Applying as an Underrepresented Minority
CollegeAdvisor.com (formerly Bullseye Admissions) presents its webinar on Applying as an Underrepresented Minority in a 60-minute webinar and Q&A with a Bullseye advisor. Our presenters will provide information about how to approach the college search, essay prompts, and more. Our advisors will share information about their own experiences applying to college and their tips on how to succeed as a URM applicant.
2020-09-10 Applying as an Underrepresented Minority
Do you wanna hit the record button? I think Tess is doing it. Oh, gotcha. Okay. Okay.
Hi. So today we’re going to be talking about applying to college as an underrepresented minority. Yeah.
I think that we can jump right in. All right. So I’m one of the presenters. My name is Matthew. I am taking a gap year this year, and then I will be joining Stanford’s a class of 2025. So I’m interested in majoring in economics and sociology. And part of the reasons that I chose Stanford was because of the diverse community for and the strong network for underrepresented minority.
I know some of it was really important when I was going through my college process. I went in a lot of diversity fly-ins, which we will be talking about in a bit. Hi everyone. I’m Carolyn. I recently graduated in June with a degree in human biology. And then hum bio. I concentrated in infectious diseases, which is super relevant right now.
Currently I have plans to attend medical school. I’m taking two gap years and during that time I’m volunteering with a local nonprofit here in Southern California. And I am also dedicating a lot of my time to helping high school seniors with the college application process.
In today’s webinar, we’re going to start off by talking about. The application process, and what’s what it’s like to apply to colleges as an underrepresented minority. And then we’ll talk about how to choose the right college after you start hearing some good news to make sure that you’ll you choose the college, that you’ll be happy.
And we will also be dedicating the first half of the webinar to discussing the specifics of applying to college as an underrepresented minority and what that means. They got a lot of questions as far as what being URM means.
So to colleges as an underrepresented minority, what exactly does that mean? Many colleges consider an applicant to be your URM one. They have one or more of the following racial or ethnic backgrounds. And right now the term currently does not apply to LGBTQ plus applicants. Now, does that mean that.
Your specific background isn’t necessarily in high demand at universities. Not really. I think that everyone has a unique story and just because your background doesn’t necessarily is not necessarily listed as one of these cultural identities doesn’t mean that you’re. Any more of a disadvantage.
It’s all about how you cater yourself, how you explain the impact that your background has had on you and what you can offer to the rest of the college community. That being said we will move on to important factors when applying to college for all applicants as many of you already know GPA and high test scores under normal circumstances are very important.
But they’re not the end all be all. A key note. Far as GPA is that because weighted GPA’s vary depending on each high school, because certain highest schools have higher or lower grade inflation, unweighted GPA is a much better predictor of what your grades are alike. And so since officer’s take into account both your unweighted GPA and the type of course load that you take at your school.
Now some questions that I’ve gotten in the past are, oh no, Carolyn, my school doesn’t necessarily offer AP or IB courses or dual enrollment. The most important thing is to take advantage of whatever challenging courses your school offers. If you live in an under, if you attend a high school that maybe underfunded, there are a ton of AP or IB course options, the most important thing, assistant.
Take what you can because ultimately you can you can control certain factors. You can’t control others. Another important factor for all applicants is that you participate in activities that you enjoy and are invested in. Now, what does that mean? College admissions officers want to see that you’re passionate about something and they want to see that you’re, you’re contributing to something while being happy.
And I bolded you enjoy and are invested because those are the important things. When you are talking about extracurricular activities that you’re involved in, as far as being invested in certain extracurricular activities. What that means is either by having leadership positions or by dedicating and spending a lot of time to that extracurricular activity.
It’s not necessary to have leadership positions, but it does show investment in whatever activity you’re doing. And then. Final major factor when applying to colleges is to talk about an attribute skill or experience that sets you apart. And this is the one aspect that applicants who apply to college as an underrepresented minority, I can really highlight their background, not being sad.
