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"Race" in College Admission FAQ & Discussion 10

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Replies to: "Race" in College Admission FAQ & Discussion 10

  • myKitsunemyKitsune Registered User Posts: 17 New Member
    My parents immigrated from West Africa.

    I graduated high school as a 'hispanic', on my transcript, student file papers, and all.
  • terencterenc Registered User Posts: 1,128 Senior Member
    But if you're going to identify yourself as Hispanic and have not a trace of appreciation for the culture, be it in your essays or activities, than you might as well not even check the box at all. AdComs will know right away and could even see you as a disingenuous person. As we all know, colleges do not like dishonest people.

    All I can say is embrace who you are. If you're lying on your app to make a longshot closer to your grasp, that one factor is probably not going to change much. Check race, don't check your race, say you're an ethnicity that you're really not. It's all legal, but do you want to be lying to yourself?

    Eh... I'm fairly sure not even many Hispanic/Blacks have their racial heritage "bleed" through the app.

    The point is that adcom officers are not going to "assume you're lying" just because your name "doesn't sound Hispanic" even though you checked off the Hispanic box.
    say you're an ethnicity that you're really not. It's all legal, but do you want to be lying to yourself?
    My point is that you cannot tell if someone is lying to themselves, since it is ethnic self-identification. Meaning that their ethnicity is to be determined by them and them alone, NOT to be second-guessed by some outside observer like you who knows nothing about that person's inner identity.
  • CycguyCycguy Registered User Posts: 28 New Member
    Hey Token!

    I had a specific question regarding "sub-races".

    As you can see on the common app - along with most college applications - not only do they ask for your race, but for you to describe your race on the line below. My question is "Do colleges pay attention to that little line? Do they look beyond the broad categories? Or do they just look to see what you've checked and ignore your ethnicity?"

    For example, I'm Sri Lankan, and so I'm considered Asian. However, I identify far more as a Sri Lankan than as an Asian. In my case, my specific ethnicity means a lot more to me than the all-encompassing term "Asian."

    I'm also part white, which I identify as as well.

    If there was a choice to identify as "Multi-Racial/Bi-Racial" I'd pick it in a heartbeat, because, in all honesty, I see myself as bi-racial above everything.

    Ehh...I'm getting off topic. Anyway, to reiterate, my question is "Do colleges pay attention to a specific ethnicity that a person identifies (On the line underneath race)?"

    Thanks!
  • rhandcorhandco Registered User Posts: 4,281 Senior Member
    I agree - I am part Mongolian and part Gypsy, both of which make me Asian, but I don't identify with being Asian except by necessity.

    I wish there was a multi-racial category. My children are European, Asian, and African.

    I also have seen forms that have Indian, Chinese, and Japanese listed, then no "other Asian" listed as if no other Asian countries exist.
  • terencterenc Registered User Posts: 1,128 Senior Member
    You can check off "other" and write "Mixed"
  • tokenadulttokenadult Registered User Posts: 17,471
    As before, there is no "other" box on the college application forms (which have to follow the federal regulations mentioned in the first post above and one of the other first few posts). You either check one or more of the "race" checkboxes provided, or you check none at all.

    A question recently posted asked if colleges regard answers to subcategories that show up in a detailed view of "race" categories on the Common Application or on some college applications, and my guess on that issue is yes, the reason those subcategories appear on some application forms is that some colleges think they are meaningful for making admission decisions. How much weight colleges apply to each subcategory with what relationship to other applicant characteristics is usually not published information, and surely varies from college to college and perhaps also varies from year to year (depending, for example, on who else is applying that year). If you think your own personal background is unusual and interesting and would add value to the entering class of a college to which you are applying, you may as well mention it. If you think your own ethnic or national origin heritage is not the most persuasive aspect of your application, emphasize something else. Every applicant should tell the truth, and colleges do have some means for checking what applicants say, but all applicants are allowed to put their best foot forward while applying.

    Good luck to everyone applying in the next admission season.
  • medavincimedavinci Registered User Posts: 174 Junior Member
    Very few colleges give you the option to check two races which is crazy. Dartmouth, for example, specifically asks your race, and they tell you that they are looking for an ethnically diverse population, so when they ask, it helps them and gives people a chance for scholarship opportunities. To say you are either white or black or native american or pacific islander on some apps is unfair to latinos. They completely leave them off on some of the college apps. If you are white and hispanic (my mom is from spain) then you should be able to check both. Some colleges will say hispanic including spain. The whole thing is ridiculous. It's 2012 and why should someone get a scholarship opportunity because of their color/race? IF YOU ARE POOR, yes, by all means, and that means WHITE people too. Do you know how many poor white people there are in the inner cities and Appalachia? And how many super wealthy african americans there are in affluent areas like CA, NY, NJ and CT? It's all absurd and should be solely based on income. That's just my two cents. I have seen people who are blond hair blue-eyed and they will check all 4 boxes on the race question. They lie just to boost their chances of getting in. My friend is beautiful. She has black hair and freckles and everyone thinks she is Irish and perhaps spanish. Her mother is african american mother and her father is dutch/irish. No one would EVER guess it. It's just plain silly what is going on today. This is from Dartmouth's website on their mailing list questionnaire:

