NOTE: This is NOT an affirmative action discussion nor is it anything politically/socially motivated.
I recently applied to about 10 grad programs in engineering. I was wondering if colleges can find out your race/ethnicity if you choose not to report it?
I'm a white male and chose not to report it, yet I keep getting emails from my prospective grad schools letting me know about their programs for diversity or their "commitment to diversity." Is this just a standard email? I feel that they looked up my ethnicity and somehow have the wrong idea. I have received 3 emails from 3 different schools letting me know about certain programs that specialize in "assisting students of color."
As a white male, I do not understand why I'm getting these emails and worrying that there might have been a mistake. I'm wondering if the schools looked up my records elsewhere and there was a mistake. Maybe there is a mistake and I'm registered as some non-white ethnicity in my standardized test scores or voting record. However, I am under the impression that all this information (gender, race, etc) would be confidential unless it is self-reported on the application.
So this brings me back to my original question, can colleges can find out your race/ethnicity if you choose not to report it?