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Is anyone else depressed by the ORM/URM world we live in? Would you be supportive of a demographic-blind admissions process, especially given the multitude of interesting backgrounds and successful experiences regardless of gender / racial / other identity?

likefunnyuplifting
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You’ll also have to think about it an an admissions POV - Chase from Manhattan grew up in a wealthy neighborhood with a great school district and was able to get additional support from his school or private tutoring financed by his parents at a young age and was able to get high grades, for to a T25 school, and work for a B4 or MBB. However we have me (and other PoC) you didn’t grow up in a great neighborhood, meaning not a good school district, and if you didn’t know the material, well that school district doesn’t have enough funding for after school support yet alone ask your immigrant parents who work two full time minimum wage jobs to hire you a tutor. You get scrappy , you get into a T50 school, you get into a B4 or a more boutique firm and not score the highest GMAT score or not have the best UG gpa. If you’re in AdCom doing blind admissions, once again, you’ll favor the guy who was born into privilege without realizing that other person you’re comparing him to, was 3 miles behind from the start and always trying to catch up.

likefunny

Lol. News flash: not every white person is your exaggerated and fictitious “Chase from Manhattan.” Give me a break.

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Surely the reason that these experiences and feelings are so fraught is because for so many people, the objective is getting into a (subjective, but narrowly defined) "top school," where the supply of qualified and deserving applicants will always outstrip the supply of seats. It follows that any admissions policy which is purely merit-based (setting aside the problem of defining and measuring merit) will reflect societal inequalities, but considering any other factors will have similarly damaging effects-such as, in this case, creating competing visions of justice. This is not to diminish the validity of those feelings, but given the history of higher ed in, well, this and most countries, I find it hard to believe that a realistic alternate scheme of demographic blind admissions would do a better job of addressing existing socioeconomic imbalances.

Given all this, perhaps we are thinking about it wrong. The challenge is not to adjudicate who deserves admission to the Ivies, but to make the quality of education they offer more accessible-by increasing the number of spots, recognizing that there are a vast number of schools which offer equally good instruction, and reducing the stakes associated with achieving (or not) admission to the "top" schools.

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I found myself really agreeing with that last paragraph. Well said.

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Very depressed about it. Kids at my high school committed suicide over this so it’s very personal to me. Very supportive of demographic blind admissions. Diversity is more than your skin color and genitals.

likesmartfunny

I wouldn’t, but I’m curious to hear why you find it depressing. I’m an ORM and think it makes a lot of sense to try and build a diverse incoming class

likeuplifting

As an Asian from a low income background , I don’t think it cause those things, I think the pressure built up my society around those pieces causes those. I would think of it like this, for most, with the resources they have, their benchmark is higher.
For others, with the resources and opportunities they have, even getting to where they do shows outstanding caliber. Is the benchmark higher for Asians, yes. Does it suck for each individual, yes. But is there extreme value for a future generation of leaders to sit with people from different backgrounds, who have different experiences, and have been treated differently by society, absolutely!

Also, I’d keep in mind, even as an ORM... if you have something unique that sticks out, I’m sure they would still read your application.
Having said all this, does it add extra pressure to make everything perfect? Absolutely! And I hate that it needs to be perfect... but that’s on me. I’ve had privileges others couldn’t even dream of, so if that means that there are more people who have a similar story to mine, and I need to stand out via other means, fair play

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It’s undoubtedly frustrating yes. I’m an Asian male who grew up in a poor country, and had to work multiple jobs to support myself throughout college. I’ve been discriminated against countless times, asked to go back to where I came from, assumed stupid due to my accent, etc. And it’s very likely that I’m expected to have a much higher GMAT score, GPA etc. to enter a good school.

However, I don’t only support diversity and inclusive only when it suits me. There’s a difference between equality and equity. While everyone can have an interesting background and talent regardless of race, it’s very important to increase the presence of underrepresented minorities groups. They could inspire (and more likely to impact) the next generations.

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They should provide leniency/support to EVERYONE who is below a certain socioeconomic cut off, no matter the race. That’s it.

In today’s race-based system, the son of a black billionaire would be considered less privileged than an Asian person who grew up in poverty would be.

likesmart

Introduce me to all these black billionaires you know! Sounds lit. Realistically, 30-40% of your class at HBS or GSB is a multimillionaire (to billionaires legacy kid.

like

I would be supportive of this only if this ‘demographic blind process’ made its way down to every level of society.

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Hot take: what if we remove the complexity altogether, and simply admire underprivileged successful people more given they had less privilege to get there?

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I am an ORM and no I don't feel depressed at all. Granted that I will have to try harder to get into a good school, URM try hard to get everything in their life. The moment you are white, esp a white man, you got a head start, no matter what your family background is. As for Asian men, we grow up in supportive families, and let's just agree that our parsnts have always focused more on us than our sisters. So yes, if giving URM a chance to make it means that it's a bit harder for me to get into this one thing, sure.

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You know who’s actually depressed? The underprivileged minorities / women / poor people out who have to fight for their right to live with dignity, respect, and security

like

As an ORM from a very humble background, I I think ORMs that complain about this shit should channel their energy into doing better instead. I think it would take less energy to get your GMAT up a few points than it is to futilely complain.
There are a lot of factors encapsulated by URM status aside from economic situation. Blacks are 13% of the population and I have had 0 Black coworkers in my career in engineering. That feels wrong to me, and I know many others with comparable experiences. Similar trends are seen at prestigious post-MBA outcomes, primarily driven by the lack of URM students. It cannot be explained simply by economics. Blacks experience significant prejudice and barriers to economic mobility (hint: watch the news) because of their skin color, both in terms of societal racism and when you consider the fact that their family trees did not have access to education.

OP you have a choice: accept this MINOR hurdle and be thankful that you don’t have to fear the cops, or keep futilely whining about how unfair the world is.

This may feel like a big issue to you, but it must pale in comparison to the feeling many other have when they start a job as the only person of color. Or the feeling of walking the halls of their university knowing they’re being judged and deemed unworthy by privileged people like you OP.

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I agree the minority representation in high income jobs is not even close to proportional to the population. Something should be done. However giving people scholarships and admission in some cases (not all) when they don’t deserve it doesn’t solve the problem. They’ve been doing it for years and years now and clearly hasn’t done any good.

They need to focus their time and effort and helping school these children from a young age and working with suffering communities. It’s like giving someone a fish vs teaching them to fish. Too many people want a quick fix through policy change. That’s not how it works.

There must be empathy and true care for real change to happen and very few people put forth the time and effort to do that.

smart

Sorry for the long messages. Trying to keep as short as possible.

I would also add that a large percentage of URMs, even if coming from upper middle class backgrounds, still have a lot of ground to cover. If anything, their parents were likely the first to have any sort of a stable income and if we’re talking about building generational wealth, there’s much more to consider. I am a URM that grew up upper middle class and though my immigrant parents had professional jobs, they still had to support their families back home and figure out a way to build even a semblance of a foundation. There will be no inheritance. ORMs tend to have a safety net that just isn’t a reality for URMs.

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