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Ivy League admissions for NHRPs

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Replies to: Ivy League admissions for NHRPs

  • sbjdorlosbjdorlo Registered User Posts: 4,791 Senior Member
    This was a very thoughtful reply, copterguy. You're right; neither my son nor we, his parents, know what kind of identity he'll forge in college and beyond, nor what prejudices he might face. I did find it interesting that on some application a while ago (I've forgotten what it was for), he did say he identified himself as Puerto Rican. That's still different to me, however, than actually feeling identified to a whole group of people called "Hispanic". He actually told me yesterday he sometimes thinks of "Hispanic" as Cuban or someone from Dominican Republic, while I had assumed he thought of it in terms of someone from Mexico.

    My dh and I discussed this issue. (And this all came up right now because of the PSAT and another program that my son applied to) We both concluded that we will leave it up to our son to identify or not identify himself as Hispanic. He seems nonchalant and ok about it. My dh helped me wrestle through some of my own personal struggles with it.
  • entomomentomom Registered User Posts: 23,662 Senior Member
    That's still different to me, however, than actually feeling identified to a whole group of people called "Hispanic". He actually told me yesterday he sometimes thinks of "Hispanic" as Cuban or someone from Dominican Republic, while I had assumed he thought of it in terms of someone from Mexico.

    Like any demographic grouping (male/female, young/older, etc.), an extremely wide range of origins and experiences is encompassed under the term Hispanic. It includes people from Spain, to South and North America; from Japanese Peruvians to Mexicans who are descendants of Original Peoples, to white Argentinians of Italian descent, and sometimes (eg. NHRP) to Brazilians. My point is, in declaring himself Hispanic, your S is not saying he identifies with the whole group, but rather with any one part of the group.
  • InterficioInterficio - Posts: 881 Member
    It kills me that I did well on the PSAT this year (200+) but won't be recognized for NHRP as I'm not a citizen or permanent resident. It really sucks in fact... Sometimes I feel I should've just lied.
  • dignified1dignified1 Registered User Posts: 680 Member
    You can't lie. I think they ask you to prove permanent residency. And, citizens generally have to provide their social security numbers as proof.
  • soomoosoomoo Registered User Posts: 443 Member
    @sbjdorlo

    My son's stats look a lot like your son's. He is 1/2 Cuban on his Dad's side. Although his father was raised in a traditional Cuban household, my son is basically a white suburban kid.

    Based on our experience last year with college admissions, declaring him to be Hispanic helped...... a little. (My husband is proud of his heritage and would never have considered not having his son list himself as Hispanic). We got the feeling that colleges are really looking for Hispanics with a compelling story (which we don't have) and we also got the sense that there are tons of very talented Hispanics out there.

    That being said he is currently a freshman at Princeton where he has really started to connect with other Latinos on campus. He has joined a few organizations and is more proud now of his heritage than ever before. He also says that the kids he is meeting are extremely qualified. While their heritage may have given they a tipping factor in admissions, they are certainly well qualified.

    So my advice would be to have your son list his heritage. It is not a lie and it can't hurt. Besides, he might start to connect with it more as he goes forward.
  • sbjdorlosbjdorlo Registered User Posts: 4,791 Senior Member
    Soomoo and entomom, I think you're right in that I could see my son identifying himself with other Puerto Ricans at a highly selective school if he somehow makes it in and we find the resources to pay for it. Soomoo, were you surprised to see him connect with other Latinos on campus?

    My son definitely is a working middle class kid with really no strong racial identity at this point; he's sort of a chamelion. He has several close Asian friends in math, physics, and chess; he does have a new friend, a fellow musician, who is Hispanic and this young man is really nice, but I don't know if they feel any connection because of it. This young man is an excellent pianist and he and my son recorded a CD together; they have a mutual respect for each other.

    I would say my son identifies with lots of "groups": Christians at church (our church is multi-racial), math/physics/chess kids (mostly Asian, Indian, white, Philipino), musicians (mostly white and Asian), and other homeschoolers (mostly white). When he played baseball locally, many/most of the kids were some sort of Hispanic or black mix. Our feeder high school (and one of the many reasons we homeschool) has a graduation rate of less than 50%. One of my son's old teammates got arrested last year for pulling some stupid pranks on the campus. My son is really glad to be away from this group of kids. We love the families and the kids but many of them make such terrible choices.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is he doesn't peg himself as anything and he seems to find his identity through us, his family, his church, and through his activities, rather than through his ethnicity. I also think he's had to work through his blue collar identity with low, safe expectations. Until this year, we didn't really even discuss Ivy League schools. It still seems weird since most of the homschoolers we know go to either community college or the local colleges. I've pressed him and my husband to stretch their imaginations and expectations. My son has some excellent qualifications and it would be really nice if he would be able to be challenged in college on many fronts.

