The University of Iowa is asking potential students about their sexual orientation on its college application, the school announced today.
The inquiry, which is voluntary, is part of an effort to attract LGBT students.
Though Elmhurst College has similar questions on its application, U of Iowa will be the first public university to inquire about orientation. “This is a huge deal in that it shows any campus that it can do the same thing,” said Shane Windmeyer, executive director of Campus Pride.
The exact wording of the question is: “Do you identify with the LGBTQ community?”
Admissions counselor Jake Christensen, who proposed the addition, says in some cases it’s the first time a prospective student has seen some sensitivity and sense of inclusiveness: “This is an opportunity to educate people,” he explains. “To tell [them] that this is a place with respect for all kinds of students.”
And speaking of respect for all students, applicants can now select “transgender” on the part of the application that asks for their gender.