Bilingual in common app

I have begun filling out the common app and even though I am not yet done, I started to wonder if I could include that I am bilingual in any of the sections. Also, if I have taken Spanish for the past 6 years and am going on to take AP Spanish next year, could I write that I am trilingual since I am almost fluent?

Bilingual = you were raised speaking two languages
Fluent = you were taught another language in an academic setting.
WRT Spanish, you would be considered fluent.

There is a section for languages.


If you speak two languages fluently, you are bilingual, regardless of the setting you learned those languages in. Otherwise, my parents would be considered monolingual despite speaking 4 languages fluently.

I am fluent in English, Albanian, and Spanish. I am native in English and Albanian. The only real distinction in language learning is whether you’re native or not.

Being bilingual in Spanish does not make you a URM. It just makes you “european” i.e. multilingual.

I’ve noticed in your previous posts that you are trying really hard to fit a “hook” of some kind in your apps to present yourself as a standout. Every student applicant is trying to do the same, but the difference for you is that you are trying to “force” something to appear. It doesn’t work that way.

The things that will stand out and make you an attractive applicant are your GPA and your test scores. Your essays and LOR’s are important. EC’s are secondary.

If you can retake your tests, then do so. For the rest of the information, be truthful and forthright. Not everyone gets to go to an ivy; you’ll be fine.

No. Bilingual = “using or able to use two languages especially with equal fluency.” One can gain fluency in a language without having been raised in it.
Fluent = “capable of using a language easily and accurately”

Regardless, the Common App asks for language in which one is “proficient,” not “fluent.” If you are proficient is 3 languages, list them. Whether 6 years of Spanish made you proficient, only you and your teachers can judge. But if you would be uncomfortable having your college admissions interview in Spanish, I would not list it. It’s not like it’s one of those things that is super-impressive on an application.

I’d be careful listing too many languages you are proficient in. This has come back to bite applicants.

@preppedparent how exactly has it come back to “bite” applicants?

The drill down questions want you to specify speaking, reading and writing ability. I think putting down too many although it may be true, looks like you are overstating your abilities.

@F123alice Once enrolled they are contacted by administrators, students etc. when they find out that you cannot speak the language it constitutes fraud and you could be expelled. You lied on your application.

I can also easily imagine a scenario where an interviewer will have access to certain parts of your application (or will ask for a resume in advance, which is not unusual) and notices the language fluency tout. Will you be prepared to do part of the interview in a language other than English?

If you can handle parts of your interview in these languages, put them.

I put my proficiency in Spanish because I had some experience conversing with native speakers and, therefore, knew that I could handle it. However, I know many people who took AP Spanish and even did well on the exam, but they were not at that level, so make sure you have more of a guideline than AP Spanish.