Washington area colleges earn generally high marks for quality-of-life issues among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students, according to an ”LGBT-friendly” index.

The Web site for the Campus Climate Index doesn’t make clear when the 2011 ratings came out, but I gather they are relatively new, because I received an e-mail Wednesday from the University of Richmond, advertising its four-star rating. I glanced at the index and saw that some other local schools, including American University, scored even higher.

According to the site, the index is designed to help college leaders assess, compare and improve policies toward LGBT students. Five-star schools set a national standard, in the view of the raters, of high quality of life for LGBT students.

It’s published by Campus Pride, billed as the “only national nonprofit organization for student leaders and campus groups working to create a safer college environment for LGBT students.”

Schools are rated on eight factors: the extent of LGBT policies, the level of LGBT support and “institutional commitment,” academic life, student life, housing issues, campus safety, student health and counseling, and recruitment and retention of LGBT students.

Here are the ratings for some local institutions.

Five stars:

American University. The campus receives a perfect or nearly perfect score on each of the eight factors save one, campus safety. The five-star rating puts AU in the company of several Ivies, top liberal arts schools and sprawling public flagships, including Oberlin, Berkeley and Stanford.

Four and a half stars:

George Washington University. High ratings in every area except academic life.

University of Maryland. Marked down only in LGBT housing.

Other 4.5-star schools include University of Colorado, Yale, Brown and Cornell.

Four stars: Washington and Lee University, George Mason, Virginia Tech, Georgetown, the University of Mary Washington, the University of Richmond, Towson.

Other four-star schools: Northwestern, the University of Texas, Rutgers.

Three and a half stars: the University of Virginia, Johns Hopkins University, the College of William and Mary, the University of Illinois, the University of Georgia.

Three stars: Goucher College, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, James Madison University, the University of Florida, Texas A&M.

Two stars: Morgan State University, Clemson University.

One and a half stars: Old Dominion University, Hampden-Sydney College.

One star: Lynchburg College.