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    Hello there! I have a really, really, really stupid question. But I am still dying to know, lol. :confused:

    So I am sixteen and from North America. I am in the whole process of preparation-for-colleges-oh-I'm-working-hard and I've been doing a lot of research about universities. Recently I discovered that applicants' race matter when they apply for the Ivy League schools here (African American ++ Hispanics + White - Asians --...I know it is an unfair system but *sighs*, life is life) and I was wondering if your race matters too when you apply for Oxbridge Unis... Because I find it kinda weird that world-class institutions have this kind of criterias lol.

    Thanks!
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    No.
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    (Original post by vander Beth)
    No.
    what she said
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    Are you sure that an applicant's race matters for Ivy league unis? Seems a tad despicable to me...
    Perhaps they allow so many of each ethnicity as part of an equal opportunities scheme?
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    Your race doesn't matter. There are equal opportunities schemes for people who come from crap schools, etc but these only affect British students.
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    (Original post by lowrax)
    Are you sure that an applicant's race matters for Ivy league unis? Seems a tad despicable to me...
    Perhaps they allow so many of each ethnicity as part of an equal opportunities scheme?
    No, the reasoning behind it is that they're aiming for a "diverse" student body, even if that means quotas which can make it significantly harder or easier for people to gain a place, depending on their ethnicity. It's an American thing.:dontknow:
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    Yes an applicant's race matters for Ivy League. Here's what I found.

    Exploit your minority status, hide your white background, avoid being Asian. Espenshade and Chung estimate a 230-point boost for African-Americans, 185 points for Hispanics, a 50-point deducation for Asian-Americans, and nothing for Whitey. Currently, the Common App allows students to self-identify multiple races or none at all; thus, the following guidelines:

    * i. Non-Asian Minorities: List your race in the section provided for it and devote at least one essay to race-related "grappling." If possible, join an organization (preferrably a charitable one!) that focuses on your ethnic background and/or related backgrounds: Not only does this allow you to bring up your race more than once, it'll help with all that grappling! Since you're an Ivy-aspiring young'un, you should already be introspective and caring enough to do these things on your own. But if you're among the dispassionately aggressive multitude that manages to take every Ivy League class by storm, you'll be wise enough to fake it.
    * ii. White folk: You have two options. The first option is to be honest, check off the "White/Caucasian" bubble, and move on. The second option might make you go to hell, but if you want to go to Harvard, you're probably into fiery torture, anyway. So: Fudge the truth. This could mean checking off the "Other" bubble. (Race is a social construct! We're all "out of Africa," anyway!) Alternately, you could take advantage of that one great-great-grandmother who might have been part Iroquois because she had the most gorgeous cheekbones. We spoke to a white, US-born child of Apartheid-era South Africans who identified himself as "African-American" on his application. No word on whether it ever came up. Of course, we'll never know if it mattered, or if he got in on merit.
    * iii. Asians: You're screwed. It's not the negative-50 SAT points that will get you, it's the nebulous world of underhanded anti-Asian discrimination that upper education can't quite shake, of late. Part I of our guide saw an admissions officer snorting at "another Asian math genius with no personality." This time, let's try the account of a Yale student from the West Coast:

    My interviewer complimented me as a breath of fresh air because he sees a lot of really smart Asian fellows come in with absolutely no personality, who just do well in school, and he laments that they don't seem to have lives outside of school, making for really boring interviews. The funny thing is that I was pretty much exactly that throughout high school (except of Mexican heritage), but he just happened to catch all the wrong, "not-an-academic-recluse" signals from me.

    While interviews are generally irrelevant (see #4) the sentiment is startlingly pervasive. Asians who want to beat the odds can decline to name their race, but it's not like they won't notice if your name is, say, Jian Li. If you feel like going to hell, try the fudging techniques listed in section ii. (As a mixed-Asian girl with a white name, I should probably note that race denial can turn its subjects into depressed, addled un-people and probably isn't worth it. Then again, the sandblast of time may have dulled my memory of how it feels to be a desperately ambitious, upwardly-mobile eighteen-year-old, so my risk/reward calculus could be off.)
    And in addition I've been looking everywhere before coming to this conclusion. I've been reading sources and visiting US unis forums.
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    My great uncle married a Shawnee Indian. Harvard, here I come.
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    (Original post by jijirose)
    Hello there! I have a really, really, really stupid question. But I am still dying to know, lol. :confused:

    So I am sixteen and from North America. I am in the whole process of preparation-for-colleges-oh-I'm-working-hard and I've been doing a lot of research about universities. Recently I discovered that applicants' race matter when they apply for the Ivy League schools here (African American ++ Hispanics + White - Asians --...I know it is an unfair system but *sighs*, life is life) and I was wondering if your race matters too when you apply for Oxbridge Unis... Because I find it kinda weird that world-class institutions have this kind of criterias lol.

