Does being gay help or hurt your chances? Or neither?

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dhg5004
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Does being gay help or hurt your chances? Or neither?

Postby dhg5004 » Wed Mar 31, 2010 8:41 am

I label myself as gay and I came out a few years ago...I heard from a few different sources that labeling yourself as homosexual in applications can actually help your chances with many schools. Is this true?

I applied to Temple through the S.p.A.C.E program. I know many may see it as a cop-out or something but it really isnt. I did go through intense hardships in the whole process of coming out and not being comfortable with myself etc. Difficult for straight people to understand...

Anyway, does anyone have any idea on that? I wrote my personal statement and mentioned my being gay in the statement. I had sent it to 2 T14 school alumni and they told me I could get in to any school with it as long as my LSAT was high...it wasn't :(

Any replies will be appreciated...and only reply if you actually have a clue about this topic.

thanks

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mazzini
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Re: Does being gay help or hurt your chances? Or neither?

Postby mazzini » Wed Mar 31, 2010 8:51 am

Yes, being gay can be beneficial if you're not overtly playing the card. Schools are very interested in diversity which is why many suggest that a diversity statement be written if, in fact, you contribute to an increase in diversity for their institution. You certainly would fit the bill. Mentioning it in your personal statement is certainly subtle but I would suggest a diversity statement. I have limited experience here but have a friend who is gay and said that his diversity statement helped him immensely (he experimented by withholding it from some).

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Gunz353
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Re: Does being gay help or hurt your chances? Or neither?

Postby Gunz353 » Wed Mar 31, 2010 8:55 am

I think so...a small boost though, and depending upon the school. I'm pretty sure that my diversity statement about growing up gay and becoming a gay adult in this world significantly helped my chances at schools where I would normally have been rejected. I'm also very confident that it locked up the 50% tuition scholarship I received from a school where my numbers were not competitive. The Admissions Office repeatedly mentioned my PS, Diversity statement, and volunteer work with GLAAD in e-mail communications and wanted me to know how open and accepting the law community was to people like me, even getting GLBT professors to e-mail me. In conclusion, it certainly won't hurt you, but don't expect it to give you the URM boost like black and hispanic students.

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dhg5004
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Re: Does being gay help or hurt your chances? Or neither?

Postby dhg5004 » Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:23 am

Thanks for the replies.

I did write an addendum (the Space program at Temple requires it) about my being gay. And I mentioned it in my personal statement...(basically wrote about studying abroad in spain and how my life changed and how i met a man there who i became close who was a civil rights lawyer and helped fight for marriage equality back in 2001...and how he had an impact on me deciding to go to law school etc.)

In the addendum I stressed how I would be adding to the diversity aspect among the student body...and how it's important to have different views in the classroom etc. Hopefully this will work out for me.

Thanks for the reply guys....any more from anyone else would be really appreciated !

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JuTMSY4
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Re: Does being gay help or hurt your chances? Or neither?

Postby JuTMSY4 » Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:28 am

Assuming you wrote a S.P.a.C.E. essay in addition to your PS for temple, I really don't see any way it could hurt and it would most likely help (maybe marginally, maybe a lot?).

And actually, you didn't need to write an additional statement to be considered for SPACE. The admin committee makes that decision and it can help your case. By writing one, you ask for consideration and my guess is, they'll put you in that pool (though I have no real idea how the system works - I'm just guessing).

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dhg5004
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Re: Does being gay help or hurt your chances? Or neither?

Postby dhg5004 » Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:31 am

I actually know of 2 people who applied through the SPACE program...and I spoke to someone at the admissions office. They told me to be considered for SPACE you [i]should[i] write an additional statement. Buuuut if you mention one of the criteria behind being considered for SPACE then a personal statement including that would be sufficient. I just thought an additional statement couldn't hurt.

I know they're very big on diversity there.

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Cupidity
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Re: Does being gay help or hurt your chances? Or neither?

Postby Cupidity » Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:33 am

No boost.

I wrote an excellent LGBT PS, checked the box where I could, and there is no appreciable difference in the outcome of my cycle. I actually got a suprise waitlist at ND which should have been an auto admit, so maybe it even hurt me a little?

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forza
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Re: Does being gay help or hurt your chances? Or neither?

Postby forza » Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:35 am

Cupidity wrote:No boost.

I wrote an excellent LGBT PS, checked the box where I could, and there is no appreciable difference in the outcome of my cycle. I actually got a suprise waitlist at ND which should have been an auto admit, so maybe it even hurt me a little?


