Do you know which colleges added a question about sexual orientation to their applications this year? That answer is…the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Iowa. These two universities now join Elmhurst College and the following law schools: Boston University, the University of Washington, and the University of Pennsylvania. As stated in an article in “The New York Times” by Samantha Stainburn entitled “The Gay Question: Check One. More College Applications Ask About Sexual Identity,” the purpose of the question is so that it hits home to applicants that LGBT students are indeed welcome at the institutions. We should hope so!
The University of Iowa even went so far as to add transgender as an option under the required gender selection question. And the school has an optional question that asks if students identify with the LGBT community. Now that’s interesting! According to the same “New York Times” piece, 488 out of 21,500 students answered that they do. Students who answered yes then apparently received a letter of support from a diversity officer at the University of Iowa. Interesting indeed.
As you may remember, the board of The Common Application decided against adding a question that asked about sexual orientation onto their application in 2011. They didn’t think it was appropriate to ask of high school students. We at Ivy Coach disagree and urge The Common App to reverse course on this issue. If some students are comfortable with themselves enough to share it, why can’t The Common App be comfortable enough to ask it? Get with it, Common App.