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"Race" in College Applications FAQ & Discussion 12

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Replies to: "Race" in College Applications FAQ & Discussion 12

  • blueringbluering Registered User Posts: 18 Junior Member
    Wow, I don't even know where to begin. I think this is a very harsh comment and one I have not experienced. My daughter goes to a school with over 50% Asian and they are the most active, caring, and involved families. And it isn't just academics. While the relationship may look different to you, I would not interpret this as the parent-child relationship being "secondary".

    Can you point out where in my post I said that Asian americans are not active, caring and involved? I am speaking from my own experience which you are inclined to agree or disagree with and that is fine. You may believe that my comment is harsh, but this has been my experience as an Asian american who grew up with strict immigrant parents. This is also the experience of fellow Asian american friends who experienced a similar childhood however this is not the experience of every Asian american person.

    "Sheesh, what is your source and in what context? Please realize this may include a variety of family types that have nothing to do with the topic. As the single adoptive mother of a different race child (who does very well, by the way), this comment on a board such as this spreads a lot of misinformation."

    There are many contributing factors to determine a child's success, but I strongly believe that having both biological parents together is a great starting point and to the child's benefit. Can a child succeed without it? Of course and absolutely. The challenges are there to overcome. Also, I want to add that simply erasing people's opinions and viewpoints just because you don't agree with them is not part of the solution.
  • calmomcalmom Registered User Posts: 20,106 Senior Member
    Why would it matter if parents are biological vs. adoptive? Adoptive parents love their kids the same.
  • hebegebehebegebe Registered User Posts: 2,343 Senior Member
    I wouldn't be surprised if adopted children have slightly better outcomes than biological parents. With adopted children we know that the children were wanted.
  • ChangeTheGameChangeTheGame Registered User Posts: 495 Member
    @hebegebe There is no gift larger than choosing a child to love and bring into one’s own family. But the outcomes tend not to be as good as two biological parents. One large reason may be that adoptive parents choose kids with health conditions at a much higher rate than kids who are born into society as a whole. But just looking at raw numbers doesn’t give adoptive parents enough credit for the service they provide in loving children who may have been “lost” otherwise. Here is one such study on adoption vs. biological outcomes in very young students.

    https://ifstudies.org/blog/the-adoptive-difference-new-evidence-on-how-adopted-children-perform-in-school
  • hebegebehebegebe Registered User Posts: 2,343 Senior Member
    That was an enlightening report @ChangeTheGame. Interestingly the outcomes mentioned in the report matches what we saw with a family friend who adopted a child. Their biological daughter went to Princeton, but their adopted daughter got caught up in drugs, moved away after high school, couldn't hold a job, and now has no contact with the family. We thought it was just an unfortunate and atypical situation.
  • websensationwebsensation Registered User Posts: 1,927 Senior Member
    edited January 17
    @ChangeTheGame "I have talked about this once before, but I am coming back to it now because my African American son (current HS junior with ~3.8 GPA UW and 35 ACT) told me yesterday after looking at the collegiate landscape that he is not going to even consider any top 20 schools and will only apply to HBCUs (besides in-state Georgia Tech and UGA). The political/racial divisions in the US have started to change his outlook (along with his big sister thriving in a HBCU space) and I am seeing an uptick in HBCU interest among elite African Americans students in our area. It seems kind of ironic to me that my daughter and now my son have both made a choice to lean towards HBCUs partially because their race won’t matter at all at HBCUs.

    One of the topics that I have thought about a lot recently and wanted to bring up is the “worthiness factor” of URMs. While I don’t personally agree with racial preferences (or many other preferences for that matter), people need to be careful when implying that URMs are unworthy mainly because of a 4 hour test, because it doesn’t test for work ethic, determination, ability to overcome hardships, and true ingenuity. I have never heard any other preference spoken of with so many “coded words” for being unworthy. Believing that race based preferences is illegal is one thing, but implying that (past, present and future) URMs are unworthy due to elite admissions policies, crosses a line."

    I agree with the above point. However, in a similar vein, I think people need to be careful when they imply that the essays or ECs of Asian American kids with high stats are lacking, or they fall short in personality areas.


  • ChangeTheGameChangeTheGame Registered User Posts: 495 Member
    @websensation You speak the truth, my friend. I have seen 1st hand where someone will try and group Asian-Americans in stereotypes that try and lower an entire group in the eyes of admissions. That is just wrong.