Differentiating yourself as a URM applicant. Simply being from a cultural or ethnic background that is underrepresented in academia, won’t set you apart. You can’t just check off a box and expect that’s gonna give you any advantage. You need to talk about your experience and that can be in any of the essays, whether that be the common app essay or any of the supplemental essays, or when you’re talking about your activities in the activity section of the common app can you just talk about your experiences?
And that can look like a bunch of. Different things. You can dedicate an entire essay about your cultural background, what that means to you, you don’t have to do that. Another way that you can go about it is simply. Talking about a topic or subject that really interests you well, maybe including ways in which your background has influenced the way in which you think about that topic.
There’s a bunch of different ways that you can describe how your background whether that’d be ethnic or religious or Your sexual orientation, how all of that contributes to how you see the world. Ultimately college admissions officers really want to not only get to know your interests and who you are as a person, but also how you go about analyzing yourself the world, the perspectives of others.
Yeah. In regards to other ways that you can differentiate yourself as a URM applicant are attending and applying to diversity flying weekend programs, and a lot of top tier universities, such as the ones that I’ve mentioned here. This is not an exhaustive list. There’s a bunch of universities with flying programs.
If you attend these programs these universities, when you apply to them, take into account, whether you attended those flying programs by attending those flying programs it does give you a couple extra brownie points because you are much more likable who attend those universities. If you ended up going to those fine programs, it shows interest just not that it plays a significant role.
It’s not if you attend these fly in person. You’re in, but it does help. My little sister attends am her Amherst college and she attended their flying program and she absolutely loved it. It gave her a really good sense of what the school was like. And a lot of these programs are free.
Because a lot of underrepresented minorities do fall under the first gen low income category. Here is a list of programs with links and I will put that link in the chat. Oh, I just put it in. Just so you didn’t have to worry about it. But I actually did attend several flying programs and flying programs can hold a lot of strategic value because they’re another opportunity for you to show who you are, what you value and send essays to a college.
So if you apply for the flying program, even if you don’t get it, you’re still showing the college university or applying to that. I’m very interested in going into your school. And I spent X amount of time filling out an application to attend your class. Program, for example, like I didn’t, I applied for, but didn’t get into the Dartmouth college, the Dartmouth bound flying program, but I was ultimately admitted to the school and I was wait-listed for the Pomona one, but ultimately was admitted to the school and she went talking to a Pomona admissions counselor after I was admitted.
She basically talked about how much she loved my flying application essay. In addition to the essays I did send. So admissions officers do is take note of the essays that you send and who applies to diversity. Fly-ins but the fly-ins I did go on really helped me figure out whether or not I would be happy at the school.
And at the end of the day, that was what really mattered to me.
Awesome. So to give you guys some extra time to check out the link, we also have a pool here for everyone.
And if it hasn’t popped up already, it should be popping up soon. Yeah.
Just about everyone and from the results of the poll, it seems like a lot of you are on the fence maybe. And a lot of you are, would also be interested. I feel like COVID definitely does impact the likelihood of people attending these programs because it’s not the safest out there. But yeah. Thank you for your responses.
Oops. I’m gonna be talking a little bit more about how to choose the right college when you are applying to college, because most people apply to more than one school. And even if you’re applying early decision to unschool, because he probably played to early decision to one school it’s really important to think critically on whether or not you will be happy there.
As an underrepresented minority. So when I think about whether or not I’ll be happy at a specific school I for me, it helped to think about my background. So I went to a predominantly white institution without a lot of other LA Latin people from like Latin origin or like Hispanic studies.
So I didn’t really feel very represented in my community and I didn’t really want that to continue. And I had chose a school. I wanted to feel like I was included with my and I didn’t have to like code switch in any ways. And I wanted to be a part of a larger community instead of just a small minority.
So it’s really important to think about how diverse your high school. Especially if diversity might not be at the forefront of your priority list, that might be because you’re coming from an institution that that is very diverse and has that diversity that you may not have experienced what it’s like to be without it.
