Race in a Box

Interesting question raised by Gina Carroll over at BlogHer. The question: should college applicants disclose their racial backgrounds? Frankly, I think it takes more than one box to identify individuals in a country that is increasingly multi-racial.

With regard to checking or not checking the race boxes, the general sentiment among students seems to be that applicants are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. African-American peers may accuse bi- or multi-racial kids for trying to gain preference by claiming to be “all black” or trying to gain an advantage by identifying as black “only at application time.” And their Caucasian colleagues might assume that the student gained admission preferences whether they actually identified with an under-represented group or not. Often, with this assumption comes the implication that students-of-color are undeserving of, and unqualified for, their acceptances.