Impact of Student Sexual Orientation (LGBTQIA+) on College Admissions?

This may sound shallow, but please help as I haven’t been able to get a clear answer yet. I am a queer student who is wondering if one’s sexual orientation affects college admissions, if at all.

In general, I think I am a good applicant for many T20/Ivy schools. Currently I am ranked 1st in my class (1/250ish) with the following stats:

  • 4.0/4.66

  • 1570 SAT

  • AP 5s in Calc AB, Chem, Bio, Lang, APUSH, Comp Sci Prin

While I won’t list my awards/ECs, they are overall well rounded (I believe) and will put me in a position to be a competitive applicant at most T20/Ivy schools. I should also be a NMSQT finalist based on my ranking index.

Now, like many students perhaps, I’ve heard of “urban myths” surrounding LGBTQIA+ applicants. Is it a helpful “hook” that a student may have (such as race or geographic location), not of any note, or somewhere in between? If one decides they will discuss their sexuality on their application, how should they go about doing so?

I’m not necessarily looking to “utilize” my sexual orientation for the sake of my application, but I am very curious if sexuality plays any part in admissions.

Impact of Student Sexual Orientation (LGBTQIA+) on College Admissions?

For T20’s. Zero.

Hooks are for something a colleges needs or at least really wants. They need athletes. They need alumni donors. They want racial and ethnic diversity they do not need to recruit more LGBTQIA applicants. I cannot think of a single T20 campus where the LGBTQIA percentage is lower than in the surrounding area.

If your identity can be conveyed in an interesting essay, as opposed to a cliche one, then that is probably where the importance lies

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My understanding is that it does not. If you did something special or have a very impactful essay topic related to LGBTQ+ issues then that may be part of your application but otherwise no.

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The good news is that you won’t be excluded because of your sexual identity. The bad news is that this is not a “hook”. Colleges are not looking for students based upon their sexual identification/orientation.

You have great academic credentials. Now, take a look at your ECs, and consider how you can present them to look like the potential next great whatever, as opposed to a well-rounded, well-balanced everyman. You have to somehow stand out from the crowd. Being gay is not that, just as being straight is not that.

Yeah, that’s about what I expected. I have some typical ECs that any top applicant would most likely have (leadership positions, Pres/VP of multiple clubs, tutoring/volunteering, etc.), but do have several very specialized and unique ECs. Some things are currently still up in the air with my better ECs, but I’m hoping they work out so that I can crank through my essays sometime soon.

Thanks for the advice.

Makes sense. While I do think I can write a decent essay on personal identity about my sexuality, it wouldn’t be better than other essays I would be able to write based on my other ECs/experiences, so it seems better to double down on my ECs and present them in the best way possible.

Thank you!

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You’ll never know and they’ll likely never know - even when they gather that, it’s for demographics. And if you write your essay based on that, you’ll be seen an uncreative - because it seems everyone is doing so.

Good luck.