for your finals — the LGBTQ Center takes care of all your needs on campus.

There are also regular Safe Zone trainings to teach participants about LGBTQ+ histories and experiences. If you need the guidance of a professional, there are trans-friendly health and counseling services at your disposal

📍 Location: Morgantown, West Virginia
✔️ Admissions Requirement: Minimum overall GPA of 3.47 on a 4.0 US grading scale
💰 Tuition (per year): $9,384 (in-state), $26,568 (out-of-state)

49. University of Wisconsin – Green Bay

The support services at UWisconsin – Green Bay ensure the academic and personal growth of LGBTQI+ students, faculty, and staff. Photo: Rawpixel/Depositphotos

Long before same-sex marriage was legalized, Green Bay locals had a hand in protecting the LBGTQI+ community.

The city established the first AIDS care center in Wisconsin in the 1980s and recognized same-sex marriage at one of the neighborhood’s churches in 1999. 😮

The same kind of gay-and-trans-friendly atmosphere can be found at this college campus. It features gender-inclusive restrooms, plenty of social groups for queer students, and athletic programs open to LGBTQ+ students.

The school also has an LGBTQ Studies Certificate Program which educates students about the background and actual experiences of gender, sexuality, and romantic minorities. 

📍 Location: Green Bay, Wisconsin
✔️ Admissions Requirement: Minimum overall GPA of 2.75 on a 4.0 US grading scale
💰 Tuition (per year): $6,298 (in-state), $14,516 (out-of-state)

50. Casper College, Wyoming

Casper supports individuals with different backgrounds, cultures, and sexual identities. Photo: Norbu GYACHUNG/Unsplash

Did you know that Casper College launched a scholarship for LGBTQI+ students and allies in memory of a student who was killed in a hate crime

Matthew Shepherd, a gay University of Wyoming student and a native of Casper, was beaten, tortured, and left to die by a group of men in 1998.

And that’s not all – this Wyoming school’s got some serious inclusivity game. There are gender-neutral bathrooms, a name change policy, and even film screenings on LGBTQI+-related issues at the Wyoming school. 

If you’re looking to enjoy a fantastic social life off campus, Casper has hosted a chapter of PFLAG, an organization that provides support for the LGBTQI+ community, since 1994 and has an annual PRIDE march that features local musicians, artists, and even a queer fashion show. 

📍 Location: Casper, Wyoming
✔️ Admissions Requirement: Minimum overall GPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 US grading scale
💰 Tuition (per year): $14,934 (in-state), $20,874 (out-of-state)

College isn’t just about hitting the books – it’s a chance for LGBTQI+ students to own their identities and find their crew in a place that’s all about support. 

So no worries about being you. With our list of the top 50 LGBTQI colleges in every US state, you can be yourself and rock those college years with all the pride vibes! 🌈

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