    Oh, and he actually does have a personally compelling story but I don't know that he would be willing to share it.
  • Jesuit1776Jesuit1776 Registered User Posts: 78 Junior Member
    My son is applying to various schools and his top are Notre Dame, Columbia University, and University of Chicago.He loves Notre Dame so if he could get in there that would be great. He has 4.2 weighted gpa, got 31 on the act, and has ton of extra curricular activities including community service. He goes to a high end, private catholic high school but it is not like are income is great, we have had to make a lot of sacrifices including having to write to the president of his school for extra financial aid that usually the school doesn't give and my s has had to work hard at school to pay off his the money they give him for FA. My son is 100% Latino my wife and I both emigrated from Nicaragua. Even though my son wont be First generation since I went to UC Davis (wife did not attend college), I am hoping that hopefully with his grades he can get into one of his top three. But I can tell that his heart right now belongs to Notre Dame but looking from schools naviance, the average gpa is 4.5. I'm hoping since ND doesn't get a lot of applications from Latinos that my son with these stats/ accomplishments will be able to get in there...but I know...what are your thoughts?....o and one thing to add is that he helps with the recruitment of Latinos to his school since 90% of the kids at his school are Caucasian and 3% are Latino
  • entomomentomom Registered User Posts: 23,662 Senior Member
    Hi Jesuit and welcome to the Hispanic Students forum!

    Yes, it can be beneficial to apply to schools who have a difficult time recruiting/retaining Latinos and it is a positive that he has shown interest in the Latino community.

    As long as your S has a solid list of admissions and financial safety/match/reach schools, he'll be fine. He sounds like a great kid who will thrive and make valuable contributions wherever he matriculates.
  • Marko2616Marko2616 Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
    I come from a family where dads highest education is some high school and my mother graduated high school. Well, my brother got into cornell - hotel school early decision with a gpa of 3.7 and a ACT score of 25. His hooks are: Gay, Hispanic, First Generation.
    I'm am now applying to cornell also
  • Tejana13Tejana13 Registered User Posts: 76 Junior Member
    soomoo,

    Can you give us some details on how your son is doing academically at Princeton? My son tells me (he has heard from former students now attending Princeton) that the courses are extremely challenging. Has your son felt that he has been embraced by the Princeton community, mainly the non-latino students/faculty?
  • soomoosoomoo Registered User Posts: 443 Member
    Tejana,

    The classes ARE very challenging at Princeton. My son seems to be doing fine though. He got two As and two Bs his first semester. He says that his biggest challenges are not the class difficulty (he went to a rigorous high school), but are around organization and procrastination. These were huge issues for him in high school too, so I am not surprised.

    Like most of the students there, he has had to make a mental adjustment. He has had to adjust from being the straight A kid to one of many very smart kids. He has had to/ is still learning to accept the Bs also. This has been stressful for him at times but I think it's a good thing to learn to deal with not always being "the best"

    He has found the student body very accepting from day one. He is involved in a very nice extracurricular which has allowed him to meet all types of people and has given his life some necessary balance. His friends are very diverse both racially and ethnically.

    As for faculty, of the eight professors he has had so far, he has loved six and could do without the other two. He never mentioned anything about his ethnicity being a factor in any of his relationships with his professors though.

    The only incident I can think of in which his being Latino might have affected him is this:

    When he was choosing his first semester classes, his adviser didn't want him to take a difficult math class since he "needed to get adjusted to college life". My husband was mad because he (my husband) thought it was because my son is Latino. He swore if his name had been John Smith he would have been told to take the class. (I wasn't so quick to agree). Well he is taking that math class now (second semester) and it IS hard. I am glad that he didn't take it last fall.

    So basically, he is a typical, sometimes stressed, but mostly happy freshman.
  • Tejana13Tejana13 Registered User Posts: 76 Junior Member
    Thanks for the information.... It is so helpful to get the perspectives of those students living on an Ivy campus (which is perhaps very different from the schools/neighborhoods that some URM's come from).

    I'm glad to hear that your son has acclimated well to Princeton. Was Princeton his #1 school? Does he have an idea about what he wants to major in? Is Princeton good about letting the students explore classes (stepping out of their comfort zone) during the first two years.
  • soomoosoomoo Registered User Posts: 443 Member
    Actually, MIT was always his dream school so he applied early and was deferred. If he had gotten in, that would have been the end of it. He only agreed to apply to Princeton since, as I have mentioned in other posts, he had legacy status there. In the regular decision round he was accepted to both MIT and Princeton. After doing revisits and talking it over with teachers, he decided on Princeton. It seemed a bit more well rounded. Even though his interests are in Computer Science and Math he decided he felt he would meet more types of people at a liberal arts school.

    Princeton basically forces you out of your comfort zone in the first two years :) Although there are many courses to choose from within each required area, each student must take 8 classes in specifically defined areas.

    It is true that it can seem like a different world to a URM coming from a very different background. That was my husband's experience when he came to Princeton from the inner city many moons ago. Rest assured though, there are many many students that come from very modest backgrounds at most of these types of schools due to the great financial aid available.
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