So it’s really important for you to have in the back of your head. As a good metric to know when looking at different schools is like how much of a culture shock will going to the school be for me so important questions to ask yourselves is, did you feel adequately represented at your school?
What do you need for a space to feel welcoming? And do you wish your school was more diverse? And these are all really important questions to ask yourself. And I’ll be talking a little bit more about strategies to get answers about questions you might have about the specific culture and what it’s like to be a student at varying institutions which is really important to keep in mind.
So we have another poll for you. How important is campus diversity to you when you’re choosing a college?
all right, we’ll give you all another second to finish polling.
But we understand that there is a lot of different factors. You might be considering your college admissions process, but we just want this poll to see what is the most important factor to you. Okay.
Or it will give you all all right. That is it. So a lot of y’all talked about how it was a somewhat or fairly important factor in the college admissions process. When looking at how diverse a different institution that you might be considering applying to, or deciding between it’s really important, a really helpful resource is the common data set.
The common data set is an issue is a product with a common data set initiative which is a collaborative effort among data providers in higher education. To be much more transparent about what the campus life is like at this respective schools. And one of the one aspect of campus.
And the application process is the common data set. That’s why you’re able to find out a little bit more about the number of Hispanic or Latino students. There are on campus. The number of white, non Hispanic students are on campus et cetera. And this is a really helpful resource when navigating the college admissions process, because then it gives you a better picture of what campus diversity is, and it gives you a baseline to compare the diversity at different schools.
And, but it also gives you a baseline through which to compare the diversity of the school you’re currently attending and schools that you’re interested in. That way might help you answer how much of a culture shock attending this endeavor bearing institution is. However this doesn’t really answer every single question.
There are a lot of ethnic minorities like mom, students, and Vietnamese students that aren’t specifically like reference in the common data set. So you might not have statistics that will tell you exactly what the population of the student looks like. The student body looks and that might be putting you in a little bit more of a difficult spot.
And also it doesn’t tell you the number of international students in some common data sets. And it doesn’t tell you the socioeconomic diversity of the underrepresented minority students. So that might also be a a factor because not everyone. A person of color or underrepresented minority has the exact same experiences navigating life.
So this is just one piece of a much larger picture. No matter how it’s still just a resource, but it’s not the end all be all resource. And. Something to also keep in mind is that a lot of very small schools have a really large diversity statistics. I’m thinking about like schools like Pomona like pits or Amherst but because they’re so very small, like they might not have as large of a community as larger schools who that might have a larger population, but a lower percentage.
So that’s something to also keep in mind when you’re considering applying to live more liberal arts schools, more for state schools or larger public institutions. So what environment you need to be happy? Yeah. But you can also look at past administrative actions, whether or not your administration supports or ethnic or racial background is something that can be very important to know going into a school.
Like I know Stanford was in hot water after a lot of people were pushing to departmentalize black studies. And that was an administrative action that people were looking at engaging whether or not how, whether or not the administration. How the administration treats black students on campus based off of that metric.
So it’s important to read the news on your, on a particular school that you’re researching to know what it’s like. And a good way to know is know what the administration is likely to give in school. You can also look at the courses offered whether or not, for example, for LGBTQ students, whether or not they’re.
LGBTQ studies at a given school stuff like that might help you gauge how well regarded and how and whether or not you are validated and seen on campus. But something that I’m not a lot of people think about is the diversity of the faculty and staff. Because for me, it was very important to have professors that looked like.
And that’s something that I really wanted. So I looked at different student groups. I looked at different faculty members and you’re able to find a lot of these statistics online. And I personally am not really considering doing Greek life, but if you’re an underrepresented minority who is considering it, it’s an important aspect to do extra research, into, to see whether or not Greek life supports a diverse city.
