The College of Charleston will begin giving undergraduates the opportunity to provide information on their birth sex and gender identity on admissions applications. The change comes as a way to expand students’ options when applying to the college, as well as collect information for reporting purposes and help assess the support needs of students, according to Jimmie Foster, CofC’s assistant vice president for admissions.
Answering these questions on the undergraduate admissions application is optional, as are all other demographic questions on the college’s application, says Foster. The decision comes as a response to a suggestion from the College of Charleston’s Student Government Association, Foster says, and coincides with a similar change by the Common Application, a widely-used online college admission application. Currently accepted at around 700 schools around the world — including six in South Carolina, such as Furman University, Columbia College, and Wofford College — the Common Application announced earlier this year an expanded list of gender identity options from which students can choose.
Although multiple years of applications will be needed before school officials can determine if the data will have implications for students programming at the College of Charleston, Foster says, “The information collected on the application of future enrolled students could certainly help play a role in assessing support of programs geared toward LGBTQ students.”