Choosing a college is an important decision. Gender may be the most important factor in your college choice, or it may just be one piece of the puzzle.
Tips for Choosing a College
Transgender, nonbinary and other gender-expansive students have some special considerations to think about as they pursue their education after high school. Here are some tips on finding out about whether the institutions you are considering are gender inclusive.
Keep in mind
- Watch out for assumptions: gender-inclusive environments aren’t exclusive to any part of the country, and even institutions with progressive reputations in one area of diversity doesn’t necessarily mean they will be great on gender. There is no way to know until you talk with staff and students.
- If admissions staff tell you they are committed to being gender-inclusive but don’t have a lot of experience, you may not want to automatically dismiss them. While you don’t want to have to be the one to educate the institution on gender, if they are willing to do the work, they might still be a good fit.
- Don’t forget about off-campus resources in the local community which may also be available for you.
Questions to ask
- What experience does the college have with transgender, non-binary or other gender- expansive students? Can you put me in touch with a student group so I can hear about student experiences on campus?
- What are the programs or resources, if any, supporting students around gender? LGBTQ students? A Diversity Center?
- Are there any written anti-discrimination policies at the school that specifically name gender?
- Does the school acknowledge gender as a spectrum, i.e., admission forms with options other than “male” and “female” options on applications and other administrative forms, or signs and other visual images of gender diversity on campus?
- Does the registrar have a chosen name policy?
- Are there all gender or LGBTQ housing options on campus? What is the process for placing students with roommates?
- Are there all gender restrooms on the campus? Would a transgender student be able to use the restroom of their choice?
- What are the policies regarding transgender and non-binary students playing on sport teams?
- Are there staff or faculty who can act as allies on campus?
- Does Health Services have experience with caring for transgender and non-binary students?
See our videos below with "Advice from Young Adults on Choosing a College" and "College Professionals Share Their Expertise."