What has been the track record with Greek? And a good way to do this has been to talk to current students. And some Google searches might also help, but some institutions are really diverse. But they might not be in the most diverse area which might also present difficulties, especially in some schools that are in the south.
So that’s definitely another thing that you can keep in the back of your head when you are applying to colleges.
Some strategies to determine how good of a fit you are after. You’ve narrowed down these questions. You’re going to be asking yourself is the best way is to talk to current students preferably from your geographic area. And if you have some students from your school or surrounding school district, that’s really helpful because they know the environment you’re coming from.
And they can tell you exactly how much of a culture shock there was because they experienced it themselves. And it might be helpful to schedule a call with a bullseye advisor to talk through different schools or talk or answer and ask questions. And both advisors can answer any questions you have about the school that they attend.
And a lot of bullseye advisors have a lot of experience with a lot of different schools. And it’s really important to just ask people about their experiences and give them opportunity to share their story. That’s really important because that’s an element of this process that the statistics can account for.
And it might also help, I know I contacted different student groups after I was accepted to learn a little bit more about what being a student there was like, but also know what programming there was for students like me to maintain a sense of community.
All right. Let’s go into the Q and a period. Open up do you want to read the first question?
I think he might be muted.
I was needed. Yeah, this was basically the end of the webinar. And now is your opportunity to submit any questions in the chat. This is your time to ask us any questions. And so the first question that we received in the chat is what if my school does not do unweighted GPA and the answer to that.
Matt, you can step in, in Casey, know more about it. So admissions offices have a lot of data on high schools and the average GPA’s the courses that they have at those high schools. And if your school doesn’t do unweighted GPA, there’s other ways that admissions officers can see what a challenging course load looks like.
What a good GPA looks like at your school. So if your school doesn’t do unweighted GPA’s I wouldn’t worry about it. Matt seems to be offline, so I’ll continue onto the next question. The next question is. Is Armenian a minority. I think something to keep in mind is to not be discouraged if your particular ethnicity does not, is not considered at least on paper as an underrepresented minority.
Diversity comes in all shapes and forms and the reason why The term underrepresented minority hones in, on very specific ethnicities, such as Latinex folks, black folks. A lot of Southeast Asian folks is because comparatively speaking. Those groups have like proportionally, less students who are represented at a lot of major universities.
So for example, if we take someone who is Jewish a lot of like proportionally, there’s a lot more Jewish students in American universities now, does that mean that they’re like, Does that mean that colleges don’t value your background? If you do not fall under the underrepresented minority category?
Absolutely not. If your culture is important to you, if you cherish your culture, if you cherish your heritage, I highly recommend that you talk about that. So technically Armenian is not necessarily considered a minority. Even with in the realm of being Armenian, there’s a lot of subcultures. And if you highlight that That signals diversity.
And college is really like that because for them, it is very important to not only accept students who can handle, the workload, but who will also add diversity and diversity doesn’t just mean ethnic diversity. It means, diversity within interests passions, religious diversity geographic diversity.
If you are. I don’t know, Russian is not on that list, but if you’re someone who is a Russian American living in the middle of, I don’t know, Montana, you’re not going to find very many of those people with that background. I hope that answers your question and just to add on a little bit more.
It definitely to just, I just wanted to reiterate that diversity just doesn’t mean diversity as an, a checkbox, but it also means diversity of experience. So if you feel like your experiences are something that is, has been different than other people and that most people don’t usually experience what you’ve experienced.
That might definitely be something that you should consider writing about, and that could definitely help set you apart and be a memorable application. So just because you’re not considered an underrepresented minority, doesn’t mean your experiences as a minority or as a member of a certain group, isn’t valid and doesn’t matter.
I think that’s very well said.
Do you want to take on another question?
I cut out for a little bit. Let me pull it up. Are you aware of any minority specific scholarships? Yes. There are a lot of minority specific scholarships. I actually was awarded a scholarship by the Hispanic heritage foundation. And that was a really great scholarship. And the way that I found scholarships around my Hispanic identity was I just researched.
