Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Preparing for College

As my eldest is going through the task of filling out college apps and writing numerous essays, I'm struck by one thing: the questions of gender and ethnicity (maybe two things?). If discrimination due to gender or ethnicity is not acceptable (or legal!), then why do those questions even make an appearance on the applications for college?  Those questions can easily be answered (if needed) after acceptance into the college.

I confess I have not looked at any of the apps as I'm not the one applying to schools, so I don't know if the questions of gender and ethnicity are optional, but I don't think they have any business being on the application at all if one is to believe it's illegal to discriminate against any gender or race/ethnicity. I doubt they are asking out of curiosity (yeah, right!) or even to keep track of what groups are applying in the first place. Those questions can be answered upon acceptance into a college.

I don't know if being white, Italian, Scandinavian and American Indian will help or hurt my child in this process, but the inappropriateness of the above mentioned questions remains regardless.

Shouldn't merits be the focus? The only focus?

Would you agree or disagree that posing the question of gender or ethnicity on college applications is unnecessary, even wrong?

Whatever questions are posed or not on college applications, it's an exciting and anxious time for young students who wish to further their education, so I wish them all the very best!