By Advocate Contributors
Originally published on Advocate.com September 28 2010 8:15 PM ET
In the hopes of setting themselves apart from the sea of similarly
qualified applicants, students seeking admission to Ivy League schools
and similarly high-caliber institutions are increasingly electing to
identify themselves as LGBT on applications.
According to a recent article inDetails, elite universities are now actively courting LGBT students in their
admissions process, often soliciting applications
through outreach programs like the University of Pennsylvania's Multicultural Scholars' Weekend.
Most universities are quick to
deny that these outreach programs constitute a form of affirmative
action, but few will deny that information on
orientation and gender identity figures into a holistic selection
"I think a student's orientation would also need to
feed into something either like a really strong sense of self-awareness
or a willingness to organize politically and socially and form a support
group or start a gay-straight alliance," private college consultant
Irena Smith told Details. "I think admissions officers are more savvy than to just say, 'Here's an LGBT kid — we don't have enough of those.'"