Is there any benefit to checking “no race” on the application?

College Admissions

Our counselors answered:

Is there any benefit to checking “no race” on the application?

Reecy Aresty
College Admissions/Financial Aid Expert & Author Payless For College, Inc.

Is there any benefit to checking “no race” on the application?

NO! Only a robot could check that.

Lin Johnson III

Is there any benefit to checking “no race” on the application?

This topic has been met with recent controversy. Specifically, several Asian-American students have been very reluctant to identify their race in fear of being held to higher academic standards than their peers (often referred as reverse discrimination). This hones in on the issue that colleges and universities have an applicant quota for races and ethnicities and applicants within their racial groups are competing against one another. On one hand, some believe that you are not revealing who you are as a person by not disclosing your race, which is what most colleges typically preach that they want. Conversely, some feel that racial identification intensifies admission competition for them and shrinks their chance of acceptance. The key question is 'where does college draw the line between creating a diverse academic community and discrimination?' Overall, there is no benefit to check 'no race' on your application. If a college does not accept you based solely on your racial identity, it is not the right college for you, regardless of how prestigious it may be. There are many proxies that the admission team can use other than race to build a diverse intellectual community.

Kenneth Hutchinson
Director of College Counseling

Is there any benefit to checking “no race” on the application?

There is no benefit to checking the "no race" box on the application. The admissions committee wants to know about who you are. If your cultural identity is an important part of that then you should definitely talk about that/ check the box. Dude. CHECK THE BOX!

Annie Reznik
Counselor/CEO College Guidance Coach

Is there any benefit to checking “no race” on the application?

The Supreme Court ruled that colleges and universities may use race as admission factor for the purpose of achieving diversity (an educationally beneficial and desirable quality). Race may be used as a "plus factor" when conducting a holistic review of candidates. Checking "no race" in effect precludes race from serving as a "plus factor" for admission consideration. Students from racial backgrounds that are traditionally under-represented on campus benefit in a holistic review by providing a specific response to optional race questions. Therefore, checking "no race" offers no distinct advantage or disadvantage in the admissions process.