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Through our very own editors and guest writers, this blog will discuss the INSIDE scoop on the admissions process of various schools and programs. If you wish to ask a specific question, please write to us, and we will make every attempt to address your questions in our future blog discussions.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Race and College Admissions
There are few word unions that raise hackles in a conversation like 'race' and 'college admission'. Affirmative action is a touchy subject, not one this blogger intends to tackle. Instead, this post aims to look at race not as a defining characteristic but rather to suggest that, for the purposes of an admission essay something that can serve as a lens through which the college can better understand the student candidate. Recent federal legislation has required colleges to collect additional information on the ethnic demographics of their applicants. As a result, colleges have begun to offer more boxes to check in racial categories, making it easier for multiracial students to fully outline their heritage.

In the competitive college admission process, students are constantly trying to reinvent themselves into the person they believe their dream college wants them to be. By probing the nuances of their own ethnic heritage, multiracial students can bring all sorts of new diversity to the table. The New York Times recently addressed the complexities created by the expanded 'racial check boxes' on college applications, but admissions officers insisted that the change shouldn't make the application process any more difficult. NY Times.

Assuming that 'race' means more to an applicant than merely a checked box, the experiences that are the result of a specific ethnic heritage are what can set a student apart. Test scores and grades may form part of the picture, but the essay is what is left to help flesh out the canvas. Admissions officers noted that, when faced with twenty students of equal academic standing, a unique racial background can ensure that a student will bring a different perspective to the student body. And isn't that what diversity is supposed to really mean?


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