I am a first generation immigrant, who is from Mexico and identify as/is Mayan and would be considered racially indigenous in Mexico. Recently I found out the US census included Mayans alongside other groups as Native American. Would colleges recognize it if i mark my race as Native American as it is the most accurate option to my understanding.

You can check any box you want, and if you identify as NA, go ahead and check it. You may not be eligible for any of the NA scholarships, as some of those are restricted tribes.

Many schools do not give any bump for race or ethnicity.

Ok thank you, however i am applying to some schools that have affirmative action

Going with “Native American - a member of any of the indigenous peoples of North, Central, and South America”, I’d say it’s fine.

“Native American” can really be two different classifications at some colleges.

  • Native American with tribal documentation.
  • Native American without tribal documentation.

Whether and how that matters, and what tribal documentation (if any) the college wants to see, depends on the college.

The US Census definition of “American Indian or Alaska Native” is: