College Essays Ethnicity

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“Everyone comes in wanting the same thing,” Zell said.

“But that’s because they don’t know about anything else.”If a student wants to be an engineer, she makes sure to show other options.

They will study until they can’t remember how to have fun and stuff their schedules with extracurriculars.

But there’s an important part of their college applications that they can’t improve as easily as an SAT score: their ethnicity.

In November, a group called Students for Fair Admissions filed a suit against Harvard University for admissions policies that allegedly discriminate against Asian Americans.

The group cited the 2004 Princeton study and other sources that offer statistics about Asian Americans’ test performance.

Another court upheld the policies and another appeal is pending.)Those who defend “holistic” admissions policies insist that considering a broader range of variables ensures that all applicants are judged fairly.

And the Princeton study Lee refers to has been widely criticized by academics who argue that it relies too heavily on grades and test scores to draw conclusions about racial bias and that the data the study uses are too old to be relevant.

For immigrant parents raised in Asia’s all-or-nothing test cultures, a good education is not just a measure of success — it’s a matter of survival.

They see academic achievement as a moral virtue, and families organize their lives around their child’s education, moving to the best school districts and paying for tutoring and tennis lessons.


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