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The Colleges New to Campus Pride 'Best of the Best' List

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Here's which institutions of higher education got the "most improved" award.

The nonprofit organization Campus Pride -- which advocates for more inclusive college environments -- recently released its Best of the Best list of LGBT-friendly campuses. The list of 30 schools included some old standbys, like Tufts and Cornell, but newcomers too. Check out the universities that are new to this esteemed ranking below, and find the full Best of the Best list here.

Harvey Mudd College, a member of the 5Cs, or the Claremont colleges in Claremont, Calif., is the only new addition to the Campus Pride Index to receive five out of five possible stars. Harvey Mudd offers gender-neutral housing, gender-neutral bathrooms in multiple buildings on campus, and an extensive list of resources for transgender students.

Rating: 5/5 stars
Student population: 807
Tuition: $50,368

Hobart and William Smith Colleges, located in Geneva, N.Y., are gaining recognition on the "Best of the Best" list for their recent efforts with LGBT-inclusive policies. In 2002, the colleges became the first institution in the nation to include an LGBT studies major in the curriculum. In recent years, the colleges have implemented policies about gender-inclusive housing selection, allowing transgender students to select housing based on their gender identity, and preferred gender pronoun usage through the Office of the Registrar and the Office of Student Life. The majority of buildings on campus have gender-neutral bathrooms. Additionally, Hobart and William Smith Colleges have created a list of LGBTQ and ally faculty members with their emails to give queer students a list of mentors on campus.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Student population: 2,400
Tuition: $46,852

Five of the University of California institutions have been featured on the Best of the Best list in previous years, and this year, University of California, Davis, is making its first appearance. The university is equipped with gender-inclusive restrooms in over 90 buildings on campus and an LGBTQIA Resource Center. UC-Davis also created "The Out List" of faculty and staff who identify as a part of the LGBTQIA community to foster mentorship and academic support. Students have the option to live in the Rainbow House, a residential living-learning community for LGBT students.

Rating: 4.5/5
Student Population: 36,104
Tuition: (in-state) $13,951 (out-of-state) $38,659

Some colleges making reappearances on the Best of the Best list include University of California, Los Angeles (4.5/5), University of California, Santa Barbara (4.5/5), University of Illinois at Chicago (4.5/5), University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee (4.5/5), and Washington State University (5/5).

Veterans of Campus Pride's Best of the Best list include Ithaca College in New York and the University of Pennsylvania, which have consistently received some of the highest ratings since the launch of the Campus Pride Index in 2007.

(RELATED: These 102 Colleges Are the 'Absolute Worst' for LGBT Students)

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