In the demographics part of college sites (like this one), should I say I am white, not specified, or basically all of the above? So for a bit of background, I am Brazilian. I was born and raised there until I was 12 then I moved to the US. My family, from what my parents have told me is relatively mixed. From what they told me I am a descendant of people from all over the place, Japan, South Africa, Cabo Verde, Native Tribes of the Americas (not the US, also they said the tribe was Tupi Guarani), Portugal, the UK, and Italy, mainly. The problem is that I am light-skinned (not white, but also not not white), so I don't know whether I can say that I am anything but white. Also, my mother is white and my father is mixed and they were always confused about which box to put my brother and me in. Should I do a DNA test to discover whether this is true? Should I just say I'm white? Or not say anything?
Hello, great question! since your mother is white and your father is mixed I would put for this site specifically "Other ethnicity, biracial, or multiracial" and when you apply to colleges with whatever application they use, you can pick multiple or all that apply. If they don't (less likely to happen) then pick one of the races you identify with more. Hope this helps!
Hi, @Senhorito I'm also an international student from Brazil, and had this same doubt! I don't feel it's necessary to do a DNA test, most of the time, those answers are only for demographics and will not affect your admission chances.
I ended up putting "Others", and then, saying that my mom is brazilian/white, and my dad is european/mixed!
I hope it helps! Please, let me know if I can help with anything else, I know how stressful it is to apply as an international student.
Wishing you the best of luck!
Put down Latino and white. Put Latino as ethnicity and white and black as race (I'd say just check both off to be safe). I am also Brazilian and that is what I do.
Hi @Senhorito, I think it would be very purposeful and interesting for you as a Brazilian to do a DNA test. Brazilians have very interesting mixes.
If you have some indigenous DNA in your results, then I would maximize and leverage this on your college applications as well as DNA from a LatinA or Black background. Top colleges who use race in their college decisions like Harvard and UNC all consider indigenous, LatinA and Black races to be "hooked applicants".
If you are a top student and have amazing grades, course rigor and test scores, a "hooked applicant" has up to a 5X to 10X bump in getting into the schools.
2 days ago, the Supreme Court of the US started to hear Oral Arguments about the case brought before them by Students for Fair Admissions against Harvard and UNC. One of the supporting documents in the stack of thousands of supporting documents was this simple chart you can see in this article that shows that if you are Black or Latina you have 30-50% chance to get admitted if you are in the 1st and 2nd deciles of top applicants. That compares to 7-15% for White and Asians.
So want to be strategic about submitting your race on college applications. Being White or Asian will negatively affect your chances at Top American colleges.
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