The Common Application is considering adding voluntary questions about applicants' sexual orientation and gender identity. The application is used by hundreds of colleges and universities -- including many of the most competitive.
The current norm in higher education is not to ask such questions, even on a voluntary basis. But with more students coming out in high school, and with some colleges explicitly taking steps to recruit gay applicants, some admissions officers and some advocates for gay students want to encourage colleges to ask the questions. But the possible switch could be controversial.