LACs for Asian Male: Would you share your experience?

<p>If you have (or know) an Asian boy in a LAC, would you share your experience?</p>

<p>Is your child happy at the school?
What are the cons and pros of LACs?</p>

<p>We are middle class family and we can contribute about $35K per year. Can we financially do it?</p>

<p>My child is attending one of the elite high schools and his numbers are quite high so that he could be competitive at any college. </p>

<p>Would you share your experience?</p>

<p>He might do well to get merit aid at a school like Grinnell, which is a very good school, with very good reputation, where Asians are underrepresented. The Asian boys who were best friends with my daughter in high school went to small engineering colleges that had an emphasis of Liberal Arts requirements: Harvey Mudd and Olin, but also applied to Grinnell, as did she.</p>

<p>Is this boy from overseas or is he American?</p>

<p>You can do a search here and read a lot about LAC's. The top ones are highly regarded and have a reputation to send kids to professional and grad schools at an equal or higher rate than top universities. He can also look at Universities that have a small undergrad enrollment and LAC-like reputation for looking out for undergrads, like UChicago and Brown .</p>

<p>Hi BT. I'm not a parent, but I do know a thing or two about being an Asian male at an LAC. From my experience, when trying to choose between a university and a liberal arts college, personality has a lot to do with "fit", sometime moreso than sex or ethnicity per se, since it is sometimes hard to generalize for all Asians or all men. Nevertheless, there are some important aspects to consider as an Asian male when applying to LACs:</p>

<p>+Scholarship money- As BrownParent talked about, many LACs are looking for minorities AND boys and are also some of the few places that consider Asians diverse.</p>

<p>+Male to female ratio- Many LACs are known to have slightly to significantly more female than male students. I don't personally find this to be an issue, but as you can imagine some guys would.</p>

<p>+Sports- Another typical guy thing. While LACs pay varying amounts of attention to the different levels of sports (IM, club, varsity), they are generally not the place to look for big rah-rah sports culture.</p>

<p>+Culture shock- If the student in question has a strong Asian cultural upbringing, would he be okay with the fact that many of his peers may not share this upbringing? Every student needs time to adjust to college life, but it may sometimes be more difficult for an Asian student than your typical Caucasian student. I had a few small issues in this regard, but this is also something that can only be evaluated in the context of an individual student. </p>

<p>I would say that overall, though, my experience at school has been overwhelmingly positive. If your student is qualified and thinks LACs may be in the cards, I would encourage him to visit, meet other students, and see what happens. Not all LACs are the same, and many times it really has to do with how prospective students get along with current students and faculty and the general "feel" of the school. It sounds like he has a good shot at a number of top-notch LACs, so good luck!</p>

<p>(Also, I would be happy to talk about my own LAC experiences in further detail via PM, if you think that would be helpful.)</p>

<p>Almost all of the better Universities and LAC's have more asians in percentile than the general population of the USA. This means that there is no advantage to being asian at these schools.</p>

<p>
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Almost all of the better Universities and LAC's have more asians in percentile than the general population of the USA. This means that there is no advantage to being asian at these schools.

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</p>

<p>Agreed. There may have been a time in the not-too-distant past where top LACs didn't have many Asian students, but that isn't the case now, and while I don't know what the gender breakdown of the Asian students at said schools is, I doubt it's so skewed as to warrant "affirmative action" for Asian males. A few percentages as follows:</p>

<ol>
<li><p>[url=<a href="http://www.swarthmore.edu/Documents/administration/ir/cds2009.pdf%5DSwarthmore%5B/url"&gt;http://www.swarthmore.edu/Documents/administration/ir/cds2009.pdf]Swarthmore[/url&lt;/a&gt;] is 16.4% Asian with 11.0% of its student body declining to self-identify racial classification.</p></li>
<li><p>[url=<a href="https://www.amherst.edu/media/view/169053/original/2009%20Enrollment%20and%20Persistence.pdf%5DAmherst%5B/url"&gt;https://www.amherst.edu/media/view/169053/original/2009%20Enrollment%20and%20Persistence.pdf]Amherst[/url&lt;/a&gt;] is 10.5% Asian with 20.6% of its student body declining to self-identity racial classification. (Note: To be fair, Amherst does not use "racial trumping," and so some of these students did self-identify, but they identified as multiracial.)</p></li>
<li><p>[url=<a href="https://www.amherst.edu/media/view/169053/original/2009%20Enrollment%20and%20Persistence.pdf%5DWilliams%5B/url"&gt;https://www.amherst.edu/media/view/169053/original/2009%20Enrollment%20and%20Persistence.pdf]Williams[/url&lt;/a&gt;] is 11.6% Asian and either practices serious "racial trumping" or simply had a very cooperative set of matriculants who all self-identified.</p></li>
</ol>

