OnlineCollegePlan.com has published a guide to online college dedicated to LGBT+ students. In preparing this guide, a survey of LGBT+ students was conducted. The students were asked why they chose an online college program and asked to express their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with their choice. Their raw, emotional answers are included in the “Community Voices” section of the guide.
This guide was designed to provide support for LGBT+ students in a seldom explored topic, higher education. The reason this topic is sparsely documented is that a shockingly low percentage of LGBT+ identified students intend to pursue a college degree, and of those that do 56% feel as though their school has policies that discriminate against them. No one should feel excluded from the amazing opportunity to learn, and even more, no one should feel unsafe or unaccepted in a learning environment. OnlineCollegePlan.com explores options to change these statistics, and offers a great front line of schools who agree that education should be safe, accessible, and that all students should be championed regardless of how they identify or who they love.
Researcher Brandon Carter, who identifies as a polysexual transman, walks students through school selection and scholarship opportunities that are gender- and sexuality-based. Included also is a list of identities that fall under the spectrum, some interesting facts about queer history in higher education and further resources.
OnlineCollegePlan.com hasn’t skipped over anything, even mentioning recent changes in school policies and how they may play into a student’s selection process. Students cited their top reasons to select an online college are flexibility, staying near trusted medical professionals, and the increased safety that being in control of their environment provides. Along with these factual and statistical components, the guide is rife with supportive language, and closes with a very touching video assuring all students that it gets better.
This resource guide also includes a ranking of LGBT+ friendly schools that offer online degree programs. The top three ranked colleges were University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA), affectionately UPenn, Ithaca College (Ithaca, New York) and Indiana University – Bloomington (Bloomington, Indiana), respectively. Only schools that were accommodating and affirming to LGBT+ identified students but also offered a highly-regarded online option made the top 10.
Other schools in the ranking are (by rank):
University of Washington (Seattle, Washington)
Tufts University (Medford, Massachusetts)
University of Massachusetts – Amherst (Amherst, Massachusetts)
San Diego State University (San Diego, California)
Princeton University (Princeton, New Jersey)
University of Oregon (Eugene, Oregon)
University of California – Los Angeles (Los Angeles, California)
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About Online College Plan
Online College Plan was created to assist parents and students alike in learning about all of the options available and how to plan ahead for an online college education.