LOS ANGELES -- Students at a California college weighed in on a change in the application process, and a decision has been made.
Beginning this fall, students at UC Irvine will have the option to self-identify about their sexual orientation on all university admissions forms, reports CBS Los Angeles.
The new form will ask students to pick one gender from six different choices. Prospective students will be asked to choose between male, female, trans male, trans female, gender queer/gender non-conforming and different identity.
CBS Los Angeles spoke to students at UC Irvine about the change.
"I feel like this is just a way of including everyone," said Augustine Pimentel.
"I don't mind; everybody do what they want. I don't want to judge people," says Nizar Hakim.
"I feel like people should have their freedom to be called what they want to be called," said Donna Taqawi.
Beyond the political or social reasons, some saw the financial reasons too.
"A lot of those questions when you're applying to graduate school or any sort of school are important for financial aid opportunities you can have," said Joanna Laird to CBS Los Angeles.
In a statement, Janet Napolitano, the president of the UC system said: "UC is working hard to ensure our campuses model inclusiveness and understanding. I'm proud of the work we've done so far, but it doesn't stop there. We must continue to look at where we can improve so everyone at UC feels respected and supported."
It wasn't the question itself that concerned one UC Irvine mom, but the reason why it was being asked.
"I don't know why they're asking it. I'd like to know their reason for asking it," said Elane Streets.
School officials told CBS Los Angeles the answers will be voluntary and not impact on the decision-making process for admissions.
Note: There is only one application for all the UC schools. Therefore, your responses will be sent to every single University of California school that you apply to. Hence, avoid making essays school-specific (unless you are applying to only one school).
To choose which questions to answer, first browse the eight prompts as a list, and sort them into one of three categories: “definites,”“possibilities,” and “avoid at all costs.” With “definites,” after reading the prompt, you immediately know what you will say and how you will say it. With “possibilities,” a few vague ideas swirl in your head, which you think can be sorted out and possibly develop into a great essay. With “avoid at all costs,” you want to have nothing to do with these essays.
Afterwards, jot down bullet point ideas for the questions you for sure want to write about. Then, select out of the “possibility” questions that would, in combination with your “definites,” produce the most well-rounded essay profile, which would both highlight your few key strengths as well as reveal your complexities and breadth of character. While doing so, it is important to base your decision on not only your immediate liking for the topic, but also on the available substance (anecdotes). Repeat this process until you are faced with only four questions.
This is just one way to approach choosing prompts. Since for some, the process happens organically, do not feel constrained to the method above. Just remember:
- Do not rush into prompts at first glance. Make sure that you have jotted down potential ideas for all but the ones you want to avoid, and ultimately write about the one with the most substance.
- Your answers should be able to highlight what is most important to you.