Campus Pride releases annual “Best of the Best” Top 30 list of the LGBTQ-friendly campuses across the nation

Premier national listing showcases top-rated colleges and universities with LGBTQ-inclusive policies, programs and practices

Monday, August 22, 2016- Charlotte, NC – Campus Pride announced today it’s 2016 “Best of the Best” Top 30 list of LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities. For eight years, the listing has highlighted the most LGBTQ-inclusive colleges and universities when it comes to policy, program and practice in higher education.


Campus Pride chose thirty campuses to highlight this year based on their overall ratings on the Campus Pride Index and specific LGBTQ-inclusive benchmark measures.  The Campus Pride Index is the premier national benchmarking tool which self-assesses LGBTQ-friendly policies, programs and practices. The tool is free of charge and can be found online at  Currently there are over 235+ colleges and universities listed online with searchable profiles to learn more about their LGBTQ-friendly programs and services.  Any college can participate in the free resource.

Top25CPwebslide2016“Prospective students and their families today expect colleges to be LGBTQ-friendly.  They want to know what LGBTQ programs, services and resources are available on the campus – and which are the ‘Best of the Best,’” said Shane Windmeyer, executive director of Campus Pride and creator of the Campus Pride Index. “Now more than ever, there are colleges that are recruiting LGBTQ youth – and they are investing in a campus that is fully supportive of LGBTQ students. This Top 30 list showcases those ‘Top’ campuses leading the way.”

Unlike some well-known LGBTQ rankings and other commercial ratings, the Campus Pride Index is based in research on policy, program and practice and is conducted for and by LGBTQ experts in the field of higher education. Each campus updates their index annually and uses the Campus Pride benchmarking tool to make improvements for LGBTQ life on campus. According to Windmeyer, “there is a lot to find for LGBTQ life at these campuses.”  Many of them are specifically addressing recruitment and academic retention efforts for LGBTQ students as well as concerns for transgender student safety. The campuses listed can also be found this Fall at the Campus Pride LGBTQ-friendly College Fair Program in cities like Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Charlotte, Atlanta, Vancouver and St. Louis.   Learn more online at

In order to be in the Top 30 listing, an institution had to score the highest percentages in the LGBTQ-friendly benchmarks for policies, programs and practices. The listing this year includes colleges with student populations from 807 to over 45,000, public and private schools alike. You can view the Top 30 list and detailed profiles online at  The Top 30 list is in alphabetical order, as follows:

Cornell University 

Elon University 

Harvey Mudd College  

Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Indiana University, Bloomington 

Ithaca College 

Macalester College

Montclair State University

Portland State University

Princeton University

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey-New Brunswick 

San Diego State University

Southern Oregon University

The Pennsylvania State University

Tufts University 

University of California Los Angeles

University of California, Davis

University of California, Santa Barbara

University of Illinois at Chicago

University of Louisville

University of Maine at Machias

University of Maryland, College Park

University of Massachusetts, Amherst

University of Minnesota Twin Cities

University of Pennsylvania  

University of Vermont

University of Washington 

University of Wisconsin – Green Bay

University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee

Washington State University

For more information about the Top 30 listing or the Campus Pride Index, please contact Campus Pride at (704) 277-6710 or email

Campus Pride is the leading national educational organization for LGBTQ and ally college students and 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 1400 campuses annually. Learn more online at

8 Responses to Campus Pride releases annual “Best of the Best” Top 30 list of the LGBTQ-friendly campuses across the nation

    • Hi Russel! Thank you for your comment and input. The way this list is formed is based on if a college chose to participate in our index. Unfortunately we can not force a college to participate or even return our emails. There are most likely many wonderful LGBT friendly inclusive colleges that are missed, but this list is based on the ones we have data for. I personally did not work on the campus pride index project for this year so I can not say if Stanford or Cal State were reached out to, or if they were and just chose not to participate. Either way we just did not have the data for them. I hope this helps and answers your question!

  1. Can you please make a list of the 30 worst colleges and universities? Those will end up our first choice .

    • So Cal Conservative. What are you doing on this webpage? I’m sure you can find the discriminatory data you’re looking for elsewhere.

  2. San Diego State has a gay studies program and other programs to support LGTBQ students. It is one of the most progressive universities in the country….It is to bad Stanford and other schools did not respond because there are several more that should be on this list. Certainly most of the CA schools are progressive and support diversity.
    CampusPride has provided a valuable tool for students evaluating college and universities.

  3. I am so proud of Virginia State university for their support and accept of the LGTBQ on Campus. Because when I was a undergrad Student who is now proud of being a Gay African American Male who graduated from Virginia State university and join a great Fraternity. I Love and miss being with my family and friends and colleagues and Fraternity brothers. Thanks VSU l am very proud of the LGTBQ on Campus. One day I hope to return back to VSU.

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