Underrepresented minorities: narrowly defined?

<p>Who does the typical selective college consider an "underrepresented minority?" I have seen mention of both African-Americans and Latinos, but not physically challenged students or lgbt students. Surely both physically challenged and lgbt people have been, and continue to be, at least as discriminated against as other minority groups, and there are fewer of them than African-Americans, Latinos, or Asians. There are any number of schools and areas where an lgbt person might not even feel safe, which limits their college choices. So why do colleges not seem to consider them "underrepresented minorities" and give them the same sort of preferential treatment in the admissions process as other underrepresented minorities? Or do they?</p>

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<p>Sure, I agree that physically disabled and LGBT individuals endure a lot of discrimination, but this statement isn’t completely correct.</p>

<p>According to these sites physically disabled and LGBT individuals make up a larger percentage of the U.S. population than do Asian Americans:</p>

<p>[Disability</a> Statistics](<a href=“http://codi.buffalo.edu/graph_based/.demographics/.statistics.htm]Disability”>http://codi.buffalo.edu/graph_based/.demographics/.statistics.htm)
[url=&lt;a href=“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_demographics_of_the_United_States]LGBT”&gt;LGBT demographics of the United States - Wikipedia]LGBT</a> demographics of the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia<a href=“see%20bottom%20of%20page”>/url</a>

[url=&lt;a href=“http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/00000.html]USA”&gt;http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/00000.html]USA</a> QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau<a href=“Asian%20Americans=%204.8%%20of%20population”>/url</a></p>

<p>Note of course obvious overlapping. So, physically disabled and LGBT individuals are not really somehow worse off. Asian Americans also endure extreme amounts of racism and bigotry but actually get hurt in the college admissions process despite being one of the smallest minorities in the country. Actually some would argue that physically disabled and LGBT individuals get a boost in college admissions as they are considered to have experienced “extreme life circumstances” by some officers. Just be sure to describe how it has affected your life in your essay.</p>

<p>Actually, the statistic from the wikipedia article you link to gives this figure “3.5% of American adults identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual.”</p>

<p>That’s not really the point, though. It is illegal to discriminate against Asians. Lgbt people aren’t protected against employment discrimination, can’t marry, are openly despised by large segments of society, regularly targeted in hate crimes, and driven to suicide at alarmingly high rates. I think if you talk to your gay, Asian friends, they will tell you that it is a lot harder to be gay in this world than to be Asian.</p>

<p>Well it’s a lot easier to say on your application that you’re a LGBT than it is to say that you are a URM.</p>

<p>I do think it’s an interesting point. Statistically, LGBT students, especially those who lack home support, are much more likely to drop out (our drop-out rate is three times the national average; Lambda Legal estimates that 1/3 of LGBT students drop out before completing high school) or underachieve in school (students who are harassed for their gender identity or sexual orientation have a GPA about half a point lower than those who don’t).</p>

<p>I can’t say I know much about disabled issues, but I don’t doubt there’s a similar issue. </p>

<p>Citations:</p>

<p><a href=“http://data.lambdalegal.org/pdf/158.pdf[/url]”>http://data.lambdalegal.org/pdf/158.pdf</a>
[2009</a> National School Climate Survey: Nearly 9 out of 10 LGBT Students Experience Harassment in School | GLSEN: Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network](<a href=“http://www.glsen.org/cgi-bin/iowa/all/library/record/2624.html?state=research&type=research]2009”>http://www.glsen.org/cgi-bin/iowa/all/library/record/2624.html?state=research&type=research)</p>

<p>When colleges say underrepresented minorities or talk about increasing diversity, they are usually talking about not only race but also physical disabilities, low-income students, students of non-Christian religious backgrounds, and LGBT students. And some colleges even specifically look for students from lesser represented states or national backgrounds.</p>

<p>But how they treat them in admissions varies from school to school. A lot of LGBT students might not want to be out, so that’s difficult to ask about on an application.</p>

<p>^ I’ve never heard of adcoms specifically targeting some of those issues, especially LGBT students. Do you have any resources on that? I’d love to read. </p>

<p>(Not being snarky at all, btw – I could see how this post could read that way, but I’d really just love to know.)</p>

<p>I’d love it if people who work in admissions responded. I know of a child with a severe physical challenge whose parent is worried that they will actually be discriminated against in the admissions process. This surprised me, as I had assumed it would be a “hook,” and I think the kid deserves special consideration. Ditto lgbt kid.</p>

