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Please help me understand a Hook?

Momma4Momma4 Posts: 41Registered User Junior Member
edited October 2011 in Parents Forum
Hello All,

Please bear with me, as I try to make sense of some info given me. During conversation, a trusted friend of mine told me that my children may be at an advantage over others, due to the fact that DH is foreign born. Is this possible, and how do I pursue this? Son is a junior at Boarding school, and daughter a Soph at a Caholic independent school.

Thank you
Post edited by Momma4 on
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Replies to: Please help me understand a Hook?

  • momrathmomrath Posts: 4,852Registered User Senior Member
    Momma, Diversity is a catchall phrase for life experiences that can be considered hooks. at many -- but not all -- colleges.

    Having a "foreign born" parent is not significant in itself, but your husband's culture/race/religion/ethnic group may have affected your children's life experiences in a way that would be appealing to some colleges. Private colleges, especially those that are located in the Midwest and in rural environments, have a hard time recruiting high achieving non-White, non-middle class kids. If your children fall into a racial, ethnic or econonic demographic that is under-represented at a college, this could be an advantage.

    Generally speaking this isn't true of big name colleges, large universities and urban schools, which get a large pool of diverse applicants.

    Colleges are looking for kids who will contribute different and multi-cultural perspectives to the campus community. If your children's family experience reflects a multi-cultural environment, then they should project this in their essays and recommendations. Possibly in their extracurriculars.
  • entomomentomom Posts: 23,661Registered User Senior Member
    First of all, what country is your husband from? Are your children AA or Hispanic (I'm assuming they're not AI/AN since this is based on your foreign born husband)?
  • Momma4Momma4 Posts: 41Registered User Junior Member
    My husband was born and raised in Syria.
  • csdadcsdad Posts: 1,942Registered User Senior Member
    You only needs "hooks" to up your chances at top tier schools....and at those schools having foreign born parents is not a hook.
  • NJSueNJSue Posts: 2,255Registered User Senior Member
    Momrath is right.

    FWIW, on the part of the Rutgers application where it asks about the student's racial category (what other way to put it?), students of Middle Eastern extraction are told to place themselves under the "white" category.
  • glidoglido Posts: 5,082Registered User Senior Member
    The schools that use race in admissions generally are seeking African-Americans, Hispanics and Native-Americans who have tribal IDs.
  • Momma4Momma4 Posts: 41Registered User Junior Member
    Thanks all for the clarifications.
  • thumper1thumper1 Posts: 38,348Registered User Senior Member
    My husband was born outside of the U.S. and lived there MOST of his own life until he came to the U.S. for college (he is a U.S. citizen). This, I believe, helped my HUSBAND get accepted to college...but it offered absolutely NO gain for either of my kids.

    There are many kids applying to elite schools with parents who have lived abroad or currently live overseas. There are many international schools with U.S. citizens abroad and many expats who attend other schools as well. I seriously doubt this is a hook.

    In my opinion....a true "hook" is something that the student has that NO ONE else has....or very few people have....that the SCHOOL would like to see added to their college student list.
  • fireandrainfireandrain Posts: 3,512Registered User Senior Member
    Also, a kid with a "hook" has something that meets an institutional priority for a college. If a college wants kids from every state and has few applicants from North Dakota, that applicant from ND has a "hook."
  • GlobalNomadGlobalNomad Posts: 198Registered User Junior Member
    I agree with momrath in post #2: "Colleges are looking for kids who will contribute different and multi-cultural perspectives to the campus community. If your children's family experience reflects a multi-cultural environment, then they should project this in their essays and recommendations. Possibly in their extracurriculars."

    In our (non-URM) experience, if colleges believe your kids will bring something unique to the campus community because of their father's "foreign" heritage AND because they have demonstrated application of that "specialty" in extracurriculars in high school, then it might be considered a "hook" at colleges looking for geographic/cultural diversity.
  • thumper1thumper1 Posts: 38,348Registered User Senior Member
    I think the point here..it's only going to help your kids if THEY bring something unique to their college application. If it's simply that their father was born and raised in Syria, unless there is something very unique that the STUDENTS themselves have related to this, it really won't matter.
  • momrathmomrath Posts: 4,852Registered User Senior Member
    What nomad & thumper say is exactly the point. The advantage is more nuanced and cultural than racial. The admissions committee isn't going to say "Hey, father born in Syria, let's admit!" What would make this situation "hookable" would be if the applicant used his/her multi-cultural background to explain what s/he could contribute to the campus community, both in and out of the classroom.

    There are no hotter topics on campus these days than the Middle East and Islam. If the OP's child has an "insider" perspective than s/he should figure out how to get that across in his/her essays, interviews, resumes, extracurriculara and recommendations.
  • Momma4Momma4 Posts: 41Registered User Junior Member
    Thank you all so much for your insight.
  • GMTplus7GMTplus7 Posts: 6,695Registered User Senior Member
    Neither having foreign-born parents nor being foreign-born is a hook. America is a country of immigrants. Being foreign-born is unexceptional, unless you have an interesting angle: e.g., recent refugee who escaped genocide and near starvation in the Sudan.

    Having a foreign passport or foreign residency is a hook. A foreign passport or residency allows a school to add to their stat for percentage of int'l students.
  • sybbie719sybbie719 Posts: 16,973Super Moderator Senior Member
    Having a foreign passport or foreign residency is a hook. A foreign passport or residency allows a school to add to their stat for percentage of int'l students.

    Actually, this is not true. International students are defined as students who are not US citizens and permanent residents.

    For some families being international student can be challenging as there are only 6 colleges in the country that are both need blind and meet 100% of demonstrated need for international students.

    Most colleges are not need blind to international students, so the ability to pay will be a factor in admissions. Many schools offer limited or no financial aid to international students. Finally, the international pool is extremely competitive with a low acceptance rate.
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