I would like to preface this post by saying that college and higher education isn’t for everyone, and, unfortunately, it isn’t always available to some folks. There is nothing wrong with nontraditional routes of education, and there is nothing wrong with choosing not to attend a four year college.
So, us trans* kids have some unique things to consider when we’re picking out colleges and universities, and, more often than not, the information that we need to know is not going to be covered in a school’s view book, so we have to be a tad more proactive in our searches.
In addition to looking at pretty campuses, deciding on majors you want, and attempting to find a place that you can both afford and get into, you’re going to need to get the schools on the phone and ask a few specific questions.
What’s the queer community like on campus?
Do you have an LGBT student resource center on campus?
Do you have queer special interest housing? What about gender inclusive housing?
Is your insurance plan trans* inclusive? If not, what efforts have been made to change it?
How do you handle names and gender on school forms?
Is your campus health team prepared to deal with trans health needs?
Do you have mandatory cultural competency training for staff and professors?
The admissions officers probably won’t have answers to all of these off the top of their heads, but they can find out and get back to you. Keep in mind that asking questions makes you look intelligent and asking questions that they aren’t accustomed to will make you stand out in the admissions process. Any school that refuses to answer these types of questions probably won’t be worth your time.
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