Are mixed race students discriminated against?

There are much fewer studies on how mixed race students are treated in the college admission process. I never gave my race much thought because I thought it was an archaic concept. But on reaching the US, I realize that race & racism is still a big thing!

My ethnicity is half Indian, half German, but I look more Hispanic/White and have a European last name. So my questions are:

  1. are both races considered by colleges, or only one?
  2. i have an opportunity to change my race on paper, so is it better to chose White or Indian/Asian or Mixed race?
  3. is it overall an advantage or disadvantage to be mixed race?

I realize the discrimination may be subtle, but I’d naturally rather be at an advantage that a disadvantage. I don’t match most Asian stereotypes. My parents aren’t pressurizing me OR being indifferent. They do want me to be successful, but they leave the responsibility up to me unless I need their help. I’m the one who puts pressure on myself to be in the 0.1%; I’m the one who started playing piano at 6; I’m the one who tolerates things I don’t enjoy to achieve MY goals, because I’m the one who is affected by my actions-- not my parents. My scores and ECs are sufficiently high that I could weather some discrimination, but I’d rather not.

“race” in the US doesnt mean “what you look like”, unlike in Europe. It refers to physical or cultural traits that have traditionally suffered from discrimination in the US, so that their number is increased on campus to reflect their weight in the population (sorta… not really there, but trying to).
Half German, Half Indian = White (or Indian, but that’d place you into ORM category). You can also put “biracial”.
This doesn’t matter anyway if you’re not an American citizen - you’d be seen as “German” regardless of skin color.

Thanks for your response, but what are these “physical or cultural traits that have traditionally suffered from discrimination” specifically? I would not mind changing my race on paper to “Black” at all if appearance/lineage really didn’t matter and I just needed to emulate those traits. Sorry to bother you, but this concept confuses the hell out of me, lol.

Are biracials ORMs or URMs or PRMs(perfectly represented)?

And are you saying that national quotas are considered before or without racial ones? i.e, A URM race student would be ignored if they come from a ORM country?

Why would you change your race on paper to black if you’re a white European? The question isn’t designed to give students an opportunity to “change their race,” it’s to collect data for federal reporting purposes. Pretending to be black to gain an advantage in college admissions is a dreadful idea. You want the perceived advantages of being a URM without having to experience any of the disadvantages? That’s extremely insulting to those members of our community who can legitimately check that box but can’t change it at will depending on what’s more convenient at the time. It’s not really that confusing. Check the boxes that actually apply to you and move on.

OP, take a look at the race in college admission thread pinned at the top of the College Admissions forum.

I have to doubt the level of thinking (or genuineness of the question,) when one says, “I would not mind changing my race on paper to “Black” at all if appearance/lineage really didn’t matter and I just needed to emulate those traits.”

Answer the question based on your reality. Or ignore the question. If you are a good match for the college, being half Indian isn’t going to stop them from considering you…no matter how much you worry.

But you better dig a lot deeper than this racial question, if you want to match what the colleges are looking for.

Question: what advice do your parents give you since it’s reasonable to assume they thought about such issues?

Your perception of whether you fit in with a racial stereotype does not change your race. It’s not pick and choose.

Then it shouldn’t hurt you to check both the Asian and Caucasian boxes.

It’s my opinion that many Americans, especially those on selective college campuses, find multiracial people intrinsically cool and interesting. And since you are biracial, put that.

My sarcastic statement was intended to question the importance of appearance. After all, only people who appear to be of one race would experience racism directed at that race. But apparently, appearance is not considered by federal definitions when it is really most of what actually matters.

So for one, what does “legitimately” mean? Does one need to look black? Be treated black? Act black? And if it’s only “to collect data for federal reporting purposes”, why is race displayed on many federal ID cards?

Additionally, the US has a plethora of diversely structured communities and the treatment of any particular group is going to be different in each community. These “advantages” and “disadvantages” are not universal and certainly not exclusively felt by a specific race.

You also imply that all URMs experience advantages and, extrapolating, that all ORMs experience advantages. But what “advantages” do Indians or Asians get that other races do not? What is the basis for their discrimination against in college admissions?

I say the concept of race is confusing because it is subjective rather than objective, and it is fundamentally flawed to objectify an inherently subjective concept.

You have some learning to do, about race in the US (and other lands.) And a little US history. Sorry, but it almost seems you’re questioning for the sport of it. Many of us who work close to admissions question this certainty of discrimination against Asian Americans…and many tell us we’re wrong. So be it. As someone said, go over to the race in admissions thread and explore with them.

You’re overthinking this, which is causing unnecessary confusion. You are mixed race, and that is what you should select on admission forms. At the vast majority of colleges, it will probably help you, and I sincerely doubt it would hurt you at any college.

If you are a foreign student, admissions will put you in the international bucket, not in any of the race buckets.
You will be competing against other German applicants. So your race will be irrelevant in admissions.

If you study in the USA, you will not be discriminated against based on your apparent race by others. As an immigrant, I can tell you honestly, the USA is the least racist country in the world.

Are you an american citizen? When did you move to European how old were you? Do you visit the us on a regular basis?

Ah, that was helpful.

People in general find me interesting either way because of my personality, but my real question is whether the admissions officers would find biracial interesting, bad or good, however subtlety.

Agreed, I am very paranoid. I was worried about how fast I filled the OMR bubbles on my SAT when, in reality, I could only shave off 10 seconds. The 10 seconds in life don’t define you, but they do tend to add up. Are you cognizant of any other nuanced aspects that

Then it shouldn’t hurt you to check both the Asian and Caucasian boxes.
It doesn’t hurt by much, but I could be doing more productive things than having to put in extra effort on arbitrary exams just because of some social bias.

it’d only matter in any way if you’re an American citizen, which is why it’s been asked twice.

None of us are admissions officers, so any answers to that question would be speculative at best.

This was one of my main questions, thanks. But I’m not a German. I’m of Indian-American nationality md of German and Indian descent.

I’ll probably be granted citizenship before I start college, but ‘atm’ I am an Indian citizen.

So, you’re an Indian citizen with one Indian parent and one German parent? I think indicating that you’re biracial can only help you with admissions officers, but will probably make no difference.