College Admission Strategy — deny being an Asian

Many Asian American supporters urged me to make a maximum effort to call our community’s attention to this AP article.

Some Asian’s college strategy: Don’t check “Asian” 

One said, ” When Asian American students are apprehensive to even state themselves as “Asian Americans” in their college applications, there is something fundamentally wrong with the whole process. Being born to be of a certain race or ethnicity is not something one can choose. To be handicapped by such a factor is a violation of the very American value of Equal Opportunity. I am whole heartedly in support of the noble ideal of achieving diversity, but totally against such crude attempt in social engineering that put such as a large group of people under such injustice for so long. Therefore I am in support of 80-20 to take on the issue of race-based affirmative action.”

To read the complete article, click on .

Here are some excerpts:

 Lanya Olmstead was born in Florida to a mother who immigrated from Taiwan and an American father of Norwegian ancestry. Ethnically, she considers herself half Taiwanese and half Norwegian. But when applying to Harvard, Olmstead checked only one box for her race: white.

“I didn’t want to put ‘Asian’ down,” Olmstead says, “because my mom told me there’s discrimination against Asians in the application process.”

For years, many Asian-Americans have been convinced that it’s harder for them to gain admission to the nation’s top colleges. Studies show that Asian-Americans meet these colleges’ admissions standards far out of proportion to their 6 percent representation in the U.S. population, and that they often need test scores hundreds of points higher than applicants from other ethnic groups to have an equal chance of admission. Critics say these numbers, along with the fact that some top colleges with race-blind admissions have double the Asian percentage of Ivy League schools, prove the existence of discrimination.

The way it works, the critics believe, is that Asian-Americans are evaluated not as individuals, but against the thousands of other ultra-achieving Asians who are stereotyped as boring academic robots. Now, an unknown number of students are responding to this concern by declining to identify themselves as Asian on their applications.

. . . Amalia Halikias is a Yale freshman whose mother was born in America to Chinese immigrants; her father is a Greek immigrant. She also checked only the “white” box on her application. . . . . .

. . . “The whole Tiger Mom stereotype is grounded in truth,” says Tao Tao Holmes, a Yale sophomore with a Chinese-born mother and white American father. 6387 She did not check “Asian” on her application. “My math scores aren’t high enough for the Asian box,” she says. “I say it jokingly, but there is the underlying sentiment of, if I had emphasized myself as Asian, I would have (been expected to) excel more in stereotypically Asian-dominated subjects.”

. . . Susanna Koetter, a Yale junior with an American father and Korean mother, was adamant about identifying her Asian side on her application. Yet she calls herself “not fully Asian-American. I’m mixed Asian-American. When I go to Korea, I’m like, blatantly white.” And yet, asked whether she would have
considered leaving the Asian box blank, she says: “That would be messed up. I’m not white.”

. . .”Identity is very malleable,” says Jasmine Zhuang, a Yale junior whose parents were both born in Taiwan. She didn’t check the box, even though her last name is a giveaway and her essay was about Asian-American identity.

. . .Asian students have higher average SAT scores than any other group, including whites. A study by Princeton sociologist Thomas Espenshade examined applicants to top colleges from 1997, when the maximum SAT score was 1600 (today it’s 2400). Espenshade found that Asian-Americans needed a 1550 SAT to have an equal chance of getting into an elite college as white students with a 1410 or black students with an 1100.

Top schools that don’t ask about race in admissions process have very high percentages of Asian students. The California Institute of Technology, a private school that chooses not to consider race, is about one-third Asian. (Thirteen percent of California residents have Asian heritage.) The University of California- Berkeley, which is forbidden by state law to consider race in admissions, is more than 40 percent Asian — up from about 20 percent before the law was passed.  

History will evaluate the worth of this generation of Asian Ams one day. 

I believe one key factor is how we teach and nurture our children. Whether we are tiger-moms or lion-fathers, whether we pay nothing or $65,000 per year for a child’s college education, if we don’t make a concerted effort to alleviate the current situation — when one popular college admission strategy is to deny one’s own racial identity — then we deserve the worst rating. Unite! Help grow our GROUP Political clout.

Do your share. 

80-20’s Board will vote on filing a “friend of the court” legal brief with the Supreme Court supporting a “merit-based college admission that does not discriminate against any race” tomorrow evening. Express your view. Forward this e-newsletter to your friends & relatives.

To join, using a credit card, click on here. Or send your check to: 
80-20 PAC  •  13337 South St. #189  •  Cerritos, CA 90703. 

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$50; Student $15; Life Member $1,000.

Respectfully yours,
S. B. Woo, a volunteer for 80-20 PAC for 13 years & donated $100K