CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Campus Pride has announced that its 2015 Top 25 LGBTQ-Friendly Colleges & Universities has been released.

The initiative highlights post-secondary school’s ranking with relation to policy, programs and practice in higher education. Over the past seven years, Campus Pride has relied on its Campus Pride Index to disseminate information to prospective students to use as a resource when selecting their upper educational experience. The index is a national benchmarking tool which self-assesses LGBT-friendly policies and more and is provided free of charge online. It is based on research conducted for and by LGBT experts in the field of higher education. Each campus updates their index annually and uses the Campus Pride benchmarking tool to make improvements for LGBT life on campus.

Criteria for making the Top 25 list includes those institution who have scored the highest percentages in the LGBT-friendly benchmarks. The listing this year includes colleges with student populations from 1,600 to over 50,000 from the public and private schools’ sector. Elon University in the Triad was the only school in the Carolinas to achieve this distinction.

“As time goes on, the needs of LGBTQ college and university students change,” said Shane Windmeyer, executive director of Campus Pride and creator of the Campus Pride Index. “Therefore, we have updated our Campus Pride Index assessment to reflect that, with higher standards for campuses and a higher focus on trans and gender non-conforming students.”

He added that there was a lot to learn from the Top 25 campuses. Many of these campuses are specifically addressing recruitment and academic retention efforts for LGBT students, as well as concerns for transgender student safety, as reflected by their willingness to be the first campuses to take the updated assessment.

In other news, Campus Pride has recently partnered with Noodle, an educational website that assists parents and students in making better decisions about learning.


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Lainey Millen was formerly QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director from 2001-2019 when she retired.