(CNN) -- Elmhurst College, a private liberal arts school in suburban Chicago affiliated with the United Church of Christ, has become the first college in the country to ask an optional question about a student's sexual orientation and gender identity on an undergraduate admission form, according to the school and a gay rights advocacy group.Read it all at CNN.
"Would you consider yourself a member of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community?" the new application asks prospective enrollees.
Students can answer "Yes," "No," or "Prefer not to say."
That optional demographic question is among others about religious affiliation, language spoken at home and whether they have worked with a community-based organization, according to the college and the advocacy group.
The sexual orientation question is designed to help the college advance diversity and connect prospective students with school resources such as scholarships and campus organizations.
No surprises that this school is affiliated with the U.C.C.
The radio announcer said that this might also move LGBTs up on the admissions list, but I could not find support for that elsewhere.
I found the scholarship idea also quoted at the Chicago Sun-Times,
Those who answer “yes” may be eligible for a scholarship worth up to one-third of tuition, not unusual because about 60 percent of incoming students receive some type of scholarship aid, Rold said. More importantly, he said, knowing students’ sexual orientation will help officials direct incoming students toward services or groups that might help them make an easier transition to college life.
What would keep a straight person from identifying themselves as potentially bisexual on the admissions application in order to get a reduced tuition?
How might the admissions committee verify the sexual orientation claim of the applicant?
And is there any affirmative action going on behind the scenes with the deliberations of the admissions committee?