<p>True, not all kids are out, but the out ones are at more risk, as are the ones who conform less to gender stereotypes.</p>

<p>Colleges decide what meets their institutional needs. I’ve worked in admissions and certainly kids who have achieved in spite of handicaps were given as much extra consideration as URMs.</p>

<p>Every applicant has a story. Whether they grew up on a farm in Nebraska, or have been in a wheelchair since birth, or is the child of Latino immigrants or was a bullied but overcoming LGBT person. If any or several of these features catches the attention of file readers, then it’s good for the applicant.</p>

<p>OP: You attribute too narrow a description of what the file readers themselves are looking for. The African American child of three generations of doctors and the kid small Minnesota rural town – who have equal scores – the MN kid would probably stand out more. Holistic readers are looking for the story. “URM” ethnic labels are only one minor one.</p>

<p>BTW: the top schools won’t recruit for LGBT b/c there’s no shortage of applicants from this sub-group whatsoever. Penn, in its quest to get good yield, has enlisted the assistance on-campus LGBT orgs to reach out to self-identified LGBT admitees, in order to get them to matriculate. Very smart on Penn’s part.</p>

<p>T26EA, I thought yield had to do with the percentage of students accepted who chose to enroll and matriculation rates had to do with the number of students who graduated? I’m new to this, what am I not getting?</p>

<p>It’s interesting that lgbt students are not in shortage as applicants, given that they make up only 3% of the population, and of those, many would not be out, so you’d expect the applicant pool to appear even smaller. What does this suggest? Are lgbt kids more interested in college? Disproportionately from higher SES? Smarter? Or do lgbt students make up only 1-2% of applicants, but for some reason it feels to Admissions like there are more them, maybe because they make a lasting impression? I wonder if any schools have actually run the numbers, or if anybody has ever studied at the question. </p>

<p>More than one high school Administrator/Admissions person has told me that “probably a third” or some other improbable number, of their students were lgbt, but when I looked into it, it wasn’t true at all. They didn’t have any, or no more than one, out gay male student, and a handful of girls who identified as bisexual. I think that there may have been some unconscious bias involved.</p>

<p>It depends on the school. A highly selective school “building a diverse class of unique individuals” using holistic reviews runs admissions much differently from a moderately selective state university that puts GPA or rank and test scores into a formula and admits the top N applicants, where N is the number expected to yield a freshman class* of target size M based on yield rate estimates. In the latter case, there may not be any consideration of “diversity criteria”, or a few extra points for specifically defined (and politically fought over) “diversity criteria”.</p>

<p>*Which may be by division or major.</p>

<p>The URM label is actually limited: african american, hispanic, and native american. And you must be a citizen or permanent resident in the US or one of its territories.</p>

<p>Though they do not refer to it as underrepresented minorities, there is often also a favorable factor considerastion given to those with disabilities partly because it gives the college stats to show that accomodations it has created under the ADA for those with disabilities are working.</p>

<p>Another unofficial underrepresented minority group at many universities who get favorable factor consideration is women who apply for engineering.</p>

<p>Many believe that a number of liberal arts colleges are now giving favorable factor consideration to males because of their now high female to male ratios. </p>

<p>There are no colleges that I am aware of that give favorable factor consideration for being lgbt. If it is going to happen, it would likely have to come from a private university because a public university would be skewered and threatened with decreased funding by legislators in most states if it began providing favorable factor consideration to that group.</p>

<p>@Dirkgently: Yield is the rate of applicants who accept over total offers. Matriculation is the process of accepting the offer (i.e. enrolling).</p>

<p>Other favored groups include: male students in nursing programs, African American males who go into Math-Sci education programs. Wherever there is a dearth or under-representation of certain candidates, institutions will try to recruit more of those.</p>

<p>I have a friend who got a 4 year athletic scholarship by a private college in our area. Under Title IX rules which mandated more equitable funding for women’s or coed sports, this particular college was in serious arrears. To quickly add a team with women, it recruited my friend (a male) who was the captian of his HS JROTC Rifle Squad. They wanted someone to build up a rifle team so the college could count this as one of their moves towards equality. So my friend got a free college education b/c he was a rifle competition shooter as a HS student. Go figure!</p>