CHICAGO (WGN//CNN) – A small, liberal arts college will ask students about their sexual orientation on applications in the upcoming year.
Elmhurst is a private liberal arts college with just 3,300 students, and it's affiliated with the United Church of Christ. The new question on its admission application asks, "Would you consider yourself to be a member of the LGBT community?"
Officials stress particular answers will not lead to preferential or deferential treatment, but scholarships are available to a whole host of students including gays and lesbians.
"It's the world these students will all live in," said Dean of Admissions Gary Rold. "They will not live in a world where everybody looks like them, and yeah, that's very much in keeping with our philosophy in who we are, who we want to be.
"I was actually shocked to hear that it was new and that there are a lot of schools that don't do it, and this was like a new thing to put on applications," said student Michelle Fuoco. "I never would have expected it not to be on there."
Applicants do not have to answer the question. Officials say knowing a student's sexual orientation could help the school direct the student to appropriate resources.
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