Being a minority will have a DRASTIC effect. HOWEVER, how drastic depends on your ethnicity, ability to speak a foreign language, and how much it affected your life. They are pretty strict about what constitutes a minority applicant. For example, I am half Mexican. My family happened to be in the right place when the US bought the New Mexico terrority. That makes me 4th generation. Additionally, the language was purposefully not passed by my grandparents because they were not allowed to speak it in school, they were ridiculed and punished. They didn't want these things for their children. This almost puts me in the mainstream. ALMOST. Depends on what school. If I go east coast, I should be okay, but I can almost count out the west coast if I want to be considered a minority applicant.