Elmhurst College asks students about sexual orientation

August 25, 2011

Elmhurst College in Chicago's western suburbs is asking prospective students about their sexual orientation on admissions applications.

The application says it's committed to diversity and it asks the question: "Would you consider yourself to be a member of the LGBT community?" Applicants have the options of checking yes, no or not answering.

Elmhurst Dean of Admission Gary Rold says the question so far has gotten only a little negative feedback. He equates it to a time when asking a student's race was controversial.

"I don't know whether this question concerning GLBT affiliation will go the same way or become the same kind of thing, but I wouldn't be surprised. I can't think that what Elmhurst is doing is that unique in the world that others won't eventually follow suit," he said.

Rold says the question is intended to help LGBT students find support for their college transition. He says it could also help eligible students find scholarships. Rold believes Elmhurst could be the first school to directly ask the question on its application.