The college admissions game has gotten brutal and, as the competition mounts for entrance into elite colleges, hardworking Asian students often find themselves overlooked and underrepresented. Much of this is due to unfavorable stereotyping.
Before you get too upset, you need to realize that there are all kinds of stereotypes associated with students applying to college. There are stereotypes for:
- privileged kids
- disadvantaged kids
- city kids
- rural kids
- brilliant kids
- science/math kids
- artsy kids
- immigrants or children of immigrant parents
- Asian kids
To be fair, college admissions offices read thousands of applications. And, as they sort and sift, they find that many kids with similar backgrounds start to look the same. Kids graduating from a particular school or homeschool group often have very similar resumes.
As an educational consultant, I see it every day as well. Let me give you some examples. Intellectually brilliant young men from the South and Midwest often have profiles that look alike – stellar academics, Boy Scouts, and martial arts. Debaters also tend to clump in certain activities – debate, Teen Court, and massive volunteering. Asian kids tend to excel in math and science, reach near-expert status on the violin or piano, and volunteer minimally for a food pantry, soup kitchen, or missions.
Professionals who deal with college applications aren’t trying to discriminate against your student and invent a stereotype with which to pigeonhole them. You have to understand that the stereotypes are there because they are so often true.
All the stereotypes for different kinds of kids have positive aspects as well as negative aspects. In a positive sense, colleges know that Asian kids will perform well academically and get a good job once they graduate. However, they are concerned that the intense drive and narrow focus of many Asian students will impede their contribution socially and artistically to their college environment.
The bottom line is that Asian students need to be extremely careful as they navigate through high school and apply to college. To help Asian families think through the issues and present winning college applications, I’ve just released a short Kindle book on Amazon, Beating the Bias: Overcoming the Asian Stereotype in College Admissions.
Grab your copy today and send this link to your friends who might benefit from the discussion!
Are you on our VIP List? If you would like to receive our newsletter, be the first to be notified of sales and new classes, and get special updates, click here!