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Coming Out on Your College Application
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To come out or to not come out on your college application – that is the question.
We can't give you a definitive answer, since there is none. It's up to you to decide how open you want to be. We do encourage you to consider several factors, including your own comfort level as well as the type of school to which you're applying.
Some religious or politically conservative colleges do not look favorably on LGBTQ students. Should you decide to apply to one of these schools, it's best to be discrete.
Most colleges, however, are eager to attract a diverse student body that includes LGBTQ students. If you choose to disclose your sexuality, admissions committees may appreciate your candor and courage. But simply announcing that you're queer won't tip the scale in your favor at a competitive school.
If you do choose to come out, figure out how your sexual orientation or gender identity makes you a stronger applicant. For example, have you used your summer breaks to work for social justice? Have you had a personal experience with discrimination or homophobia? Have you participated in an LGBTQ advocacy group or Gay–Straight Alliance? Did coming out make you a stronger or more compassionate person? Use your experiences and background to let admissions committees know what you'll contribute to their college.
You should not feel pressure to come out on your application if you're not out in real life. Of course, there's no need to hide your sexuality or gender identity if you're out and proud to friends and family. Ultimately, your application will read the strongest if you're most comfortable with the person you present on paper.
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