    Thanks!
    you have positive discrimination / AA laws in the USA which differ from how things are done here.

    our positive discrimination laws states that if there are two equally good candidates, but one is from a background which is a discriminated against group, then the employer can legally select the person from the discriminated against group without experiencing tribunal/legal consequences.

    in the USA i believe your laws are slightly different in that provisions have to be made to support people from discriminated against groups.

    oxbridge admit soley based on merit, academic ability/potential and the ability to learn in the specific way in which oxbridge teaches.

    for Cambridge, if someone has had an education which has been restricted or disrupted due to personal, teaching, or other problems, then this can be disclosed in through the Access scheme. further, educational background may be considered when an offer is made, and if conditional, the conditions may be lower to compensate for the surrounding problems.

    (i personally think this is a better system than the american AA system, but each to their own)
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    (Original post by hobnob)
    No, the reasoning behind it is that they're aiming for a "diverse" student body, even if that means quotas which can make it significantly harder or easier for people to gain a place, depending on their ethnicity. It's an American thing.:dontknow:
    i don't think quotas are legally mandated, although many institutions unofficially have them.

    what i have been told by american friends is that things like tuition or accomodation fees are waived based on their gender/ethnicity. or there are extra scholarships. or that schools are more eager for non-white and female applicants so will do more to entice them (such as provide childcare for single mothers, but not single fathers etc).

    i personally hate their AA scheme, it's not inclusive enough, and still provides segregation/hostility based on ethnic/gender lines. further, it doesn't actually do anything about institutional discrimination (but seems to create the illusion it is no more, and so can increase hostility from people who are white/male - all of this is IMO).

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    I couldn't be bothered to read all that, but having finished reading Freakonomics today, I'm inclined to believe that the Ivies don't actually discriminate due to race; rather, that if you're black or hispanic you're more likely to come from a poor background, thus more likely to have low educational achievement (so your race is an indicator, not a cause, of low educational attainment and not getting into the Ivies). Unless that is of course you have some data about applicants to offer ratios for different races for certain Universites, controlled for differing educational achievement
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    Here is an article from the New Yorker which reaffirms the belief that the top institutions in the US have some rather distinctly non-academic criteria when choosing students to admit.
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    The issue of whether there should be affirmative action is a complex one. The object is NOT to fill a quota, but rather to recognize that some potentially talented applicants are at an inherent disadvantage because of their race / socio-economic status, and given the chance, they might be able to fulfill their potential.

    Moreover, affirmative action recognizes that the traditional methods of testing (at least in American universities), such as the SATs, might not be able to measure accurately the true potential of a student. A disadvantaged student might not be able to display his/her talent in such tests, and, therefore, might require additional consideration of his/her circumstances.

    The best example of this that comes to mind is Justice Sonia Sotomayor (who actually just got confirmed to the Supreme Court today!). Justice Sotomayor had lower SAT scores than her peers, but she was admitted to Princeton based on affirmative action because someone at Princeton recognized that she was a talented student who hadn't had the opportunity yet to express her talents. Sotomayor went on to graduate with the highest honors from Princeton, besting many of her non-affirmative action colleagues. Clearly, she was able to perform at that level, but just didn't have the chance to prove so earlier.
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    (Original post by klondiker)
    The issue of whether there should be affirmative action is a complex one. The object is NOT to fill a quota, but rather to recognize that some potentially talented applicants are at an inherent disadvantage because of their race / socio-economic status, and given the chance, they might be able to fulfill their potential.

    Moreover, affirmative action recognizes that the traditional methods of testing (at least in American universities), such as the SATs, might not be able to measure accurately the true potential of a student. A disadvantaged student might not be able to display his/her talent in such tests, and, therefore, might require additional consideration of his/her circumstances.

    The best example of this that comes to mind is Justice Sonia Sotomayor (who actually just got confirmed to the Supreme Court today!). Justice Sotomayor had lower SAT scores than her peers, but she was admitted to Princeton based on affirmative action because someone at Princeton recognized that she was a talented student who hadn't had the opportunity yet to express her talents. Sotomayor went on to graduate with the highest honors from Princeton, besting many of her non-affirmative action colleagues. Clearly, she was able to perform at that level, but just didn't have the chance to prove so earlier.
    agreed that that is/should be the philosophy behind AA, however, it seems soem people, employers and schools interpret it differently - from what i have been told by both white-american and african-american friends.

    just out of curiosity, is AA also supposed to recognise things like class or economic disadvantage also? i got into a debate recently with a white, working-class man who was annoyed that Paris Hilton could get AA support, but he could not.
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    (Original post by fumblewomble)
    This is precisely why Oxbridge have the interview system to enable them to guage a student's potential.
    Right, exactly. The interview system is an excellent way to gauge potential. I could be wrong, but I don't think that many of the Ivies interview, at least not in any systematic way.
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    (Original post by Lafin23)
    ...but it helps to come from a state school...

    if using only their application statistics, then this is a conclusion that could be drawn. for instance the ratio state to private applicants is roughly 50:50, yet the stats for admission are 60:40 in favour of state schools... so it's marginal really.

    http://www.cam.ac.uk/admissions/unde...acherguide.pdf
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    (Original post by klondiker)
    The issue of whether there should be affirmative action is a complex one. The object is NOT to fill a quota, but rather to recognize that some potentially talented applicants are at an inherent disadvantage because of their race / socio-economic status, and given the chance, they might be able to fulfill their potential.