I just put in my identity and scholarships and then I was able to find a lot, and it took a little while to sift through, because some scholarships are specifically targeting people who are first generation or people who are already in college. But you can definitely find some scholarships. It just takes a little bit of time to finish to do some research and do some background research.
Let’s talk about community. I highly recommend looking for scholarships as quickly as possible. This is because a lot of scholarships have, might have deadlines that are earlier. And some scholarships might have deadlines that are later, and that’s really important that you are aware of that, just so you make sure that you prioritize and apply to what’s most pressing to make sure you apply to everything that you need to apply for.
Great. Another question. The chat is, do you know if this applies to international schools? To be honest. I am not sure. I know that pretty much all American universities have a mission to have diverse classes of students. And I’m assuming that a lot of major international schools such as Oxford also have similar missions, but yeah.
I am not sure, Matt would you be able to speak more about that? I did not receive by two international schools, but it’s important to also know when you’re doing research on this question that international schools are really broad concept and there’s a lot that fits under that umbrella and a lot of different countries, a lot of different.
They do their admissions processes very differently. So make sure based on this question to make sure that you’re getting an answer that applies to all of the schools and your college list.
But he likes to take on the next question, Matt. Sounds great. Does being a minority put you at a disadvantage? I don’t think that being a minority really put me at a disadvantage in the application process. But I think that’s something to keep in mind when you’re applying as an underrepresented minority.
What the school population is. So I know that a lot of schools are hurting for diverse for diversity, they’re hurting for students of specific demographic group underrepresented on campus. For example, this school in American population of 8% and school B has an African-American population of 25%.
I African American students, who’s applying my be more highly favored by school, a and school B. So that’s something to consider and that that one part of the admissions process,
yes. Gray then extracurriculars that are also really important.
So next question is there a way to specifically apply it as you are M or is it just discovered through the normal application process? So when you’re filling out, whether that’s the common app coalition app, app or any other Application, there will be a section where you can check off what race and ethnicity you identify as.
And pretty much all the time there will be an other box. If you feel like your background doesn’t necessarily any of the boxes that are all written there. So it’s just a matter of checking off which box you think best matches with how you. Identify.
Alright. I am from Puerto Rico and my school doesn’t offer AP or honors classes. Does that affect my possibility of getting a, is there something I can do? As my wonderful co presenter said earlier it, if your school doesn’t offer. Honors or AP classes. That’s not going to put you at a disadvantage.
Your your application is going to be viewed in the context of your school and the resources and opportunities you had. So provided you took advantage of those opera academic opportunities that your letters of recommendation talks about how great and how eager of a student you were to learn. And how hard of a worker you are.
You can definitely I don’t think that will definitely hurt your ability to get into different schools. But your second question was about does that affect your possibility of getting a, so a lot of schools are neat. Okay. So which means that when you get in, they’re gonna match 100% of demonstrated need, and you can find that.
Oh, whether or not the school is need blind and meets 100% of demonstrated financial need on their website. And you can do a little bit more research on that. You like the FA if a school is admitting you they’re likely admitting you in the context of your school. And they think that you’re going to be able to handle it academically there.
So that doesn’t, that means you’re not going to be penalized for For not taking honors and AP classes and more over there are other ways to be able to replicate. Okay. Your academic rigor in your app, actual aid is usually calculated without looking at your grades. So I wouldn’t worry about that.
I would just worry about asking about letters of recommendation from teachers who know you well, who can speak to your academic and personal needs. And just to add to something that Matt was talking about you can go to basically all universities on their financial aid website have some sort of financial aid calculator and the child I have included Stanford’s financial aid calculator, but basically if you just type in the name of the university, along with financial aid calculator, The first or second link on Google should send you to that page.
And they’re pretty accurate calculators. When I was applying to college I use a bunch of these calculators and I checked and double checked. And by the time that I got accepted to several colleges my financial aid package was very similar to what the financial aid calculators gave me.
