St. Lucy's Priory High School

Opinion: Colleges have become too personal in applications

College applications ask a myriad of questions, thus providing colleges with knowledge regarding numerous aspects of a prospective student’s life.  However, some of these questions should be viewed as irrelevant during the admissions process.

Due to the fact that they destroy the weight of one’s merit, demographic questions, namely those asking about race, sexual orientation, and gender identity, should be discarded from applications.

Although the Supreme Court has banned the use of strict quotas in universities, they declare affirmative action constitutional, thus authorizing universities and colleges to have admissions policies that provide equal access to higher education for groups that have been historically excluded or underrepresented, such as women and minorities.

Despite this, success acquired due to policies of affirmative action will not be equivalent to true success obtained by those who habitually attain two hours of sleep on account of their persistence and dedication to the completion of notable academic work.

In 2008, when a young woman filed a suit against the University of Texas, claiming the use of race as a consideration in admission decisions was in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment, the university argued that race was a narrowly tailored means of pursuing greater diversity.

However, simply having students of different races or ethnicities in a university does not necessarily signify diversity of opinion and sometimes even culture.

Following questions regarding race are those addressing sexuality and gender identity. Upon seeing these questions, countless individuals, including those who identify with the LGBT+ community, wonder why they are being asked such personal questions on an application for higher education. The correlation between the two dumbfounds many.

IMG_1970As per usual, these questions upset those who do not identify with the minority—the heterosexual, cisgender community. They believe answering the questions honestly will limit their chances of being accepted.

On applications for California State Universities, potential students are asked if they identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. For those of the LGBT+ community that are not open about their identity, this question could be triggering. Although answering the question is not required, simply seeing this question has the capacity to provoke a multitude of self-depreciating thoughts and grave apprehension among closeted queer students.

At the time of filling out college applications, some individuals of the LGBT+ community may have recently accepted themselves and are not open about their sexuality. With this in mind, they may state that they identify as “heterosexual,” thus providing colleges with inaccurate information.

Furthermore, parents and school counselors oftentimes want to check students’ applications for accuracy and mistakes. This can cause discomfort for those who are comfortable enough with themselves to state that they identify with the LGBT+ community on their application but are not “out” to these figures in their lives.

Students should generally be concerned about meeting a school’s academic standard. Instead, many students are worried that an individual with distinguished academic standing will be denied acceptance to a particular school simply because another student of corresponding scholastic history identifies with a minority.