Applying to College as an Out LGBTQ+ Individual

The following content provided by our educational partners Campus Pride, a national organization for LGBTQ+ student leaders and campus groups at colleges and universities.

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The application process can be difficult to navigate, but hopefully, by the time you are ready to apply, it will seem a little easier. When the time comes to apply, there are a few things you will need to keep in mind.

  1. Are you familiar with how to submit applications to colleges?
    The Common Application is by far the most common way to submit applications to schools. While filling out CommonApp, you will be asked to provide basic information about yourself, including your name, address, and contact information. You will also be required to complete an essay through CommonApp, as well as provide information about any activities you did throughout high school. From there, you can select colleges that you would like to send this information to. Not every school offers the CommonApp, but you will likely encounter it during your application process.

    Some states offer statewide applications to streamline the process. For example, CFNC – College Foundation of North Carolina offers a system where you fill out the base information that applies to each admission application for colleges in the state of North Carolina. Once you are ready to apply to individual schools, CFNC will auto-fill all of the base information for you. Some of this information includes name, address, high school information, etc.

  2. Should I ‘come out’ or identify as an LGBTQ+ individual in one of my essays?
    This is all up to you and your comfort. If you are comfortable with that being on your applications where potential institution stakeholders, potentially parents/guardians (if they are helping with applications), and college admissions officers may see it, then go for it! Just make sure it fits with what the question is asking.

  3. If the application asks me if I am LGBTQ+, should I answer yes?

    This is all up to you as well. Just because a university asks you about your sexuality doesn’t mean they are more LGBTQ+-friendly, and vice versa. Some universities use this information for data collection, alumni groups, and specific resources regarding demographics. If you are comfortable enough to answer yes or specify, then go for it. If you are not comfortable, then keep it to yourself until you are ready.

  4. Who are the people you can talk to if you have questions about things on the application?
    Speak with a high school counselor about the college application process. They can provide great feedback on schools you could potentially look at and are a great resource due to their experience with helping students apply to college.

  5. Do you still feel confused and need some more guidance, particularly on matters relating to a school’s climate?

    Ask the LGBTQ+ coordinator or Multicultural Coordinator at the institution you are looking into for more help. These professionals can be found on the institution’s webpage, usually on their Resource Centers webpage.The admissions counselors of the institutions are also willing to help in any way. The admission counselors can be found on the institution’s admission webpage.