Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community polls, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

College Confidential’s “Dean,” Sally Rubenstone, put together 25 of her best tips. Get your free copy of the "25 Tips from the Dean" eBook and get helpful advice on how to choose a college, get in, and pay for it: http://goo.gl/9zDJTM

Ethnicity question

mmmwah94mmmwah94 Posts: 5Registered User New Member
edited October 2010 in Columbia University
I am 100% Moroccan and lived there for 11 years.

i look white, and and by bloodline/heritage i would be "middle eastern" because i do not have
any african in me. however, morocco is in africa, why do i apply under ?
Post edited by mmmwah94 on

Replies to: Ethnicity question

  • pwoodspwoods Posts: 1,096Registered User Senior Member
    They don't specify "sub-Saharan" and they'll obviously see you're from Morocco, so I think "African-American" is fine. If you identify more with "Caucasian," though, put "Caucasian".
  • ShrinkrapShrinkrap Posts: 11,713Registered User Senior Member

    "My family was born and raised in Morocco."

    You are white by the federal definitions,

    ....as are various people of Middle Eastern origin.

    "White. A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa. It includes people who indicate their race as 'White' or report entries such as Irish, German, Italian, Lebanese, Near Easterner, Arab, or Polish."

    You also have the choice of not indicating any ethnicity or race at all. What a college does with what it sees on your form varies from college to college. "
  • confidentialcollconfidentialcoll Posts: 2,491Registered User Senior Member
    I would say other and specify north African or middle eastern, north African probably earns you more diversity points
  • wombatlikewoahwombatlikewoah Posts: 245Registered User Junior Member
    well, don't lie like confidentialcoll is suggesting. if you're white you're white. but they'll see you've lived in morocco your whole life so it's not like they'll be like "oh well she's white typical student NEXT"

    you will earn "diversity points" for being moroccan, don't worry.
  • confidentialcollconfidentialcoll Posts: 2,491Registered User Senior Member
    ^how is saying north african a lie, Morocco is certainly part of Africa, if columbia wants to check boxes and you fit those boxes go for it. I had a south african classmate who grew up in the US, who was white who claimed he was african american on his app. He wasn't lying in the slightest, if columbia doesn't want this, they should change their ethnicity section to a skin color section and have white/black/brownish/yellowish etc. If columbia wants to help historically disadvantaged minorities then they should specify that as well.

    All they want is ethnicity though, and Moroccan is 100% north african, it's almost over-specific to say north african, you could just say african.
  • pwoodspwoods Posts: 1,096Registered User Senior Member
    Yeah, I'd love to know how someone would challenge the OP.

    "You've indicated here that your ethnicity is African-American."

    "Yes, that's correct."

    "But you're not African-American..."

    "I am an American citizen who was born and has lived in Morocco, in northern Africa, for eleven years. Africa is the continent I call home, though I am happy to be an American as well."

    There is no response to that; Columbia will never start talking about colors. If you consider your home continent to be Africa, no one has any right to take that away from you, whether or not you are a member of the "race" commonly described as "African-American."
  • admissionsgeekadmissionsgeek Posts: 1,679Registered User Senior Member
    well here is a misnomer - just because you are 'african american' doesn't necessarily mean affirmative action will aid your candidacy. and just because you list african american, doesnt mean they will consider you african american.

    in the end adcoms are smarter than you think on this question, and will probably not read you as a disadvantaged group, though certainly consider your diversity. i think it would not be genuine to list it when you KNOW that african american is a racialized and specific category in the united states, to apply it to yourself. if for some reason you were naive on the subject, that is one thing, clearly you are not. worse yet you probably risk alienating the adcom by making that claim.

    i wouldn't advise it. and if you get admitted know that you're probably not being admitted for the slight of hand of checking the box. i believe the common app has a middle eastern box, i would consider that.

    alternatively, i like concoll's mention to put down North African because it would be proper to explain your heritage - saying middle eastern or white indeed would diminish the truth.

    but! i don't like the way concoll and pwoods seem to treat identity the way they have. sure you check it, but there are consequences to doing so, some perhaps good but many very bad. i would be wary with how you give advice, in this case it is truly wholly and incredibly unproductive.
  • mmmwah94mmmwah94 Posts: 5Registered User New Member
    there is no North African box, if there was the issue would not exist.
    also @admissionsgeek, i am not checking african american bc it does not apply to me but im simply checking african as it one from africa. i feel middle eastern does not apply since i have no direct relationship to the middle east.
    which would be most appropriate? i am not trying to sound appealing to admissions i just want an accurate description of my race.
  • mmmwah94mmmwah94 Posts: 5Registered User New Member
    moroccan people have a weird race because we are african but we don't associate with africans by race[bloodline] nor culture.
  • ShrinkrapShrinkrap Posts: 11,713Registered User Senior Member
    Black or African American persons, percent, 2000


    "Black or African American. A person having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa. It includes people who indicate their race as "Black, African Am., or Negro," or provide written entries such as African American, Afro American, Kenyan, Nigerian, or Haitian."
  • ParkitintheyadParkitintheyad Posts: 57Registered User Junior Member
    I have a similiar question .... I am more than half native american. Should I put white or native american ? I read somewhere you can only put native american if you are registered to a tribe , is that true ?
  • ParkitintheyadParkitintheyad Posts: 57Registered User Junior Member
  • pwoodspwoods Posts: 1,096Registered User Senior Member
    I agree with adgeek that it's bad, unethical, and patently stupid to attempt to "trick" the admissions committee into thinking you're black so that you have a better chance of admission. But that's not what I think the situation is here. There is no wrong or right answer to questions of ethnicity; you're supposed to self-identify. And if the OP strongly feels that their heritage is African, to the point that they would rather consider their ethnicity to be African-American rather than Caucasian, that's their right. I'm assuming that the OP is sincere in their connection to Africa, and is not just crassly trying to increase their chances for admission.
  • confidentialcollconfidentialcoll Posts: 2,491Registered User Senior Member
    there's an "other" box, you can check that and specify north african.
Sign In or Register to comment.