On College Forms, a Question of Race, or Races, Can Perplex

Susan Saulny and Jacques Steinberg, New York Times, June 13, 2011

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Until this year, questions about race on most college applications were much simpler. A student who was white with a distant American Indian ancestor, for instance, would most likely have identified himself as white.

But students can now choose from a menu of new boxes of racial and ethnic categories–because the Department of Education started requiring universities this past school year to comply with a broad federal edict to collect more information about race and ethnicity. The change has made it easier for students to claim a multiracial identity–highlighting those parts of their backgrounds they might want to bring to the fore and disregarding others, as Ms. Scott considered doing with her Asian heritage.

{snip}

The new options have forced colleges to confront thorny questions, including how to account for various racial mixes in seeking diversity on campus. Is a student applying as black and Latino more desirable in terms of diversity than someone who is white and black? Or white and Vietnamese? Should the ethnicities of one’s distant relatives be considered fair game, or just parents? And what should be done about students who skip the race question altogether–a sizable number of whom, some studies have shown, are white, and do so either in protest or out of fear that identifying as merely white could hurt rather than help their chances in this new environment?

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  • Jack

    “Is a student applying as black and Latino more desirable in terms of diversity than someone who is white and black?”

    Amazing statement that illustrates the stupidity of the left.

    Notice no mention of academic performance.

  • Former Admissions Officer

    As someone who was worked in college admissions and now have my own educational consulting firm, I can tell you firs thand that there are many kids who receive bonus points. Children of alumni, legacies, students who come from wealthy families who donate a lot of money to the school, athletes, musicians etc…

    If you can demonstrate at least 45% of Native American heritage you can attend any land grant institution for free. If you live in a part of the nation that is underrepresented eg.;you have applied to the University of Colorado and you live in New Hampshire guess what, your chances of getting in have jumped 50%.

    My point is that many students of all races are given certain advantages hen it comes to admissions. It is not as “black and White” as some of you may have been led to believe

  • Anonymous

    “Do mixed-race students get affirmative action bonus points”?

    Everyone does except for white males. It’s part of the effort to end discrimination. .

  • BO_Bill

    You will notice some recent changes on the job boards. White Americans are no longer ‘whites’, we are now ‘non-Hispanic whites’. Many companies, especially those servicing government contracts, are no longer ‘Equal Opportunity Employers’ but are now ‘Affirmative Action Employers’.

    Our enlightened leaders grow bolder.

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous wrote at 7:43 PM

    “Do mixed-race students get affirmative action bonus points”?

    Everyone does except for white males. It’s part of the effort to end discrimination.

    White males atletes, those from families with money and other connections with connections do. The same with White females.

  • June Warren

    Back in the 90s we hosted a Spanish exchange student for about a year. This beautiful young lady was from Madrid and was 16 years old. She came home from school one day in tears. She had to fill out forms at school and was informed that she was “Hispanic.” She was furious and cried that she was not a Mexican, but a WHITE Castillian Spaniard. She despised being lumped in with Mexicans, Porto Ricans, etc.

    One day we passed a billboard advertising a local Mexican Restaurant. Part of the ad was in Spanish. I asked her what it said and she became angry and exclaimed, “I have no idea, it’s some stupid Mexican slang.”

    I later tried to explain to her that “Hispanic” was a cultural as opposed to racial term for anyone whose culture originated from the Iberian Peninsula, but she would have none of it….”That’s stupid”, she said.

  • L.S

    I would have too say that any mixed Race beats any homogenous Race hands down,they want mungrels so badly and they are slowly growing in numbers.everybody trumps a white male and mixed race trumps the rest,they want the planet to be one big mixed race but i always ask myself this same question,where will diversity be when where all gone and ive come to the conclusion there wont be diversity because it wont exist as it does now,sad realy when you think about it

  • Anonymous

    4 — BO_Bill wrote at 7:54 PM on June 15:

    You will notice some recent changes on the job boards. White Americans are no longer ‘whites’, we are now ‘non-Hispanic whites’. Many companies, especially those servicing government contracts, are no longer ‘Equal Opportunity Employers’ but are now ‘Affirmative Action Employers’.

    Our enlightened leaders grow bolder.

    ———————————————–

    So true. We are now non-hispanic whites. Another way to disenfranchise us even further. Make us a non-entity. I will bet most Whites don’t even notice and could care less if they did notice. Seems they have resigned to the fact that they are being shoved aside and many even applaud it.

  • white is right, black is whack

    What about a white woman who marries a man with a Spanish name? Does she get a leg up? What if you are a mulatto? Does the black part of you only get half the job or half the college degree? Oh! I got it. What if I decide to get a sex change and be a woman or change my last name to a Spanish one? Would I qualify for affirmative action?

  • Anonymous

    To LS,

    That is the point of multi-culturalism. Once we are all beige, then there will be no racism.

    That’s the dirty, sickening secret.

  • Crystal

    As a person of Japanese and white decent, I consider myself Japanese American and always mark Asian as my race because I look more Asian than white and I grew up culturally Japanese American. I assume that hispanic whites would be either Spanish or Portuguese descent. However, Portuguese people are not classified as hispanic because, they like Brazilians speak Portuguese and not Spanish as hispanic people do.