America’s top colleges for LGBT students are also the priciest

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Image: Reuters/Francois Lenoir
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LGBT students in the US looking to attend colleges with specialized resources quite literally have to pay an extra cost.

Yesterday (Sept. 5), nonprofit organization Campus Pride put out a list of America’s 30 most LGBT-friendly colleges and universities, defined as those with the most diverse and inclusive LGBT-related programs, practices, and policies—such as dedicated research centers and special gender identity counseling—on their campuses. But today, Out Magazine looked into the actual cost of attending one of these schools, finding that many of them charge tuition fees above national averages.

Among the 30 schools—21 public, nine private—the average cost for an in-state, on-campus undergraduate in the 2016-2017 school year is about $35,174. The public schools average about $23,896 per year, while the private schools average $61,490.

Past data and trends gathered by College Board indicate that Campus Pride’s public schools on average cost roughly the same as any “moderate” public university. However, the most LGBT-inclusive private schools to make the cut will cost incoming students almost 25% more than the average $49,265 that College Board predicts.

That some of the US’s most LGBT-friendly schools come with such high sticker prices may not be totally surprising, given that the country’s most socially accepting schools also tend to be highly elite. Cornell, Princeton, and the University of Pennsylvania, for instance, are all on the list. But it’s troubling nonetheless that students seeking an adequately LGBT-inclusive college experience should have to cough up more money—especially when they face more social and economic challenges than their peers already. According to the Center for Disease Control, in high school, LGBT students are twice as likely than heterosexual students to be harassed.

Financial barriers aren’t the biggest problem faced by LGBT students, but they’re one of the most visible. One of the schools on Campus Pride’s list, Harvey Mudd College, charges a full $71,917.