<p>Asians are at least "overrepresented" by a factor of 2 at all of these top LACs. You have to go fairly high up into the USNWR ranks, flawed as they may be, before you consistently find LACs where Asians aren't "overrepresented."</p>

<p>Swarthmore, Amherst, and Williams are without a doubt the most selective and highest prestige LACs out there, and along with Claremont Colleges like Pomona and Harvey Mudd probably have the least trouble attracting Asian students. Still, Swarthmore has about the same percentage of Asian students as Princeton, but even Amherst and Williams are meaningfully below that. And, while the percentage of Asian students there may exceed the percentage of Asians in the general population, it does not exceed the percentage of Asians in the pool of high-achieving students that those colleges want to attract.</p>

<p>If you step down just a notch from Amherst et al., you see a much lower percentage of Asian students -- and it's not because those colleges are inherently opposed to having Asian students there. </p>

<p>The colleges have a tough time attracting top Asian applicants, and are willing to work a bit to reel in strong Asian students that DO apply. And I think that goes extra for men, because LACs tend to face gender imbalance in their applicant pools across all ethnicities, but especially with Asian males.</p>

<p>Some of the comments and perspectives on threads like this give me pause in a social/cultural way.</p>

<p>Not URMs but still sought by quite a few LACs (incuding Amherst, Swarthmore), as evident in the number of diversity outreach weekends which include Asian students as listed in this older thread: <a href="http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/college-search-selection/770660-fall-diversity-visit-programs-compilation.html%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/college-search-selection/770660-fall-diversity-visit-programs-compilation.html&lt;/a> (Thanks, Keilexandra!)</p>

<p>Why, LakeWashington? It's no state secret that many Asian applicants tend to favor applying to a select set of unis over LAC's that they / their parents are less familiar with. Thus, advising a smart Asian student to look towards LAC's that they might not otherwise consider is a smart move.</p>

<p>
[quote]
2. Amherst is 10.5% Asian with 20.6% of its student body declining to self-identity racial classification. (Note: To be fair, Amherst does not use "racial trumping," and so some of these students did self-identify, but they identified as multiracial.)

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Around ten years ago when Amherst students did self-identify I recall the campus demography reported in USNWR at around 25-30% Asian. Anecdotal recollection from statistics relevant to us at that time. FWIW ("for what it's worth")</p>

<p>“The colleges have a tough time attracting top Asian applicants….”</p>

<p>I don’t think it is true everywhere but it is true at my child’s high school.</p>

<p>Over the past 4 years:
Asian male attending LACs: 0
Asian female attending LACs: 2</p>

<p>“….. and are willing to work a bit to reel in strong Asian students that DO apply. And I think that goes extra for men, because LACs tend to face gender imbalance in their applicant pools across all ethnicities, but especially with Asian males.”</p>

<p>So, do Asian males have advantages when it comes to LACs?
I know college admission is more than numbers, but I am curious. Do you know Asian males who got into top LACs with borderline or below borderline numbers?</p>

<p>That's not really the right question. The better question is do you know any Asian males who were rejected from LACs where they were clearly qualified for admission. At the most popular, most selective LACs, being qualified only gets you half-way (or less) there. Swarthmore has roughly the same admission dynamics as Dartmouth, just starting with fewer apps and fewer places to fill. It rejects many, many qualified applicants. So if it rejects fewer qualified Asian males than it does Anglo females, that would look like a nice advantage.</p>

<p>Anybody? Please share your experience.</p>

<p>I have some friends who weren't at the top of the class who were Asian, who were still very strong students, make it to the elite LACs. Whereas they got in with likely letters, their white counterparts with a bit higher stats and similar stats were deferred, waitlisted or rejected.</p>

<p>So it might be helpful for Asians who are applying to many Top 20 Universities, where the competition is fierce, to apply to top LACs to increase their chances of actually ending up somewhere good.</p>