"Race" in College Applications FAQ & Discussion 12

This is a continuation of previous FAQ and discussion threads about topics relating to race, ethnicity, and affirmative action in college admissions.
“Race” in College Applications FAQ & Discussion
“Race” in College Applications FAQ & Discussion 3
“Race” in College Applications FAQ & Discussion 4
“Race” in College Applications FAQ & Discussion 5
“Race” in College Applications FAQ & Discussion 6
“Race” in College Applications FAQ & Discussion 7
“Race” in College Applications FAQ & Discussion 8
“Race” in College Applications FAQ & Discussion 9
“Race” in College Applications FAQ & Discussion 10
“Race” in College Applications FAQ & Discussion 11

It would nice to have some labeling

The term “asian” has different connotations. It can denote geography or race.

Just like the term “slow” has different connotations. It can refer to low velocity, or it can refer to the intellectual inability to grasp a concept that is obvious.

Well this one is none too obvious!

My son was adopted from Korea at the age of 7 months.

He’s an American citizen; he no longer has Korean citizenship.

But he is Asian.


American-born racially asian people are “asian-american”, but most people just lazily say “asian”, just like they lazily say “gas” for “gasoline”, even tnough it’s a liquid.

Most of the “*-American” terms are used to identify those who are American but aren’t white, although I have heard a small number of people describe themselves using terms like Swedish-American or Italian-American.

I personally hate the “-American” terminology. It divides people up into ethnic tribes.

@GMTplus7 Lol. Thanks for a good laugh

So if someone’s ancestors came from an Japan 6 generations ago they are still “Asian”? How about if your ancestors came from Ireland 6 generations ago. Are you Irish? What is it about “Asian” that results in that being continued whereas those with Irish ancestors identify as American?

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Plenty of people in the US identify with their Irish heritage even if they’ve been in the US for generations.

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Nationality is different than race.


Because Asian is a race. Ireland is 95% white/caucasian. If one of them moved to the US, they’d still be white.

I have always considered myself Irish-American even though my ancestors came over in steerage 150 years ago.

Yes, they’re still racially asian. But if their ancestors moved to Peru, then they are asian hispanic, like Alberto Fujimori, former Prime Minister of Peru, is.

Hispanic is the only category w arbitrary rhyme & reason.

If you were born in the US, how are you Asian? Am I missing something? Can you explain?? Also, isn’t saying you are Asian like saying I am European? Aren’t there more differences across different countries of origin then similarities? If born in the US why aren’t you just American???

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How much does the way someone looks influence their racial classification?

I am half white and appear almost exclusively white, but my siblings (both same parents) are much darker than me. It’s to the point where I check the “white” box and my sister checks the “other” box, when you can only check one.

My mom is half black, half Asian and my dad is white. Would I check off just white; white, African-American, and Asian; or white and African-American because that would give me an advantage? My mom only checked off African-American when she was applying to college, but I feel like for me this is unfairly gaming the system, since I’ve never dealt with the racial discrimination that black people (like my mom) have dealt with.

@coffeeaddicted I would check off all 3. That said, you could check off any combination of those. Its your decision.

@XCjunior2016 so would you not call it gaming the system if I only checked off white and African American? I’m probably checking all three though.

Not if you genuinely feel connected to the black community and don’t consider yourself Asian. Race is more than just your skin color. How is your family affected by race? That has an impact on you as well, even if you’re light skinned. Another judge might be culture (what are you eating for Christmas dinner, if you celebrate the holiday at all?). Trust what feels honest.

I’m almost entirely white and identify as white but I don’t judge people who identify differently at all. Good luck!!


@coffeeaddicted I personally would check all three or the one that gives you the most advantage.
I see it as this. Race is equal parts appearance and genetics as well as being entirely made up on a macro scale. As such, if you were to only click one (if you have the option of multiple, mixed, or other) you would deny a part of your make up.
Now onto advantage. Race, as we recall, is a very ingrained social concept. And defining yourself as African-American when you are in order to get a possible advantage is not at all unethical or dishonest. After all, it’s not as if you’re an Afrikaaner attempting to do this. Especially considering how biased (with legacy, income inequality, school district inequality in funding and teachers, differences in extracurricular options, information access et cetera). Your concerns about not having a struggle because of your appearance, while good (showing that you’re contemplative) are unfounded. Not every black person struggles with race in their life so much. Even in my case where I have faced many many cases of racism, I still know I have not struggled nearly as much as others. And the black community is not a monolith.

In the end, it is your choice. As long as you are qualified for the particular university, I see no problem using any legal and truthful means to get an advantage. No matter how you define youself for college, good luck.