Something different is happening at the University of Pennsylvania, Inside Higher Ed reports:
"This year, in what may be a first nationally, the University of Pennsylvania is applying the idea to admitted applicants who are gay. Several experts on college admissions say that they do not know of any other colleges that have taken this step…Penn is identifying gay admits through information they provide on their applications — groups that they are members of, or statements they make about themselves in their essays. One question on the Penn application asks applicants about the communities they would like to be active in at the university, and the answers include academic interests, social and cultural organizations, and — for some students — gay life at the university.
Furda said that an admitted applicant wouldn't be identified on the basis of one stand-alone fact, such as membership in a gay-straight alliance at a high school, given how many people are members of such groups these days. The university is looking for admitted applicants who have indicated in some way that gay issues are very important in their considerations."
Asking the question, is one big question too:
"[Jack Miner, who is the chair of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Caucus of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers] said that while Penn has found a way to identify applicants without asking them about their sexual orientation, a big topic of discussion in the AACRAO gay caucus has been the question of whether colleges should add an optional question on sexual orientation so that colleges can reach out in other ways. He said that many people in the caucus believe that 'the culture has changed' such that self-identifying as gay wouldn't be 'perceived as a negative' as might have been the case for previous generations. He said that there is considerable interest about seeing some college ask the question but 'schools are hesitant to be the first.'"