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College Ranking and Review Aggregator Publishes List of the Most LGBTQ-Friendly Colleges

CHAPEL HILL, NC – College Consensus, a unique new college ratings website that aggregates publisher rankings and student reviews, has published their ranking of 25 LGBTQ-Friendly Colleges for 2019 here.

Colleges and universities have long been the place where young people find themselves and their people, developing into the people they will be through the rest of their life. That has, historically, been particularly true of LGBTQ youth, who could go from unsupportive homes and communities to find a place where they are accepted for who they are. Today, while society in general is more tolerant than in the past, college can still be a crucial place of safety and growth for LGBTQ young people, which is why College Consensus has published this ranking. By highlighting institutions that make inclusiveness an intentional aspect of their education and community, College Consensus encourages students to find the place they will feel welcome, and urges schools to consider their own policies and culture.

Institutions in the Best LGBTQ Schools ranking are chosen based on the strength of their student organizations, institutional inclusiveness policies, and recognition by the Campus Pride Index.

Schools have been ranked by their College Consensus score (which combines published academic rankings and real student reviews). The full top 25 (in alphabetical order) are:
Augsburg University
Elon University
Harvey Mudd College
Indiana University Bloomington
Ithaca College
Kansas State University
Lehigh University
Macalester College
Montclair State University
Pennsylvania State University
Portland State University (tied)
Princeton University
Rutgers University
San Diego State University
Southern Oregon University (tied)
The Ohio State University
Tufts University
University of Colorado at Boulder
University of Louisville
University of Maryland, College Park
University of Massachusetts
University of Oregon
University of Pennsylvania
University of Washington
University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire
Washington State University

As College Consensus editors note, "For decades, colleges and universities have been at the vanguard of culture, whether that meant protecting artistic expression or giving young people a forum to voice their political views." However, for LGBTQ students, inclusive policies "can truly be a matter of life or death," particularly as discrimination and hate crimes are still prevalent in many communities. "LGBTQ-friendly colleges are critical for the safety and well-being of gay, lesbian, trans, and nonconforming young people all over the nation," the editors explain, providing "a safe space for queer young people, while helping prepare them for a workforce that is still frequently hostile."

While ranking the most LGBTQ-Friendly Colleges is somewhat subjective, College Consensus chose their criteria carefully: "a vocal and well-promoted campus pride organization is a clear sign" of acceptance, at least in the campus community, since many are student-led groups. The other level of impact is in official institutional policy: "inclusive language in their student handbook; gender inclusive housing (or gender-neutral housing); explicit non-discrimination policies (for instance, women's colleges that are openly welcoming to trans women)."

By looking for schools that foreground their inclusiveness with explicit policies, College Consensus could determine what colleges and universities are truly LGBTQ-friendly, rather than just schools that give lip service to inclusiveness.

College Consensus is a new approach to college rankings. They combine the latest results from the most respected college ranking systems with thousands of real student review scores. Learn more about the College Consensus rankings methodology at www.collegeconsensus.com/about.

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