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Elmhurst College Adds Sexual Orientation to Admissions Applications

By Chuck Sudo in News on Aug 25, 2011 4:00PM

2011_8_25_elmhurst_college.gif Elmhurst College has become the first college in the country to ask applicants of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The trailblazing question, which is optional to answer, is part of what Elmhurst Dean of Admissions Gary Rold says is their attempt to "increase diversity in all its forms." Elmhurst’s associate director of Admission, Christine Grenier, explains:

In words and action, Elmhurst College stands by our commitment to welcome and affirm all persons with respect to race, ethnicity, class, gender, religion, faith perspective, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression into the full life of the college. Being able to reach out to LGBT students intentionally will allow us to connect to students earlier, help ease the transition to college and provide valuable resources on campus.

There's also scholarship money involved. Applicants who answer "yes" to the question may be eligible for an "enrichment scholarship" worth one-third of their tuition. Elmhurst College is also hoping responses to the question will help them direct incoming students to groups and services that can make the transition to college easier.