    I was talking to a URM student recently who applied to a few elite schools in RD and I wanted to put in perspective the challenge they faced. I gave the students some approximate numbers of the challenge of getting into an Ivy League school for ALL students. For the class of 2022, ~22,000 students were accepted to the 8 schools out of ~316,000 applicants and there are about ~15,000 students matriculating for the Ivy League incoming class of 2022. Once you get to RD, the percentages are so very small, it is very tough. But I was happy that she took her shot and she has nothing to lose. Looking at those numbers up close for the 1st time, it just puts things in perspective for me. Even if every URM spot currently in the Ivy League was redistributed in a total meritocracy (guessing anywhere between maybe 3,000 and 3,500 URMs in an Ivy class or about 20-24 percent of a class which could be wrong), there is no way that every qualified student would even get close to an acceptance at any of the schools. 290,000+ rejections or deferrals that become a rejection occurred last year for 8 schools. That is just an amazing stat to me.
  • theloniusmonktheloniusmonk Registered User Posts: 1,945 Senior Member
    That is a large number, but that's not 316,000 unique applicants right? There has to be many applicants who apply to more than one ivy. If you assume one applicant applies to 2 or 2.5 ivies on average, may be that goes down to 156,000 or 125,000 applicants.
  • collegemomjamcollegemomjam Registered User Posts: 1,695 Senior Member
    Regardless of the numbers and statistics, no matter how you slice it, I think @ChangeTheGame's point:

    "...there is no way that every qualified student would even get close to an acceptance at any of the schools."

    is the most important point of this whole debate, IMO.

    There just aren't enough spots, URM's getting in with lower stats or not. There is simply not enough supply to meet the demand.

    But there are lots and lots of fabulous schools the "rejects" will get in to and there is no reason to believe they will have less opportunity in life as a result of not getting into an Ivy or their "top choice" whatever that may be.
  • ChangeTheGameChangeTheGame Registered User Posts: 495 Member
    @theloniusmonk You are right. I said applicants instead of applications. But I don't know how you cull down even 125,000 applicants for ~ 15,000 spots without someone getting mad. Especially in this age with more high standardized test scores than ever. The class of 2018 had ~67,000 ACT scores at a 33 or higher. If you add in the SAT equivalent students scores who only took the SAT, those numbers could reach upwards of 100,000 students. And the numbers are probably complicated by the fact that there are hundreds of thousands of high GPA students and all kinds of ECs to review. I don't envy the job that has to be done to build a class of students when the qualifications looks so similar from my own untrained view.
  • collegemomjamcollegemomjam Registered User Posts: 1,695 Senior Member
    I agree there are so many more applicants with incredible scores, GPA's, and EC's. Are the kids getting smarter, working harder or neither? My son has a 1420 on his first shot at the SAT (he's a junior) and a great GPA, EC's etc., but I'm not getting his hopes up, even if he gets the score into the 1500 range which is his goal. He will just be one of many, even with a 1550, applying to a top school. This is why applicants need a realistic list...absolutely there should be some top choice reach schools (because you might be one of the lucky ones), but there need to be more match/safer choices on there that they are comfortable with. It's just the way it is, no matter what your background is.
  • calmomcalmom Registered User Posts: 20,106 Senior Member
    I think changes in test design combined with current cultural norms that encourage intensive prep and repeat testing have led to the higher scores. It's a huge driver of revenue to the testing companies. It also makes it possible for elite schools to draw from higher cutoff scores....which is great for their rankings. And at the same time, it means that the test scores are far less meaningful in the admissions process. Instead of a useful metric to distinguish among applicants, the scores simply take on a gatekeeping role.
  • ChangeTheGameChangeTheGame Registered User Posts: 495 Member
    The test scores are definitely higher today, but I also wonder if technology may be the biggest culprit. It was much harder in my high school years (mid-90’s) for someone to even get to 10 college applications and most of the students I knew did between 2-5 college applications and most had little parental help in the process. It is so much easier with electronic applications that I would not be surprised if most top students apply to 15-20 schools.

    It seemed like some White and Asian American students with no hooks at the 25th percentile for test scores could make it into top schools in my era, but that seems almost impossible today just looking at the raw numbers of applications received. And if those students are from a lower SES background, it may be impossible, which is one of my biggest concerns with the current process. But there are just not enough seats at the “tippy top” schools and some one will get left out in the cold in today’s environment.
  • SatchelSFSatchelSF Registered User Posts: 1,066 Senior Member
    I wouldn't be surprised if adopted children have slightly better outcomes than biological parents.
    I would. Nature is much more important than nurture. Kids who are adopted out are more likely to have had parents with problems. These are passed down to the biological children, and no amount of love or good parenting by the adopting parents is going to make a difference.
  • havesomehearthavesomeheart Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    A bit off topic but for those who are interested in Nature vs Nurture, a great documentary released in 2018 is Three Identical Strangers (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Identical_Strangers). It's definitely a "truth is stranger than fiction" story, but in brief it discusses the story of 3 identical triplets who were raised in 3 different households, who only find each other during their college years. The documentary is great because it shows that the whole Nature vs Nurture debate is quite complex. When the triplets are in their early 20s, the documentary suggests that despite being raised in completely different environments, Nature aspects easily over-ride these differences, but later in life, Nurture aspects come to play a larger role than expected. A fascinating story but demonstrating at least to me, that any black or white (no pun intended) or simplistic view of a complex matter is destined to be wrong.
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