Going to college is a daunting experience for anyone, but for LGBT students it can be a particularly stressful time. While the situation for LGBT students has certainly improved dramatically over the years, there is still a long way to go. Many students looking at prospective colleges and universities aren’t sure how to ascertain whether or not the institutions are accepting of their LGBT students.
Fortunately, social media and a number of gay news websites have joined forces and requested reports from LGBT students about their college experience and how their particular institution treated them while they were there. Judging by these reports, there is now a much clearer picture available of where the most welcoming and accepting educational institutions throughout the U.S. are located.
It is unfortunate that for many students the issue of personal safety is still something they have to consider before committing to a particular college. Luckily, however, the list of institutions below is just some of those that are friendly to the LGBT community and every year the list grows.
University Of Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania has long been a champion of gay rights. As an Ivy League school, it is actively recruiting gay students, a practice which some have found controversial, by asking gay students to recommend the university to their friends and using some form of data analytics to determine whether a student might be gay.
The debate about these methods is healthy, but the underlying sentiments that the University is proud to be accepting of gay students and values them enough to specifically target them as potential students are both encouraging signs for the LGBT community. The University of Pennsylvania also hosts its own LGBT Center.
University of California-Berkeley
Situated right by socially liberal San Francisco, Berkeley is not only an institution that respects LGBT students’ rights; it is immersed in a culture that is friendly and welcoming to all. The university hosts a number of events every year that celebrate the LGBT culture at Berkeley, including the Lavender Graduation Ceremony, an end of year celebration that is open to all who wish to celebrate the LGBT community at the University.
When you think of progressive liberal politics you probably don’t think of Ohio. However, the world-renowned Oberlin College with an internationally acclaimed school of music is a liberal arts bastion. The College has a history of campaigning for social justice and promoting liberal causes.
Maryville University is located in St Louis, Missouri and has had a strong gay and lesbian alliance within the university for some time. The university has been scored highly for inclusiveness by ex-students. Maryville also offers online counterparts to many of their courses, including an online masters in health administration. An online MHA degree, or any subject that might interest you, is a good option for those for whom the anxiety of going to university is too much. An online course can ease you into higher education and prepare you to transfer at a later date.
Always do your research, especially with something as crucial as picking the right university, and remember that nothing should stand in the way of you pursuing your dream career at a university of your choice.