We work with a large number of Asian students that are interested in BS/MD programs and medical school admissions. And we constantly hear about the Asian bias in college admissions. But what does that mean in practical terms?
No college wants to see a bunch of kids that all look alike. Yes, colleges want smart students but they also want lots of other things. They want students who are interesting. Students that contribute to making a college campus with many different activities going on. Asian students that all look alike aren’t going to fare well in admissions. But neither is any group of students that all look alike.
One of the solutions that I read about with some consultants is to not look “too Asian”. Frankly, I find that offensive. Be who you are. But the focus should be on those things that you really like to do. Not on things that you think will make you look like a good candidate.
While the majority of our students are of Asian origin they do just fine in admissions. They get into top BS/MD programs as well as ivy league schools and other highly selective colleges like top 10 liberal arts colleges.
Why do they do well? In part, because we don’t treat them like Asian students. Rather we treat each student as an individual who has their own unique interests and background. Yes, if you have 15 years of classical Indian dance that isn’t going to be the focal point of your application. But we aren’t going to ignore it either. We don’t make our students less Asian. We help them show each college that Asian is just their ethnic background. We help them show the college who the real person is behind the application.
Your goal is to be the best, and most interesting, student possible. Your ethnicity is what it is. Embrace it but don’t let it define you in the college admissions process.
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