Sorry: Another Am I Hispanic (Puerto Rican)?

So maybe I’m already “Hispanic” to universities? I do receive emails etc.

I’m not eligible for financial aid.

I was hoping to attend either Amherst, Williams, or Bowdoin or Carleton (not sure how they rank) or Stanford. Applying also as a legacy at two of the more selective Ivys and maybe also Brown and Dartmouth and Columbia. I’m also looking at MIT, NYU and Hamilton and Boston College and Carleton.

I realize it’s unusual to apply to SLACs and MIT etc. I want a broad basis in the liberal arts and interested in academia in econometrics or applied math.

@aunt_bea A little confused by this. My zip code is obviously in Puerto Rico. A rather mixed zip code actually but USPS has conflicting maps of what it actually includes. I’m outside Condado and Dorado (where most Billionaires here for Act 60 tax incentives concentrate).

Very few students from PR apply to college on the mainland or even at all (hence the requirement to take a Spanish only version on the SATs), 98% who apply are from from two “international high schools,” as English proficiency in general is poor among other schools. All applicants from these two HSs are advantaged in many ways, but many of us have also faced hardships (as does everyone of course) but specifically we have survived Maria, droughts, water shortages, lack of roads and infrastructure, very few doctors, etc etc.

I think some answers to this (family friend included) are a bit entrenched in people’s personal beliefs about the utility of diversity in college admissions and beliefs about culture that are more based on “gut feelings?”


Probably. Non-Hispanics do not take the Prueba de Aptitud Académica.

Kind of a weird mix of schools indeed. Are you attending a private high school?

If you change your mind and open to Engineering, have a look at this thread: College Board National Recognition Program (includes former National Hispanic Recognition Program) Class of 2022 - Specialty College Admissions Topics / Hispanic Students - College Confidential Forums

Note that the 720 in English at the SAT might hurt you at some of the top schools. Make sure you add safeties to your list.

You might also want to investigate the benefits of Honors College at large public schools.

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This site may help you compare liberal arts college economics programs: Economics rankings: US Economics Departments at Liberal Arts Colleges | IDEAS/RePEc.

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The admissions counselors, at the various schools, will make your admissions decision based on the combination of factors (GPA, SAT, activities, etc.) that make up your vitae.

OK. So, one parent from Princeton and one from Cornell, living outside of Condado and Dorado. Not the average Puerto-Rican kid. I am not sure that the colleges that you are applying to will see you as one.


I’d hope they view the totally of my life experiences. I am not the typical applicant from PR (if there is such thing).

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Certainly. I think that you are a strong applicant, and I think that it is fair that you identify as Hispanic in your applications.

When I read your initial question, I was thinking of an ice-cream parlor in San Germán owned by ethnically Chinese Puerto-Ricans informally referred to by locals as Los Chinos. In my mind their kids are clearly 100% Hispanic. By extension I think that it is fair that you identify as Hispanic too, but I think that a top private school would see you as belonging to different groups, and rightfully so.

Public universities do not have the same resources as private universities, and probably would put you in the same bucket. That would give you an edge but it is apparently not what you are after.

Still make sure that you apply to safety schools. You are a strong applicant, but there are a lot of strong applicants out there, and it is dangerous to assume that you will get in a top school even though you certainly have the qualifications.

Good luck!


Bring Hispanic isn’t much of a tip these days precisely because of this. I’m sorry but I (black Caribbean) can’t just move to Mexico with my non-Hispanic Asian husband and have a child there and then claim my child is Hispanic. They aren’t.


Your child might disagree with you. And his children, assuming he stays in Mexico, would almost certainly disagree with you.



Would you say the children of the owners of that place King’s Cream - Google Search are Hispanic or not?

(it’s a bit of a trick question)

I looked quickly - Chinese Cubans?They are of Chinese descent but live in Puerto Rica? If that’s the extent of it, they are not Hispanic. If one of their kids marries a Hispanic? The child is of Hispanic descent. Being Hispanic isn’t about just living in a Hispanic country.

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I believe that the grand-parents were from China. Not sure if the parents were born in Cuba or Puerto Rico. The children were definitively born and raised in Puerto Rico. They don’t speak English.

If the children are not Hispanic, then what makes somebody Hispanic?


When you say your name is Spanish, do you mean your given name, or your father’s family name? What is his ethnic heritage? If he is Hispanic then I see zero problem with identifying yourself that way. If not, then it’s more questionable.

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Would you question the fact that a kid born and raised in the mainland US from parents that immigrated from China and having a Chinese last name is an American?

If anybody born and raised in the US is an American, it seems fair to consider that anybody born and raised in Puerto Rico is a Puerto Rican, isn’t it?

And I think that nobody would question that all Puerto Ricans are Hispanic.

Therefore, it seems logical to conclude that anybody born and raised in Puerto Rico is Hispanic, isn’t i?


Sure, but Puerto Rican and American are not ethnicities. And it’s possible to live in Puerto Rico without being Hispanic.

I didn’t say OP was definitely not Hispanic unless their father was. I was trying to get clarification because, if the father is Hispanic then there’s no need for further debate. If not, OP may still legitimately identify as Hispanic but on a more complicated basis.

Hispanic, yes.

As someone wrote above, race and ethnicity are separate. People from Spain are every bit as “white” as people from Italy and Germany. Most of the elites of practically every South American country as well are almost “pure” Caucasian, at least as much so as who we refer to as “white” in our own country.

But also, again, as someone wrote above, just the mere label, however appropriate, of being “Hispanic” is not much of a tip or hook these days in college admissions.


College Board National Recognition Program status may not mean much by itself, but some colleges attach large amounts of scholarship money to it. An example is Arizona State University (its definition of “National Scholar” that gets bigger scholarships includes CBNRP).

Yes. Especially if you write essays that refer to that.

Colleges that do consider that tend to be opaque about how much it matters.

However, the general rule is that it is best not to assume that it changes a reach application into a match, likely, or safety application. (The same applies to legacy status.)

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Would you prefer that your broad basis in the liberal arts be directed by the college through extensive general education requirements (e.g. MIT and Columbia) or by your own self-selection of courses outside your major (e.g. Amherst or Brown)?

Also, with your interest in econometric and applied math, consider the following:

  • How math-intense the intermediate economics and econometrics courses are. More math is better if you want to go on to PhD study in economics. You can get an idea by looking at their math prerequisites:
    • High math intensity: math prerequisites of multivariable calculus and/or linear algebra.
    • Medium math intensity: math prerequisites of single variable calculus.
    • Low math intensity: calculus not required.
  • What upper level math courses are offered. In addition, if you will have completed math beyond single variable calculus by high school graduation, you may want to consider availability of graduate level math courses.

Given these definitions cited by the OP, I don’t really understand much of the discussion here. It seems obvious that the OP is Hispanic under these definitions and can comfortably check that box on the Common App. Some of the comments reflect an uneasiness about trying to use the demographic boxes on the Common App to gain an admissions edge, but so long as the OP is honest in presenting him or herself, I don’t see an issue. Identity for many Americans is complex, my son wrote his whole essay about the issue of the boxes and how people might react differently depending on which of the several boxes he checked they elected to focus on. And Cuban Chinese is definitely a thing - many Chinese were brought to Cuba in the 19th century as indentured laborers and were integrated into the population - and Chinese Cubans are definitely Hispanic.