2 09, 2023

Should I Talk About Race in My College Admissions Essays?

By |2023-09-02T17:34:53-04:00September 2nd, 2023|College Admissions, Harvard, Ivy Leage Admissions, Ivy League|1 Comment

Should You Talk About Race? Ivy League College Admissions


As the college admissions process becomes increasingly competitive, students are constantly searching for ways to make their applications stand out. One question that often arises is whether to address one’s race or ethnicity in the admissions essay. While this topic is certainly relevant and important in today’s diverse world, it raises a complex set of considerations. In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of discussing race in your college admissions essay and provide guidance on how to navigate this sensitive issue.

The Pros of Discussing Race

1. **Diversity and Perspective**: One of the primary benefits of addressing your race or ethnicity is the potential to contribute to the diversity of the college community. Admissions officers often seek to create a diverse student body to foster a rich exchange of ideas and experiences. Sharing your unique perspective can be a valuable addition to the campus culture.

2. **Personal Growth and Resilience**: Many applicants have faced challenges related to their racial or ethnic identity. Discussing these challenges can demonstrate resilience, personal growth, and the ability to overcome adversity. This can make a compelling narrative for your essay.

3. **Authenticity**: Admissions officers appreciate authenticity in applicants. If your race or ethnicity has played a significant role in shaping your identity or experiences, it may be important to include it in your essay. Authenticity can help you connect with the reader on a personal level.

The Cons of Discussing Race

1. **Stereotyping and Bias**: Unfortunately, some admissions officers may unintentionally stereotype applicants based on their race or ethnicity. Discussing your racial background could lead to biases or assumptions that may work against you. It’s essential to approach this topic carefully to avoid reinforcing stereotypes.

2. **Privacy Concerns**: Sharing personal experiences related to race can be deeply personal and potentially invasive. Some applicants may feel uncomfortable disclosing this information, and it’s important to respect their privacy and boundaries.

3. **Overemphasis on Race**: Focusing too heavily on your race in your essay may detract from other aspects of your identity, achievements, and interests. Admissions officers want to see a well-rounded applicant, so be cautious not to overshadow other important qualities.

Tips for Addressing Race in Your College Essay

1. **Consider Your Motivation**: Reflect on why you want to discuss your race in your essay. Is it an integral part of your identity and experiences? Does it contribute meaningfully to your application? If so, proceed thoughtfully.

2. **Tell a Story**: If you choose to discuss your race, consider framing it as a story that illustrates a broader theme or personal growth. Highlight how your experiences have shaped you as an individual and how they connect to your goals and values.

3. **Avoid Stereotypes**: Be aware of potential stereotypes and biases, and strive to challenge or counter them in your essay. Present a nuanced and authentic portrayal of your experiences.

4. **Seek Feedback**: Share your essay with trusted teachers, counselors, or mentors who can provide feedback. They can offer valuable insights into how your essay comes across and whether it effectively addresses the topic of race.


Deciding whether to talk about your race in your college admissions essay is a personal choice that depends on your unique experiences and motivations. While addressing your racial or ethnic identity can be a powerful way to contribute to diversity and share your authentic self, it also requires careful consideration to avoid potential pitfalls. Ultimately, the key is to approach the topic with authenticity, sensitivity, and a clear connection to your overall narrative as an applicant. Remember that the goal of your essay is to help admissions officers understand who you are and what you can bring to their college community, regardless of whether you choose to discuss your race.

I’m a former Harvard admissions interviewer + Harvard graduate.  Contact me today for a FREE consultation at: www.IVY COLLEGE ESSAY.com and get into the school of your dreams!

Other articles you may be interested in:

How to Prepare for An Ivy League Education

How to Get Into Harvard

How to Get Into Columbia University

How to Write a Great Common App Essay


10 08, 2021

Ivy League College Admissions: A Step-By-Step Guide to Submitting Your Common App

By |2022-10-03T14:33:15-04:00August 10th, 2021|College Admissions|0 Comments

Applying to Ivy League College Admissions and submitting your Common App is an amazing accomplishment – exciting and a little bit daunting when you first start. It’s important to understand the process so that you showcase yourself as a potential Ivy League or top college applicant in the best possible way.

To make sure your understanding of the college application process is clear, I’ve listed the steps required to complete your application successfully –and don’t forget, as a former Harvard admissions interviewer and Harvard grad I’m also here to help you further if you’re looking to hire a college admissions consultant who specializes in the Ivy League. So, here we

1. Create an account on https://www.commonapp.org/

2. After you created your account, go to “My Colleges” by selecting the My Colleges tab.

  • This is where you can complete specific university supplemental information, questions and manage your recommendation letters for every college to which you are applying.

3. Next fill out the “Questions” section under the Application header. This can be found if you look to the left-hand side of your screen. This is where you’ll include things like your activities. You’ll be able to “Review and Submit” once you’re completely done.

4. Next select “Recommendations and FERPA” section under the Application header. Here you will be able to select the people who you would like to be your Recommenders. Focus on inviting counselors and teachers who will say positive things about you and know you well! Be sure to ask your teachers first, in person, if they would be willing to write you a rec, before you send them an invite here!

5. Finally under the “Writing Supplement” section select the “Questions” option. Don’t forget to write thoughtfully and double check your content before you submit! Your Common App essay, plus individual school supplemental essays are the most important part of your application.

6. That said, work on all of your essays beforehand, before you ever upload anything to the website. And never wait until the day of the deadline, as the servers have often gone down causing much panic! You always want to give yourself extra time to upload. If your still confused there are lots of additional resources on the Common App website, including https://www.commonapp.org/apply/first-time-students and https://www.commonapp.org/help.

And don’t forget I’m here as well to give you more guidance and insights. Especially help with your school selection, the content of your actual Common App essay, and school supplemental essays, plus any additional info you might need. Reach out now for a free consultation at: www.IvyCollegeEssay.com and let me help you get into a great top college, or achieve your dream of getting into the Ivy League!

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