Diversity and College Admissions
It is no news that ethnic origin, religious affiliation, nationality, race, and class are taken under consideration for admissions purposes. However, we find that the need to include diversity can provide an opportunity for student applicants. “A study released this week by The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce reinforces the news we already know: today’s top-tier colleges have a diversity problem when it comes to both race and class.”
In other words, colleges explain that they do not have enough African-Americans and Hispanics to choose from within the candidate pool.
Within the general population and as reported through various statistics and explained by the Huffington Post, “many African Americans and Hispanics who are well prepared for higher education are tracked into crowded and underfunded colleges where they are less likely to develop fully or to graduate.”
Here are a few thoughts on celebrating diversity in their admissions process and benefiting from it…
1. Apply to colleges where there is a lack of diversity. Asian-Americans with top-SAT scores have faced difficulties getting accepted to California colleges with an “over representation” of Asians. However, other schools in different parts of the country with less concentration of Asian-Americans would not only benefit from having them, but welcome them and embrace their different points of views. The same applies to African-Americans, Hispanics and other diverse students.
2. If diversity is too important for you, consider colleges with high concentration of diverse students. Hawaiian Pacific University, for example, was named the most diverse university in the nation. “HPU’s multicultural environment, with students from all over the world, creates a unique student experience at HPU,” said Dean of Student Life Marites McKee in a statement. Another one that really thrives as a diverse school is Florida International University, where the combination of languages, origins and backgrounds provides a unique atmosphere that students really enjoy.
3. Go beyond race when writing the admissions essay. To stand out even more, discuss your experiences, beliefs and interests whether they relate to race or not. Your uniqueness will come out whether you are attempting to showcase it or not, if you are authentic.
4. Be wary of “The Haiti Essay.” A lot of students will write an essay about a third-world country they visited and discuss how shocked they were with the poverty they saw and how now they have a new sensitivity regarding the privileges they enjoy at home. Instead, try to see life from the point of view of the people you’re describing. Are they happy? What do they do? What’s appalling in one culture may be acceptable in another culture, don’t trash your own country and keep an open mind about theirs.
5. Be aware of your diversity while respecting that of others… Sometimes a simple joke can get a student in trouble if it is deemed sexist, racist, or religiously intolerant. Check out thefire.org to see how free the school you want is. Example: “the University of Central Arkansas…Student Handbook prohibits students from “annoying” another person, as well as from making any “disparaging remarks” over the internet.”
Here are some final thoughts about diversity and your college education…
While the Ivy League can open doors, career consultant Sheila Curran said that there’s a lot of hype that’s simply false, and while an Ivy League degree can give you a leg up, and maybe a bigger paycheck, most people can still succeed with any degree from any school. Find the right environment for you to achieve your maximum potential.
Others argue that the benefit of a higher education isn’t in the classes, but in the network of people that surrounds them and the opportunities that open up because of a college education. However, seeing the unemployment struggles among both Ivy League and regular college graduates, one might question whether this assumption is true. After all, Zuckerberg, Facebook inventor and famous Harvard dropout, wasn’t famous for his people’s skills or networking abilities. Source: http://www.cnbc.com/id/49465579
Another issue is a form of reverse racism of some African-Americans who feel they will be less black if they don’t attend a college with a dominant culture different from theirs. Jake Simmons, assistant professor at Angelo State University, concluded that “[black students] feel tension between integrating into the dominant culture while honoring their own culture and black pride.”