(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
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Postby Brandeis » Sat Nov 26, 2011 9:34 am


I am 3/4 European American and 1/4 African American. I always go back and forth between leaving the race section blank, checking only white, and checking white and African American. My paternal grandfather (who died at 40) was African American. He got my paternal grandmother, a wealthy European, pregnant.

I have blue eyes, fair skin, and wavy brown hair. Kids used to ask me "what are you" and laugh at me when I told them: English, Irish, German, Hungarian, and African.

As I apply to law school, I wonder if I should write about my discomfort with my background. Write about the fact that my Mother, who I love dearly, is ashamed of my father's heritage and has tried to downplay it since the day I was born. Write about the fact that even though I look to be the whitest of white, I am also African, and I am proud of that part of my heritage.

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Re: URM???

Postby lats19nys » Sat Nov 26, 2011 12:25 pm

...So you're uncomfortable with your background(oops b4 wrote breakdown) but not uncomfortable with your background? You might want to reread what you wrote. I mean it's one thing if you said that you've outgrown that uncomfortable phase. I don't know I honestly have mixed feelings about this. It probably would help you individually if you try to point that out but I feel uncomfortable with people pulling the race card given your situation. Having been involved with admissions, frankly, it's been made clear to me that yes, in many cases, they will blindly include you with the African American pool. I've seen it done with a kid who frankly looks white, grew up in a white neighborhood, had parents attend Ivy league institutions. In fact, they explained his poor grades and test scores away because he was still top 4% of the African American pool to the Ivy League school in question. So...frankly, it would help you...but morally I hope that's something that's a real reflection of your experiences.

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Re: URM???

Postby bdubs » Sat Nov 26, 2011 12:31 pm

Write a DS about your experiences. They aren't going to ding you for not being African enough. You will get the diversity boost and will get bonus points if you write your DS well.

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Tom Joad
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Re: URM???

Postby Tom Joad » Sat Nov 26, 2011 12:32 pm

If your paternal grandfather was a black African-American then I wouldn't see why you wouldn't check both boxes. If he was North African then it would be different because they aren't considered URMs as far as I know. But either way DS is credited.

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Re: URM???

Postby JamMasterJ » Sat Nov 26, 2011 12:33 pm

check both boxes

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Re: URM???

Postby lsdream » Sat Nov 26, 2011 12:38 pm

It reads as though you wanted no part of an African American heritage until you believe it may help your admission chances. I hope I misread.

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Re: URM???

Postby kapachino » Sat Nov 26, 2011 1:06 pm

LSAC doesn't care about the amount of URM blood you have. If you have it, you count as a URM. Some would argue the ethics of using it if you don't follow any cultural traditions of your URM heritage and only want it for an admissions boost, but that's a judgment call.

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Re: URM???

Postby 20121109 » Sat Nov 26, 2011 1:13 pm

bdubs wrote:Write a DS about your experiences. They aren't going to ding you for not being African enough. You will get the diversity boost and will get bonus points if you write your DS well.

There is no such thing as "bonus points" for writing a DS...at least in any quantifiable measure.

But I do suggest you write your DS just because your story sounds rather compelling, and this will enhance the general strength of your application.

You are black...Check both black and white boxes. The URM boost is the same whether you are 100% black or 25% black. Any moral issues about just now discovering your African heritage for admissions purposes are irrelevant...as long you're actually black, you can identify as such. People may give you the side-eye, though...

Good luck on your cycle.

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Re: URM???

Postby vanwinkle » Sat Nov 26, 2011 1:20 pm

Banned for being another alt of this person: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=172240#p4963636

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