Dare I say it, Connecticut students from around here are not exactly diverse. As such, they need stronger numbers than Aleutians from Alaska. I choose Aleutians (more commonly referred to as Eskimos) so that I do not offend. I also add that I grew up in the New York area. I’m first generation on one side of my family and most of my high school friends were as well. So, I’m generally a fan of diversity, although not a fan of different standards for different groups.
So how are those who do not have an ethnic hook stand out? Do better on a test that is given to students across the country. Despite the blather from critics, the SAT is one of the more fair parts of the college application process. Seems crazy to think but here’s a quick story to demonstrate my point: Several years ago, a young guy who did not look diverse at all and whose last name similarly hid any diversity came in for college counseling. He put Harvard, Yale, Princeton and a few other schools down on his hoped for college list. His grades were in the B plus range. His activities were nothing special. His SATs were nowhere near Ivy-level. He noticed my incredulous look. “My mom is a member of a Native American tribe. My father is white.” He didn’t have to say anything more as we both knew what a giant advantage he had. I should also add that John’s Dad was a prominent real estate developer and his mom was a high ranking member of a tribe that -at the time – had made her family wealthy from casino money. I actually liked that John was so straight-forward in acknowledging his lack of need to generate a good SAT score. But unless you have John’s advantages, your children will need a top score for those colleges.