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Common Application and Universal College Application Move Beyond Giving Applicants Choice of Male and Female

In 2010, advocates for students who don’t identify as straight or conforming to one gender asked the Common Applicationto add optional questions on gender identity and sexual orientation. In 2011, the Common Application declined to do so. While some colleges in the intervening years started to ask such questions, they represent only a small minority of the institutions to which students apply.

This week, that’s changing. Both the Common Application and the Universal College Application are changing their applications to make it easy for applicants who do not identify as either male or female to describe how they wish to be identified. While the applications are not at this time adding a question on sexual orientation, there are other places on the application where one could offer such information.