It's back to school season! Campus Pride's annual listing of LGBT-friendly colleges released today

Just in time for back to school season, Campus Pride has released its annual listing of LGBT-friendly colleges today! Campus Pride, the leading national educational organization for LGBT and ally college students, has maintained an index of LGBT-friendly colleges since 2001 in order to help LGBT students and allies find welcoming campuses.

In addition, Campus Pride is going purple on October 16th for GLAAD's Spirit Day, a day where millions around the world go purple in support of LGBT youth and against bullying!

For the first time ever, Campus Pride has increased its annual list from the Top 25 to the Top 50 LGBT-friendly schools. Shane Windmeyer, Executive Director of Campus Pride and the creator of the Campus Pride Index, said:

“For six years in a row, Campus Pride has seen an increase in the number of campuses coming out as LGBT-friendly and making notable improvements to LGBT academic life, so we decided to honor 50 campuses with our national distinction. Today the Campus Pride Index has over 425 campuses featured online and for the first time ever we have 56 campuses who achieved the highest 5 stars overall rating, the largest number to date.”

According to Campus Pride, each college had to achieve the 5 stars overall rating as well as have the highest percentages across the 8 LGBT-friendly benchmarks for policy, program, and practice in order to make the Top 50 this year.

For the third year in a row, over 80% of the participating colleges improved their ratings from the previous year. In other exciting news, the number of campuses located in the South increased, in addition to the number of religiously-affiliated campuses and Minority Serving Institutions.

Windmeyer said:

“More than ever colleges today want to be viewed as LGBT-friendly and a welcoming place for all students. LGBT students and their safety impacts the recruitment efforts of the entire campus. Upper-level administrators are now understanding how LGBT-friendliness is key to future institutional success. This Top 50 list is proof.”

The new Top 50 in alphabetical order are…drumroll please… 

Amherst College
Augsburg College
Brown University
Central Washington University
Connecticut College
Cornell University
Dartmouth College
Emory University
Harvard University
Indiana University
Ithaca College
Macalester College
Northern Arizona University
Oberlin College
Oregon State University
Pomona College
Portland State University
Princeton University
Rutgers University
San Diego State University
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Southern Oregon University
Stanford University
Syracuse University
The Ohio State University
The Pennsylvania State University
Tulane University
University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Los Angeles
University of California, Riverside
University of California, Santa Barbara
University of California, Santa Cruz
University of Central Florida
University of Chicago
University of Illinois at Chicago
University of Maryland, College Park
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
University of Michigan
University of Minnesota - Duluth
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
University of Oregon
University of Pennsylvania
University of Rhode Island
University of Southern California
University of Vermont
University of Washington
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
Warren Wilson College
Washington State University
Washington University in St. Louis

Congratulations to the schools who made the list this year. Keep up the good work!

Campus Pride is also launching a brand new Sports Index this year to assess college athletic departments on their LGBT-friendliness and inclusion. GLAAD is in partnership with Campus Pride for this project, and college sports administrators are encouraged to take this online assessment to make sure their campus gets listed.