Well, Notre Dame is sort of an exception...

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dhg5004
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Re: Does being gay help or hurt your chances? Or neither?

Postby dhg5004 » Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:45 am

Cupidity wrote:
No boost.

I wrote an excellent LGBT PS, checked the box where I could, and there is no appreciable difference in the outcome of my cycle. I actually got a suprise waitlist at ND which should have been an auto admit, so maybe it even hurt me a little?


Well, Notre Dame is sort of an exception...




lol I would have never done it at Notre Dame (a catholic school) I only did it at schools that I researched as being 'gay-friendly'. Temple definitely is. And most if not all NYC schools are. Plus isn't ND conservative? I could see how that would have hurt you...

Temple explicitly says on its admissions website to apply through the SPACE program if you label yourself homosexual. So I guess my situation is a bit different than yours.

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BigFatPanda
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Re: Does being gay help or hurt your chances? Or neither?

Postby BigFatPanda » Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:49 am

Don't ask, don't tell

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JuTMSY4
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Re: Does being gay help or hurt your chances? Or neither?

Postby JuTMSY4 » Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:50 am

The funny part of your post is, most likely, no one on this site will know the answer. I familiarized myself with Temple's space program as I was applying and it certainly appears as though it could be a factor, but without us being there, there's no way of knowing...

What are your numbers?
Last edited by JuTMSY4 on Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Cupidity
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Re: Does being gay help or hurt your chances? Or neither?

Postby Cupidity » Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:55 am

UPenn, Cornell and BU have check boxes. I imagine a check box is a good sign it is valued.


And fuck notre dame.

andreea7
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Re: Does being gay help or hurt your chances? Or neither?

Postby andreea7 » Wed Mar 31, 2010 10:05 am

It clearly cannot hurt your chances -- for a university to have you check that box and then to deny you admission would be crazy. No university would want to be the one discriminating against someone based on sexual orientation. Clearly, it can only help you. I don't think it would make up for a score below par or a GPA below par. You also should not forget though that this year the competition is fiercer than in other years. One of the universities I applied for called me to say that while they want to admit me they will not be able to tell me anything about funding for a while because they had more applications than ever before and better applicants than ever before. And I am way above their median score/GPA. So even though at some universities it might look like you are surely in based on the historic scores they admitted, it could happen that this year they had so many applicants with high scores that the standards were raised.

Good luck!

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dhg5004
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Re: Does being gay help or hurt your chances? Or neither?

Postby dhg5004 » Wed Mar 31, 2010 10:26 am

My numbers are 155 3.3 (3.67 major GPA) from Penn State. I have had internships and I work full time for a big marketing & communications firm. I also had a strong personal statement. I've also had extracurricular stuff.

I applied for the PT program and the FT program...I'm hoping I'm accepted to the PT. I realize my numbers are below par but I the reason I brought up this post was because I was hoping the whole being gay thing could be beneficial when the admissions committee reviews my app. We'll see ! If worse comes to worse I'll go to NYLS. They gave me $$. Not a lot but some. (Temple would still be way cheaper for me seeing as how I'm in state resident)

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dhg5004
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Re: Does being gay help or hurt your chances? Or neither?

Postby dhg5004 » Wed Mar 31, 2010 10:27 am

UPenn, Cornell and BU have check boxes. I imagine a check box is a good sign it is valued.


And fuck notre dame.



Yeah I have heard that UPenn is huge on the gay thing. I didn't apply there because my numbers weren't even close...although I recently found out someone with aroudn the same numbers as myself and a strong personal statement and extracurriculars who labels themself homosexual was accepted. I geuss I should have just for the hell of it....but those app fee's were really adding up ! I'll never understand how EVERYONE on LSN gets fee waivers. Blah.

BenJ
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Re: Does being gay help or hurt your chances? Or neither?

Postby BenJ » Wed Mar 31, 2010 10:50 am

forza wrote:
Cupidity wrote:No boost.

I wrote an excellent LGBT PS, checked the box where I could, and there is no appreciable difference in the outcome of my cycle. I actually got a suprise waitlist at ND which should have been an auto admit, so maybe it even hurt me a little?


Well, Notre Dame is sort of an exception...


ND wouldn't be a problem, I don't think. I mean it's not quite Georgetown/Fordham/BC, but being gay certainly wouldn't hurt you. Now, at SMU/Liberty/BYU/Baylor/Pepperdine, obviously it would.

