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.

 
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 HutchinsonDirector 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!