DeKALB – A Washington-based education research publisher has ranked Northern Illinois University among the best and most affordable LGBTQ-friendly online schools in the nation.
S.R. Education Group manually researched 968 schools to develop rankings for LGBTQ friendliness and other categories.
Data was provided by Campus Pride, a nonprofit organization that assists colleges in improving their support and resources for LGBTQ students.
Each school on the list offers at least 15 online degree programs and has earned a score of three stars or above on the Campus Pride Index, a national nonprofit that worked with a team of researchers to generate national standards and assessment tools for LGBTQ-friendly institutions of higher education.
Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville was the only other Illinois university to make the top 25 most affordable LGBTQ-friendly schools.
NIU, which came in eighth place, scored four out of five stars and has an annual tuition of $9,466, according to S.R. Education Group data.
SIU-Edwardsville, meanwhile, was tied for 14th place, scored four stars and has an annual tuition of $10,500.
According to the OnlineU website, which ranks the most affordable and top online colleges, NIU offers 28 online degrees, including 14 master’s degrees and one online doctoral degree.
The university’s Gender and Sexuality Resource Center presents two awards.
One is the annual Eychaner Awards, which honor NIU community members who make notable contributions to the LGBTQ community, and the other is the Joseph Harry Endowed Scholarship, which is granted to undergraduates who have participated in LGBTQ organizations and activities.