19 days ago
Admissions Advice

What race to put?

My mother is 100% Asian (Indonesian) and my Father is 100% White. So, I am mixed but I get told I look Indian, Mexican, Native etc. Basically anything except what I really am. This is because my mom being Indonesian (South East Asian) gives me darker skin.

I know putting either White or Asian can, in some instances, lower admission chances. Would putting both negate that?.. or possibly even make it worse? What should I put- White, Asian or Both? Or nothing??? i feel i am seriously overthinking this

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Accepted Answer
19 days ago[edited]

I disagree with the other response.

You want to be as accurate as possible because this is not a trivial section of the application. It could make or break your admittance depending on which school you apply to. You are absolutely correct in assuming that if you put only White or Asian that may have a detrimental impact on your desirability/admittance at the school.

On the common app, you first want to select White and Asian on the prompt which asks how you identify as yourself.

Then you want to drill down and put "Other Southeast Asian" on the prompt "What best describes your Asian background" Type in "INDONESIAN" in the blank prompt for "Specify other SouthEast Asian background"

Then for your dad, put either Europe, Middle East or Other for the Prompt "What best describes your White Background" If it's not Europe or Middle Eastern, then you will get a blank prompt to specify the Other White Background. For example, if you are Ukrainian or White South African, you would type that into the space.

At Ivys and Elite colleges, Race can be legally used in admissions criteria, so you want to make sure you do not arbitrarily ignore how you present yourself.

Since you are SouthEast Asian and some kind of White, you are a mixed person of color and that is more desirable in terms of DEI goals for these schools.

Good luck.

19 days ago

Often times you'll have the option to select both Asian and White. That will indicate that you are a mixed individual. Do not worry about your ethnicity selection. There are plenty of other aspects of your application that will be reviewed. Your ethnicity is only one part. Hope this helps and good luck!!


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