LGBT College Statistics

See how the numbers add up when it comes to LGBT students.

Today, colleges are offering more programs for LGBT students than ever before. At the same time, more LGBT students are enjoying the college experience and reporting on the positives and negatives. The result is a huge mass of statistics regarding LGBT college students. We’ve organized these statistics by category to help you get a better idea of what LGBT students go through during their college years.

Students should be aware of their school’s policies and history of supporting or ignoring LGBT issues.

Campus Culture

In many cases, the most important thing for LGBT students is how they are included on campus through student groups and other social activities. Many schools are now offering multiple options for LGBT students who want to get involved on campus.

  • Between 1996 and 2006, over 60 campuses established LGBT Centers. Today, over 100 LGBT Centers exist on college campuses across the nation, many of which are staffed by paid employees.
  • The College Equality Index reports that 38 colleges currently offer gender-neutral housing options for LGBT students, including Whitman College, The University of Chicago and Stanford University.


Increased inclusion at many colleges doesn’t automatically solve everything for LGBT students. Unfortunately, many LGBT students still suffer from threats, violence and safety issues during their college years.

  • 13.4% of LGBT students who experience frequent verbal harassment don’t plan to attend college after high school. Only 6.7% don’t intend to go to college if they experience less frequent or rare verbal harassment.
  • According to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF), 20% of college students fear for their physical safety due to their gender identity or their perceived sexual orientation.
  • The most common form of harassment towards LGBT college students is derogatory remarks. However, verbal threats, graffiti and the pressure to keep quiet about sexual orientation and/or gender identity are also common.


Does your school offer specific LGBT classes or programs? More schools are incorporating these types of classes into their curriculum, but there’s still room for improvement.

  • An NGLTF study found that 29% of students did not feel that their curriculum adequately represents contributions of LGBT individuals.
  • According to the College Equality Index, four schools currently have an LGBT Major: Evergreen State University, Hampshire College, Sarah Lawrence College and Hobart William Smith Colleges.

University Involvement

The campus experience for LGBT students can be affected by what the administrators have to say on the matter. Students should be aware of their school’s policies and history of supporting or ignoring LGBT issues.

  • According to an NGLTF study, 31% of college students feel that their college’s administration thoroughly addresses LGBT issues on campus.
  • The College Equality Index reports that 14 colleges are considered to be “trans-friendly,” meaning that the school has gender identity inclusive non-discrimination statements, gender neutral housing and gender neutral restrooms. Among these schools are Brown University, New York University and Carnegie Mellon University.

Quick Tips

  • See how your school ranks in terms of various LGBT issues and resources by searching the Campus Climate Index.
  • Reach out to your college’s LGBT Center for support with peer issues, finding social events on campus and counseling and health services.
  • Encourage your college’s administration to include non-discriminatory statements about LGBT students in the school codes and handbooks.
  • Still looking for colleges? Search for colleges A-Z.
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