Eliminating College Adcom Bias

<p>I was wondering whether college adcoms see your name during the admissions process? </p>

<p>My name inherently states my race, and I would like to minimize the effects of any bias by the adcom on my application.</p>

<p>I'm sure the computer has already pegged you with the box you check for your race way before the adcoms see your application.</p>

<p>Could you explain? I have no obligation to state my race on my applications and thus have not checked any boxes pertaining to my race.</p>

<p>Yes, adcoms see your name. But if your stats, EC, essays, and recs are all amazing, you will likely still get in. It you are really, truly deserving you will get in. So relax. They are not going to say "Oh he's Asian, let's not admit him in." You just won't get a any racial preference, like you would if you were a URM.</p>

<p>^But he'll be disadvantaged for being Asian. I've read somewhere that being Asian pretty much takes 200 points from your SAT score while being native American adds 250.</p>

<p>I'm planning on not reporting my race, because my name isn't really that "Asian-sounding" like Zhang, Li, or Wang. However, IDK if I should because my ECs are quite "un-Asian" so putting Asian might benefit me a little because I could stand out from the typically science/math inclined Asian pool.</p>

<p>Born2dance94, it's not an issue of "Oh he's Asian, let's not admit him in." but rather about giving adcoms a basis for affirmative action.</p>

<p>You're not disadvantaged for being Asian. They don't downplay your achievements or literally deduct points on some scoring system. As I mentioned, you simply would not get a leg up, like URMs sometimes get (though it's not nearly as high as many white and Asian kids claim it is when denouncing affirmative action as a horrible reverse-racist system).</p>

<p>Many Native Americans live in squalor on reservations where they recieve completely sub-par education. It is usually more impressive for them to get a 2100 on the SAT than it is for someone who is white or Asian, or even Hispanic or African American. So it is just another part of the entire hollistic approach to the application process. You need to put it in context. If they were able to utilize what was available to them in life (which is quite often way less than other races) to score really well, it is more impressive than an Asian or white kid from a middle class family in New York getting those same stats. Of course, an Asian kid who comes from squalor would also get a boost in admissions as part of that whole hollistic system. Because they accomplished greatness with few resources. Why was the story of Slumdog Millionaire (and the real life example of it that took place a few weeks ago) so incredible? Not because he won the game show, but because he had no education and little resources in life yet still managed to win the game show.</p>

<p>And frankly, there is nothing the OP can do about the situation. His name is pretty clearly Asian, so there's no point in working himself up over the "consequences" (real or imagined) of his race. There are so many things in the college process which you can control, and they are stressful enough. Why weigh yourself down with questions that have been argued over for years that will never be accurately answered and you cannot change?</p>

<p>Just work on everything else about your application being great, and if it stands out, they won't be looking at your race at all. They'll want to admit you because you are able to standout among everyone. They won't want to admit someone, then look at their race, then decide not to admit them afterall. I know we high schoolers tend to have a lot of cynicism about the admissions process, but adcoms aren't out to get us, regardless of gender, race, or socioeconomic class.</p>

<p>@fellow Asian, I don't think adcoms can just assume someone's Asian based on their name (if they didn't report race). Because, there's no way they can be certain of a person's race just based on name. For example, if an Asian kid was adopted by African-American parents who named him Tyrone Jamal Jenkins, he'll seem to be black because of his name but he actually isn't. Similarly, if a black kid was adopted by Asian parents who named him Wong Fat Chow, the same thing happens. I could be wrong though =/</p>

<p>@born2dance: The thing is, there are plenty of URMs who are pretty well off. Take my school for example. There are a bunch of them who wear custom Nikes and gold chains to school, yet they still get a leg up because of the color of their skin. I'm pretty sure an upper class African American who got a 2200 on the SAT would still have an advantage over a middle class Asian who got a 2400. There was this black/native American kid (upper middle class) from my school several years back who bragged that he could get into any school he wanted despite his average academics. And he did. Sorry if I'm turning this into an AA debate T_T</p>

<p>
[quote]
I[f] you are really, truly deserving you will get in.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>At the country's most selective colleges, this simply isn't true. For every applicant Harvard admits, for example, it rejects several applicants who are equally "deserving" on their merits. </p>

<p>In an odd way, however, this can be comforting. It does mean that the rejected applicants are not necessarily inferior in any way to the ones who were fortunate enough to get the big envelope.</p>

<p>@Sikorsky, yeah I know a lot of "deserving" kids don't get into really selective schools, but that's why that was in italics and I added the sentence before that. I don't mean deserving as in great grades and scores and recs, I mean those who are obvious standouts and TRULY (there's that word again ;P) deserve to get into any school they apply to. There are kids like that, and they get into all the schools they apply to because they are "something special" in the eyes of adcoms. The admissions people don't give a rat's patootie what your race is in that case.</p>

<p>@NerdyAsianKid I only brought up the conditions of URM (particularly Native American) living because of your aforementioned 250+ SAT score increase stat you gave. I was just providing an example of one of the purposes for something like this-- though bear in mind it isn't official. They don't write down "Oh plus 250 here because he's NA." Rather, it is equivalent to having had a higher score.</p>

<p>But AA is beside the point here. They won't turn you away because you are Asian, no matter what the myths might say. So don't focus on what's going on with URMs. If a school wants you, as I mentioned earlier, they are not going to change that decision due to your race.</p>

<p>BTW, though in theory adcoms shouldn't judge race based on name, in practice that's not quite so. If the OP's last name is Wang, no matter if the adcom tells him/herself they will not assume race, basic human instinct in this case would be to assume that the applicant is Asian. Just like if your last name is Mcnalley they'll assume you have scottish heritage, and if it's O'Nalley they'll guess at an Irish heritage (though the latter 2 examples weren't race, I'm sure you can catch my drift).</p>

<p>So can adcoms practice AA judging race based on name from that inherent bias you described born2dance94?</p>

<p>It would be a shame to skip listing your involvement in activities related to your culture or heritage, or the fact that some kids' parents were born in, say, China, just to avoid claiming your Asian origins. Accomplish what you can in your life and package yourself as best you can in your app.</p>

<p>OP: You're wondering if sanitizing your ethnicity somehow evens a playing field. But you're under the mistaken impression that your playing field somehow includes outstanding international applicants, super URM applicant, athletic recruits, development kids, super scientists, celebrities, top legacy applicants, etc. You're not being judged alongside those sub groups if you aren't one of them. You're being evaluated outside of them and your competition is students like yourself. No Native American is going to take your spot. It was never yours to begin with. The colleges have informal quotas for each sub group as their institutional goals change. That's the whole point of holistic evaluations. It's not meant to be a strict meritocracy. Never was.</p>