    "We are interested in drawing together a community of students that collectively represents as wide a spectrum of backgrounds, perspectives and interests as possible. Among a wide array of recruitment activities, admissions officers, students and alumni participate in the recruitment of prospective students of color. If you choose to identify yourself as a member of an underrepresented minority group, it will allow us to provide you with supplemental information and to pass your name on to student and alumni groups that may be sponsoring events of interest to you."
  • tokenadulttokenadult Registered User Posts: 17,471
    Very few colleges give you the option to check two races which is crazy.

    Untrue. All colleges that follow the federal regulation, which should be every one of them, allow students to choose one or more "race" categories (or none at all, by declining to answer the question). This is controlled by the federal regulation mentioned in the first post of this thread. The Common Application, which Dartmouth and hundreds of other colleges use, follows the federal regulation in its structure by making clear that the Hispanic/Latino ethnicity question is optional and that the following race question, which lists all the federal categories, is also optional. It suggests to applicants, "(Check one or more and describe your background.)" Very clearly, any college that allows you to use the Common Application allows you to self-report two or three or all of the federally defined "race" categories, as you wish.

    If colleges are trying to recruit students in advance with questionnaires for targeting recruitment, those questionnaires probably have to meet the same federal regulation. (This would be an interesting issue to check.) Responding to a recruiting questionnaire is not any required part of the application process.
  • neorobieneorobie Registered User Posts: 561 Member
    parkemuth: Wow!! Thank you for sharing the link to that moving essay.

    I've always felt strongly against affirmative action and that essay really resonates why I feel that way!!

    I don't understand why diversity should be limited to race. And I guess nowadays technically its not since there is gender and sexuality in the mix-but even then why limit diversity just to those as well? there are diversity of beliefs, of ideas of cultures of... well so many things that will cause a college application to take so much time to fill out if a separate box is made for each of those.

    Therefore I think the whole affirmative action thing should be chucked(but not like my opinion is gunna change anything :3 ). Have applications only identified by their commonapp id and give every student a fair chance to introduce themselves with the essay. Because clearly, with the link that parkemuth shared, 2 people of the same race doesn't mean lack of diversity besides skin color.

    heh heh I always feel scared to post in this thread but I've held back too long XD
  • gpakistangpakistan Registered User Posts: 85 Junior Member
    I'm sorry if this has been mentioned already. I am kind of in a rush, so I did not have time to look through all the posts. However, I did read before that race significantly defines whether you make it or break it.

    I heard that Asian students have to recieve at least 150 on average a higher SAT score in addition to extracurriculars, etc - basically above average compared to other races.

    I heard that Caucasian students have to recieve basically what is required, and will be considered even if its the wee minimum.

    I heard that African American students, as well as Hispanics, can go a bit under what is required and still make it in.

    This does make sense for me because I am well aware that there is a greater Asian to other ethnic group porpotion in terms of US population in ivies and other good school, and a lower proportion of African Americans and Hispanics.

    However, as an Asian American, I find this incredibly unfair and aggravating. My parents put even more stress because of this and the increased competition not only because of globalization but to "fight" for a spot as an Asian statistic. I understand colleges can't have a 70% Asian population, with a 20% Caucasian population and 10% African American population (this is EXAGGERATED. Please don't take offense), but it's a little messed up.

    Does anyone know more information about this?
  • ExoGenesisExoGenesis Registered User Posts: 19 New Member
    For the sake of clarification, I need to ask this.

    I'm predominately Greek (I look the part and just about everything else), yet I'm a quarter Ecuadorian and a quarter Italian. When i select Hispanic, which i pretty much am, will it not look weird that I have a Greek first and late name despite selecting Hispanic as my ethnicity?

    From the sound of it, colleges take self identification as just that, a matter of preference and opinion. But do they ever question an applicant's ethnicity anyway and ask for some sort of proof? Again, point me out if i sound ridiculous in any way.
  • SciManSciMan Registered User Posts: 167 Junior Member
    i have considered applying unknown race/ethicity but with a last name of Wong
    it screams Chinese so i dont see the point. I go into applying to colleges with the mindset that being asian is unlucky and nothing i/ federal law can do to give me a fair chance.

    On top of that i have "unAsian/asian-fail" grades and sat scores (3.8/1800) which makes me at an extrenely disadvantage in the college process.

    I was not president of any club (not even math/science club) and did not invent sci/med stuff or save lives.

    Maybe i'm just a little bit bitter....
This discussion has been closed.