All right. Moving on to the next question, as an ethnicity, with a bunch of other applicants of the same ethnicity, is there any way you can boost your chances? The question didn’t specify an ethnicity. I guess we can use an example of Asian Americans since Asian-Americans are a huge group of applicants every year.
And so I want to reiterate that within every Ethnicity. There are a lot of like subcultures. And so even though Asian-Americans are a big group, I’d say it’s also a very diverse group. Think about how many sub cultures fall within the scope of being Asian or Asian American. Let’s say if you’re Chinese, there’s a bunch of sub cultures within being Chinese.
There’s a, China’s a huge country. There’s a bunch of regions and each region has its own culture. Even two people from the same region can have very different experiences. And as Matt said earlier it’s not just about what, what your background is, but what your experience consists of and how those experiences contribute to your academic experience and your pursuits.
So one way that you can boost your chances is by simply being honest and talking about experiences or maybe certain philosophies within your culture that are important to you and you don’t have to dedicate an entire essay to that. But I think that fitting those things somewhere in your application Can definitely boost your chances because you’re demonstrating another facet of who you are in your application.
You’ll be demonstrating, what your academic pursuits are, what your interests, passions are, what activities you participate in, but by showing a little bit about what your family background, cultural background consists stuff I think that definitely does boost your chances. And just remember that your identity is only one part of your application.
And like most schools are evaluating their applicants holistically. You can still like what was mentioned earlier. If you do actual real activities that you enjoy are and are invested in most admissions officers are going to be able to very easily distinguish between those who did activity, just because they thought there’d be, look good on a resume.
And those who actually are passionate and driven to continue exploring those activities when they’re in college. And if you like talk about an extreme view or skill or experience that sets you apart that experience and that attribute or that skill doesn’t have to be related to your ethnic identity it definitely can be, but doesn’t necessarily have to be.
You should definitely be focusing in on the aspects of yourself that you think the admissions officer should should know about. And what makes you say that? Because we all have very different experiences that we’ve lived through. It’s up to us to take a moment and reflect on our lives and think about what sets us apart and what shows who we are.
Do you want to take the next question? I can. Yeah. So next question is, could you provide how being URM has affected you in the application process? Sure. So I am Latina and Mexican American. So for me I think checking off the box that I’m Latina has affected me. I’d say I started noticing that since I entered high school.
And I’ve been introduced to a lot of opportunities that also later impacted where I’d be going to college. So one example is being recognized as a national recognized through the national Hispanic recognition program, which is like the Latinex national merit finalist side of things.
And when you check off Your racial and ethnic identity on standardized tests, you also get notified of specific opportunities for URM applicants. I’d say that leading up to my application cycle my senior year. Yeah. Colleges reached out to me to let me know of diversity flying programs.
And I was also let know of certain summer programs. So I attended the Telluride association summer program which is of fully paid for humanity summer program. And they reached out to me because they, each year they aim to select a diverse cohort. And so the. Checking off that I’m Latina impacted me even before I applied to colleges.
Once I applied to schools I noticed that in a lot of my interviews with alumni in the fall after, or. Winter after I turned in my application, some of the questions were oriented towards how being an ethnic minority affected my academic pursuits and my upbringing. And so I think checking off.
Myself as Latina has positively impacted me and has given me more opportunities than had I not checked off that box. Once I was accepted to Stanford and I attended their admin weekend, I found myself being invited to a lot of Latin X events to better get to know the Latinex community on campus and other opportunities.
Directed at Latin X students. I ended up joining Chicanos for health equity, which is like the pre health Latinex club. So that’s how it’s personally affected me. Yeah. I dunno if not, you’d want to jump in, share a little bit about your experience. Yeah. Before I applied to college, diversity signs are really important.