    Moreover, affirmative action recognizes that the traditional methods of testing (at least in American universities), such as the SATs, might not be able to measure accurately the true potential of a student. A disadvantaged student might not be able to display his/her talent in such tests, and, therefore, might require additional consideration of his/her circumstances.

    The best example of this that comes to mind is Justice Sonia Sotomayor (who actually just got confirmed to the Supreme Court today!). Justice Sotomayor had lower SAT scores than her peers, but she was admitted to Princeton based on affirmative action because someone at Princeton recognized that she was a talented student who hadn't had the opportunity yet to express her talents. Sotomayor went on to graduate with the highest honors from Princeton, besting many of her non-affirmative action colleagues. Clearly, she was able to perform at that level, but just didn't have the chance to prove so earlier.
    I was thinking about this earlier. People AREN'T at an inherent disadvantage due to their race. As you said after, they ARE at an inherent disadvantage due to their socio economic status.

    For some reason, employers / universities in the US have thought... blacks and latinos are more likely than the average to come from a poor background... and to compensate for this, we'll give them points etc. I don't understand... why not just bypass the race-bit and compensate for how poor you are? Because surely that is the whole point about affirmative action or positive discrimination or whatever- to give disadvantaged students a chance by recognising their circumstances.

    Sorry for rambling, but what I meant was that it is unfair that a rich black kid is held to be "more disadvantaged" than a poor white kid, according to the points stuff..

    (sorry if that isn't the system and they do in fact take into account parental income stuff, I don't know the american system!!)
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    (Original post by Lafin23)
    ...but it helps to come from a state school...
    "Academic potential".

    It rightly helps to come from a state school because if 2 equal students predicted, say, AAAB both apply but one is from Eton / the other from a state school, who shows more "academic potential"..? (based on this info alone)
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    (Original post by Miss Prankster Pixie)
    agreed that that is/should be the philosophy behind AA, however, it seems soem people, employers and schools interpret it differently - from what i have been told by both white-american and african-american friends.

    just out of curiosity, is AA also supposed to recognise things like class or economic disadvantage also? i got into a debate recently with a white, working-class man who was annoyed that Paris Hilton could get AA support, but he could not.
    Right. You bring up a really good point. AA in the US has traditionally focused on race and gender. But, those are obviously not the only determinants of privilege. As your example shows, a working class white male may have more disadvantages than an affluent white female, and so on. But, most AA policies would not be able to accommodate that.

    So, while I support AA, I think it should be radically over-hauled. It should take a more holistic view of barriers that people face, including income, physical and learning disabilities, and so on. Not every ethnic or religious minority should automatically be applicable for AA.
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    (Original post by PGtips92)
    I was thinking about this earlier. People AREN'T at an inherent disadvantage due to their race. As you said after, they ARE at an inherent disadvantage due to their socio economic status.

    For some reason, employers / universities in the US have thought... blacks and latinos are more likely than the average to come from a poor background... and to compensate for this, we'll give them points etc. I don't understand... why not just bypass the race-bit and compensate for how poor you are? Because surely that is the whole point about affirmative action or positive discrimination or whatever- to give disadvantaged students a chance by recognising their circumstances.

    Sorry for rambling, but what I meant was that it is unfair that a rich black kid is held to be "more disadvantaged" than a poor white kid, according to the points stuff..

    (sorry if that isn't the system and they do in fact take into account parental income stuff, I don't know the american system!!)

    Yeah, you're right. For instance, it would be silly if, say, Barack Obama's daughters - being black and female - were to take advantage of AA policies. Compared to a poor white male, they are obviously super-privileged. So, in general, AA should definitely take into account the full extent of someone's situation, rather than automatically giving them "points" for being a racial minority.

    Just one point though: there are some instances where you can be at an inherent disadvantage because of your race, at least in the US. Just last week, reports came out the black children in Philadelphia were barred from using a white-only swimming pool. There are private schools that will not admit black students (under the guise of some other reason), and there are white-only neighbourhoods that receive a disproportionately high share of public funds, etc. But, in general, I agree with you that income is probably a more significant indicator...
 
 
 
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