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?

Annie ReznikCounselor/CEOCollege 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.

Reecy ArestyCollege Admissions/Financial Aid Expert & AuthorPayless For College, Inc.

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

Only a robot could check that! Don’t be stupid, answer the question. The more varied the better, such as Afro/oriental or Eurasian.

Bill PrudenHead of Upper School, College CounselorRavenscroft School

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

Probably not. Given that we are in a time when the value of diversity in education is being given the recognition it deserves, there may arguably be some benefit to being a minority, for in the same way a particular skill or passion may enhance an applicant’s prospects, the perspective that a minority student can bring to the academic discourse may be viewed as a plus by an admissions office seeking to differentiate between strong candidates as they seek to create a diverse community that will foster a better educational experience for all. Consequently, it is not something one wants to hide anymore than they would hide a skill or an interest that are important parts of who one is and what they will bring to the school.

Benjamin CaldarelliPartnerPrinceton College Consulting, LLC

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

I don’t think there is any benefit. This is a question I get a lot from Asian and Indian students who obviously do not want to be held to a higher standard, but generally unless there was a compelling reason that went along with the whole application (like a philosophical argument against culturally created categories) I would not hide from it.

Annie ReznikCounselor/CEOCollege Guidance Coach

Affirmative Action 101

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 use 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.

Peter SilbermanAssistant Dean of AdmissionsUniversity of Pennsylvania

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

Here is my video response to the question.

Rod BugarinFormer Admissions OfficerColumbia, Brown, and Wesleyan University

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

Here is my video response to the question.

Save time. Let us search for you.

Narrow down over 1,000,000 scholarships with personalized results.

Get matched to scholarships that are perfect for you!

START YOUR SEARCH