I put a lot of new schools on my radar and I guess I’ll learn a lot about what I really wanted by attended different diversity clients is when I went to a very like remote school, like Amherst, I realized that I wanted to do. And at least a suburban area or a city instead of being as remote as Amers.
But when I went to the crowds and flying, I really liked the presence of LGBTQ life there. And I knew that’s something that I was looking for, but just something to keep in mind is I know that I personally haven’t experiences. It’s a fairly common experience for for the underrepresented minorities.
Predominantly white institutions to be told by their classmates or by people from their high schools that they only got in because of their race or ethnicity or because they’re an underrepresented minority. And I just wanted to take the time to acknowledge that and just say that’s absurdly false and that we are all admitted for a very specific reason.
It’s not because of just one aspect of our application and being an underrepresented minority has presented a unique challenge. That we have had to overcome. But in addition to that, that it’s not any easier for like everyone has to attend every underrepresented minority, just like all students who are accepted to high, like any institution is accepted because they deserve it.
And because they’ve worked really hard, so don’t let the haters bring you down on that. That’s just something to keep in mind. If you go, if you’re from a predominantly white institution or going to a predominantly white institution, said so we’re partway through the Q and a as a quick break, I want to let you know what you can do after the seminar.
If you want to get help on your college apps. For me, Matthew or any of our other bulls-eye advisors. They’ll say has two advising plans, the starter plan and the scholar plan. They’re both monthly subscriptions where you get matched with an advisor of your choice and you get one or two hours of one-on-one advising each month as advisors, we will work with you on your college essays, choosing schools, interviews, and more.
I’m sending everyone at this panel, a link to get started in the offer link. Offer the offer link to our page to sign up. And our students have both that. I have had a lot of success working with an advisor whether it be in the past admission season this past admission season, we’ve had both like clients get into all the IVs and every top 25 school in the country.
Our clients rate us 9.8 of 10 and that’s because our advisors put in a lot of care and to working with you, one-on-one. Process. So if you want to discuss this more with either of us this is a really great opportunity to work with us, whether it be through your essays and conveying your conveying your experiences as an underrepresented minority or just pursuing any for that activity.
We would be more than happy and more than thrilled to be.
Great. And I’ve included a link to the page in case you did not get that. Pop-up
una. One of the questions Canada.
The best place to look for valve itself. So I would recommend once you find a scholarship that you’re thinking about applying to, to look up the name of the scholarship, I think cut out for a little bit. So could you repeat the question? Oh, thank you for letting me know, Kenneth, a website for scholarships, be fake or a scam.
And if so, what websites are the best place for to look for a valid scholarships? So my advice around looking for scholarships is. First of all, look for potentially school specific scholarships. So I know for example, Vanderbilt has the trans, the chancellor scholarship for students who will come to campus and do diversity work, or will bring a diverse experience onto campus.
And that’s definitely something that might be very important. To look out for, if you feel like you’ve done a lot of that adversity, where are you when you get to campus, you want to do that diversity work. That’s a really good place because you know that it’s legitimate because it’s actually offered by the school.
But the second place is sometimes these quote unquote reputable websites might not have a very rigorous vetting process for the scholarships they display. So I highly recommend Googling the name of the scholarship and see what comes up. If there’s a lot of like different posts about people previous to applying to the scholarship or whether or not they have a previous alumni page, that could be a really good way to know and evaluate whether or not a scholarship is legitimate.
And it also might be good to see if they have a phone number you can contact because oftentimes scholarships that. Are often potentially dams, but any scholarships that you have to pay for or pay to be considered that’s usually a scam as well. So you should definitely keep an eye out for those characteristics, those red flags.
Do you have anything.
I think everything that you said was well stated. I will say though, I never personally came across any fakers to catch these scholarships because a lot of the ones that I was interested in applying for were either local ones that my high school encouraged us to apply. Or they were big national ones.
