I think I may have made a huge mistake with checking off my race

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
mistressfancy

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I think I may have made a huge mistake with checking off my race

Postby mistressfancy » Mon Mar 25, 2019 5:21 pm

So I received a full ride at a good law school but I am worried that I may or may not have fully earned it and even if I did, I'm afraid I did something awfully wrong regardless.
I am hispanic and of mixed race. There is white, native american, and african american mixed into my ancestry and I'm always confused whenever I have to pick a race. At a school where I received a generous scholarship which I have already accepted, I realized that under race, I only have AA/black checked off on my application. I should have had AA, white, and native american checked off for race - all three because that's what I am. I am mixed Caribbean and South American so while I do have AA heritage, I don't feel that it is right to have identified as solely that on my app. This particular school interviewed me for the scholarship so I'm sure they can see that I'm not dark enough to pass as AA/black but I'm also no where near white enough to pass as white either.
I am scared that perhaps I got a boost because I put down AA as my only race and I am wondering if I should reach out to the school to correct it? I am afraid to say anything because I don't want to lose the scholarship that I've already accepted but am afraid that if I don't, there will be serious repercussions.
How do I fix this? Can I even fix this? Am I going to get in huge trouble, will I lose my scholarship? I've already withdrawn from other schools. If I do reach out to the school, how should I even phrase this? Some people have said I am overthinking this because I can claim AA ancestry if I was asked but this still feels wrong.

QContinuum

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Re: I think I may have made a huge mistake with checking off my race

Postby QContinuum » Mon Mar 25, 2019 5:37 pm

IMO, this isn't a huge deal. You should've checked Native American, African-American and Caucasian. Instead you only checked AA. So it's not so much that you shouldn't have checked the AA box (you should have), it's more that you should also have checked two additional boxes.

Having mixed ancestry does not eliminate the URM "boost." Someone who's, say, half African-American and half Chinese will still get the AA boost.

One caveat: I'd only check the Native American box if you are recognized as Native American under the laws of your tribe. Don't check the box if it's more akin to "I have this great-grandfather who always claimed to have Cherokee ancestry!"

Anyway, with the above caveat, I'd simply reach out to the school and tell them that you want to correct your form. It shouldn't be a big deal at all. Best wishes!

Splurgles23

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Re: I think I may have made a huge mistake with checking off my race

Postby Splurgles23 » Mon Mar 25, 2019 5:42 pm

Just make sure to honestly disclose to the school, because it may come into play during the C&F aspect of your state bar (no matter what state you apply in).

SlipperyKipper

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Re: I think I may have made a huge mistake with checking off my race

Postby SlipperyKipper » Mon Mar 25, 2019 6:05 pm

Splurgles23 wrote:Just make sure to honestly disclose to the school, because it may come into play during the C&F aspect of your state bar (no matter what state you apply in).



Really? Is this accurate? I can't imagine the bar requiring someone to justify the many facets of their race/ethnicity unless it's somehow glaringly obvious you aren't who you say you are.

QContinuum

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Re: I think I may have made a huge mistake with checking off my race

Postby QContinuum » Mon Mar 25, 2019 6:13 pm

SlipperyKipper wrote:
Splurgles23 wrote:Just make sure to honestly disclose to the school, because it may come into play during the C&F aspect of your state bar (no matter what state you apply in).



Really? Is this accurate? I can't imagine the bar requiring someone to justify the many facets of their race/ethnicity unless it's somehow glaringly obvious you aren't who you say you are.

I doubt it'd be a C&F issue on the bar, but I still think it's worth fixing. There's literally no downside to fixing it now, and much better to do it now than to land in, say, a situation down the road where you get into politics and your opponent starts bashing you for "falsely" listing yourself as "only" African-American on your law school application decades ago.



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