I don't think I'm a great example either way, as I think my cycle has gone more or less and expected. But my impression has been that schools do get excited about having gay applicants, and that it probably helps more at schools that might otherwise have difficulty recruiting gay students (schools in the Midwest and South or in areas not necessarily known for being gay friendly--that is, it probably helps more at UVA than at Berkeley, or at IUB than at GWU).

It's not a big boost, certainly. A few posters on here claim to have gotten a big boost, notably Kretzy, but he also had an excellent narrative running through his entire application. For those of us who just check the box and maybe write a short DS or mention it in our PS, the boost is small if at all. After all, gay people are not underrepresented in law--quite the opposite.

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dhg5004
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Re: Does being gay help or hurt your chances? Or neither?

Postby dhg5004 » Wed Mar 31, 2010 11:33 am

UPenn, Cornell and BU have check boxes. I imagine a check box is a good sign it is valued.


And fuck notre dame.



Yeah I have heard that UPenn is huge on the gay thing. I didn't apply there because my numbers weren't even close...although I recently found out someone with aroudn the same numbers as myself and a strong personal statement and extracurriculars who labels themself homosexual was accepted. I geuss I should have just for the hell of it....but those app fee's were really adding up ! I'll never understand how EVERYONE on LSN gets fee waivers. Blah.

umichgrad
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Re: Does being gay help or hurt your chances? Or neither?

Postby umichgrad » Wed Mar 31, 2010 12:35 pm

I'm fairly certain that it's just another soft element that can pad your application. If you can write abotu it in a meaningful way in terms of it changing you or driving your experiences or whatnot, schools should value that (I think they did for my cycle). If it's just checking the box and hoping for diversity points, I think it's less likely to see a positive result.

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OperaSoprano
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Re: Does being gay help or hurt your chances? Or neither?

Postby OperaSoprano » Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:44 pm

As with anything else, you'll need to research the school. It isn't only the "usual suspects" that are actively seeking to admit LGBT students, but there are absolutely schools with homophobic admissions policies. I would not expect a big boost anywhere, but I hear that at least one excellent school that does not offer a box to check will afford positive consideration to LGBT applicants. You should grant schools access to your LSAC information, if you suspect the school is in the latter category.

Fiyero
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Re: Does being gay help or hurt your chances? Or neither?

Postby Fiyero » Wed Mar 31, 2010 6:29 pm

On this topic, does anyone know if you can write about being bisexual/gay in a PS or DS, without having directly volunteered for gay rights organizations or done work related to them? In other words, do you have to have real world experience to support your orientation? I'm having a very hard time coming up with a PS theme, and while struggling with my sexuality has been the most difficult thing in my life from an emotional standpoint, I haven't gone out of my way to join any organizations due to feeling the need to hide it. It has, however, drastically changed my views on human/civil rights.

Kretzy
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Re: Does being gay help or hurt your chances? Or neither?

Postby Kretzy » Wed Mar 31, 2010 6:36 pm

I think there's a small boost, but yes, I thinks it's there. I think it's not the being gay, it's being active in the identity group, that provides the boost though; it shows a praxis between you and your social activism that I think schools like to see. I definitely think my PS + work with LGBT groups had a net-positive impact for me on a number of my apps, and I've well overperformed my numbers.

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D. H2Oman
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Re: Does being gay help or hurt your chances? Or neither?

Postby D. H2Oman » Wed Mar 31, 2010 6:54 pm

Hopefully it's neither.

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flyingpanda
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Re: Does being gay help or hurt your chances? Or neither?

Postby flyingpanda » Wed Mar 31, 2010 7:37 pm

D. H2Oman wrote:Hopefully it's neither.


Dang waterman, why didn't you check the box!?

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soullesswonder
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Re: Does being gay help or hurt your chances? Or neither?

Postby soullesswonder » Wed Mar 31, 2010 7:55 pm

Fyi, if adcomms want to verify your claims...

Lizface killah wrote:they'll make you suck a dick

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jay115
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Re: Does being gay help or hurt your chances? Or neither?

Postby jay115 » Fri Apr 09, 2010 8:07 am

Kretzy wrote:I think there's a small boost, but yes, I thinks it's there. I think it's not the being gay, it's being active in the identity group, that provides the boost though; it shows a praxis between you and your social activism that I think schools like to see. I definitely think my PS + work with LGBT groups had a net-positive impact for me on a number of my apps, and I've well overperformed my numbers.


if i used words like "praxis" in my personal statement, then perhaps i too could have been accepted to stanford ;)




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