Like Matt said, if you ever have a doubt, as far as how legitimate a scholarship is definitely Google, the organization or company that is promoting. That scholarship and definitely do not pay to apply for a scholarship that is definitely a scam. And you should never have to pay to apply because ultimately the whole point of getting a scholarship is you getting the money, not giving them the money.
Yeah. Be aware of getting scammed.
Definitely. I think we have time for one or two last questions. So make sure to get them in. I have a question in my direct message. So how did you showcase being an actor underrepresented minority without it being the only thing in your application? For me, I happen to do a lot of like diversity work because I went to a predominantly white Institute.
I definitely wanted to make my school more diverse. I worked with my school’s administration to do that, but in other applications, I didn’t talk about my diversity work. I just talked about different stories being with like just about me being with my parents and experiencing that culture and one to share that culture with others.
So you can definitely just talk about what your culture means to you. And what, you’re, what you’ve experienced as a member of your underrepresented minority group has and how that has affected you? That’s definitely one way that I would recommend going about applying to college as a URM.
Do you have anything to add.
I would say that for me, my background has definitely impacted the way that I see the world and it definitely impact my upbringing and my academic pursuits. I talked a lot about how my culture. Influenced me and how I viewed taking care of a few family members with mental health issues. And so that was what my common app essay was about.
And then in some other essays, I know that a very common topic is like, what interests you and why, or what’s important to you and why? And I talked about how, even though both of my parents are Mexican. Their upbringing affected me because all my dad was born in Mexico. He was raised here and was able to go.
Through K through 12 here and even went to college. While my mom only went to school up until eighth grade in rural Mexico, and she didn’t get her GED until I was in high school. And I talked about how each of the parents upbringings affected like my academic desires and pursuits. And for me specifically talking about my heritage and background was very important, but that may not be the reality for some people. Some people prefer to talk about other passions and interests. Yeah, I think. I definitely don’t fall under the category of trying to not overwhelm my application with my background.
For me, my background was important. So that’s what I did, but that doesn’t mean that you as a URM applicant need to do that. So yeah. You definitely don’t need to talk about your experience experiences as an underrepresented minority. And the application process. I know that in any of my like Stanford supplements specifically I don’t think I even discussed my Ecuadorian identity.
I talked about other stories and other values that I have. That I felt was a little bit more important to talk about in this list. The specific ethic question that I had in front of me. So definitely do it on a case by case basis. Think about what what do you think is most important for you to convey or what do you think you want to convey most and kind of work from there?
And see if it falls in line in the school’s application. So there’s no real wrong way, right? About your identity, as long as you don’t put down other ethnic groups, of course, and you don’t, and you do more work than stating her identity. You definitely want to be very specific about how your identities affected your experiences.
And I feel like that’s what makes those essays especially unique and incredibly compelling.
So that’s one thing to take into consideration.
All right. That is just about the end of this webinar. We had a really great time telling me about our experiences applying as an underrepresented minority as well as some advice and some things to keep in mind. And we had a lot of fun answering your questions. I hope this webinar was helpful to you and that you feel more prepared to with your college applications and how to navigate the college application process.
And if we didn’t get to your questions or you think of your question later on we’ll send out a feedback form later this evening where you can add additional questions that will take some time to answer. Okay. And for our next few webinars, if you’re a bulls-eye member, our next session is on Saturday from eight to 9:00 PM Eastern, and we’ll be a small group interactive workshop on the visual arts and architecture.
And. If you’re not a bulls-eye member, don’t worry. We also have a session that’s open to the public. This will be on Tuesday and as a college panel for the university of Notre Dame. Thank you all so much for coming out to tonight’s panel and I hope you all stay safe and good luck on your application.
All right. Bye everyone. It was really great meeting you. And if you want to keep, stay in the loop or learn more about other webinars that we’ll be hosting feel free to follow bullseye on Instagram, where you’ll be able to have a lot more details about all of these events and future events.
All right. It was a really fun and I hope you’ll have a very successful application process. Thank you so much, everyone.