Online Dish: Are You Gay? Question Now on College Application

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Are you gay? That's a question on Elmhurst College's application.

This week the private liberal arts school, tucked away in the suburbs of Chicago, released their new undergrad application for 2012-2013. On it, a historic question: "Would you consider yourself to be a member of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered) community?"

The optional question makes Elmhurst the first school in the country to ask applicants about their sexual orientation or gender identity.

So why do they want to know? Gary Rold, the dean of students at Elmhurst, says it's in an effort to increase diversity on campus.

"We're offering an incentive to a group of students who are looking for a home and may not find that in a lot of other places, we consider that a good thing. It's very consistent with our mission," said Rold.Prospective freshmen and transfer students applying for the 2012 fall can check "yes," "no" or "prefer not to answer." Their answers will not play a role in the admissions process.

A "yes" answer could get you a scholarship. According to Rold, those LGBT students will qualify for a scholarship worth one-third of tuition at the United Church of Christ associated university.

The college also plans to direct students to groups or resources to help them feel more comfortable on campus.

"We try really hard to take good care of students, have them graduate and be successful citizens in the world," he said.

The application question is getting mixed reviews.

Our viewers served up their thoughts on Facebook:

Kaishah : WRONG!!

Dennis: Please... this is ridiculous, the worlds spiraling downwards; moving in the wrong direction. Even so, does it matter what anyones sexual orientation is on a college campus whether one wants to be exposed to ones lifestyle habits or not? It's the world we live in now, not gonna say on here you're wrong or you're right so there will be no argument but all around, how far is too far?

Deborah: It's really none of their business!!

Ricks Piano Bar: Oh and referring to this dish, ah, no there isn't, and should not be. What next? "Did you have sex in the past 24 hours?" and with whom? I tell ya , these Gay people and their push for supremacy!!! Gets ridiculous sometimes.

Jamie: So stupid. Sexual preferences should have no place in college acceptance.

Shneia: Does the application ask students if they are straight? Ridiculous

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And that's today's helping of Online Dish.

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