Is there any benefit to checking “no race” on the application?
As part our College Q & A guide, we decided to ask your questions to the experts. Here are their answers.
Bill Pruden Head of Upper School, College Counselor, Ravenscroft School
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.
Annie Reznik Counselor/CEO College Guidance Coach
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.