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Question...

ZCS189ZCS189 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
edited August 2013 in Hispanic Students
Hi, my name is Zack. I recently learned of my Spanish heritage as I started to begin my applications. I learned that my maternal grandmother was a Sephardic Jew (from Spain), but because she married a white European, my name doesn't sound Hispanic. If I did not put Hispanic on any exams (I don't remember if you even put that stuff on the bubble sheets), do you think it will change anything if I put Hispanic on my common app?

Sorry I'm new here and haven't done much reading in the forums. If this was already answered, please feel free to just tell me to stop being lazy.

Thanks for your time, any response is appreciated.
Post edited by ZCS189 on

Replies to: Question...

  • ZCS189ZCS189 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    To clarify, I never met my mother/mothers parents.
  • sosomenzasosomenza - Posts: 2,122 Senior Member
    Zack for an elite schools being Hispanic won't likely get you anywhere without the GPA & boards. BTW Spanish and Hispanic are very different. One is European the other is not. I think if your a try a little harder that you will suddenly recall with amazing detail that Bube was actually from South America.
  • jorgie14jorgie14 Registered User Posts: 22 New Member
    Well actually, you are Hispanic if you are Spanish. So Zack, you can be considered Latino. Because you are descended from a Latin Speaking country, or 25% Latino. So now you qualify for many other scholarships and applications. Take advantage of it! Prove it with a nearby Spanish consulate and start put of white an Latino on exams and forms
  • sosomenzasosomenza - Posts: 2,122 Senior Member
    Because you are descended from a Latin Speaking country, or 25% Latino. So now you qualify for many other scholarships and applications.

    Latino refers to Latin American countries. I doubt Spanish counts as Hispanic. calculation.
  • mokusatsumokusatsu Registered User Posts: 538 Member
  • sosomenzasosomenza - Posts: 2,122 Senior Member
    Thanks for the correction- Mokatsu.
  • entomomentomom Registered User Posts: 23,662 Senior Member
    BTW Spanish and Hispanic are very different. One is European the other is not. I think if your a try a little harder that you will suddenly recall with amazing detail that Bube was actually from South America.
    I doubt Spanish counts as Hispanic.

    Both college admissions, which uses the US Census definition, and NHRP include Spain as Hispanic countries. Other scholarships may or may not include Spain, you need to check the college websites.
    Because you are descended from a Latin Speaking country, or 25% Latino. So now you qualify for many other scholarships and applications.

    25% is the threshold for NHRP while some other scholarships use 50%, you need to check the websites; college admissions does not use a percentage.

    Now that that's cleared up. I think the OP should consider two things:

    1. College admissions uses the census definition of Hispanic, which is that the applicant 'identifies' as Hispanic. While many scholarships, like NHRP, use a threshold percentage of Hispanic background to qualify, college admissions does not. So it is up to the OP to determine if having "recently learned" of their Hispanic background, do they in fact 'identify' as Hispanic?

    2. Just checking the box is only the first step, all Hispanics are not considered equal. For some discussion of the other factors that colleges look at within the pool of Hispanic candidates, see post #2 here and the other link given:

    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/hispanic-students/1229462-does-being-hispanic-have-any-impact-all.html

    x-posted w/soso
  • ZCS189ZCS189 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    Thank you all for the responses. My top choice for ED is Duke. I have a 34 ACT and a 3.8 UW, with AP/Honors classes. Good ECs and most likely good recommendations from teachers.

    My grandmother is definitely from Spain. I reconfirmed with my dad after he told me yesterday to fill out Hispanic from Spain on the common app. Has anyone heard of a college questioning whether someone is or is not Hispanic? I'm just a bit paranoid about the whole thing.

    Again, thanks for the responses.
  • entomomentomom Registered User Posts: 23,662 Senior Member
    My grandmother is definitely from Spain.

    I will reiterate one more time, the key factor for marking Hispanic for college admissions is if part of your ethnic identity is Hispanic, not if you have blood relatives from a Hispanic country, there is a difference. See this article discussing the concepts of race and ethnicity:

    Concepts of Diversity

    Ethnicity is a social construct, not a genetic one; and it is situational (eg. were you raised with recognition and awareness of your Hispanic cultural background), not permanent like the percentage of blood running through your veins.

    As I stated before, this is for each individual to decide. But you should understand the accurate definitions of these concepts in making an informed decision, not one based on the misconceptions of you or others.

    p.s. no need to be paranoid when you answer truthfully.
  • WordWorldWordWorld Registered User Posts: 377 Member
    Entomom has it right, it is all about how you identify. With my son, it was a close call but we ultimately decided that Hispanic was definitely a part of his life even though his name did not "sound" Hispanic and he looked more European than Hispanic. He had a lot more identification than you, though. Family dinners every Sunday with (often) traditional ethnic food cooked by his Salvadoran grandmother. Many family members for whom English was a second language (my son and his father--my husband--are both fluent, I am the gringa!). It is not necessary that you speak Spanish, but I think it is a consideration in evaluating "how Hispanic" you are. Other things are hard to quantify--being taught that when you or an elder enter a room, YOU go to THEM and kiss their cheek. Extreme deference to the eldest generation (ours is the last survivor of the generation above my MIL--what she says is LAW!). Strong family ties, loud family parties with everyone talking at once, it can be crazy but a lot of fun! I'm not saying Anglos don't have a lot of this, but having married into the family, this is my sense of what makes it Hispanic, very different from my upbringing.
    BTW, as for proof, we actually were required to prove the ancestry--my husband's birth certificate reflects that his mother is Salvadoran, we had to bring that certificate and our son's birth certificate to the Guidance Office before they would sign off on him for NHRP.
  • entomomentomom Registered User Posts: 23,662 Senior Member
    WW,

    Thanks for your input on this subject, one that a lot of people seem to have a hard time wrapping their heads around. Likely because it is more complex and nuanced than race in many ways. The other confounding factor is the preconceived notion of what it means to be Hispanic that our culture and media have promoted.

    Your kids are excellent examples of how one needs to go through the thought process to come out with a decision they are comfortable with. That's why we try on this forum to present the definitions used by college admissions/scholarships and leave it up to each member to make that personal choice.

    It's interesting that your HS asked for proof of Hispanic heritage. I haven't heard that before, but as usual each HS operates differently.
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