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Author Topic: URM?  (Read 2450 times)

AH

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URM?
« on: December 07, 2005, 03:55:48 PM »
I posted this question in another thread, but didn't get a response.  It was somewhat off-topic where it was posted, so I'm resubmitting it as a new thread.

I wrote in (or checked two when possible) American Indian and White (I didn't think it was right to check only American Indian when I am about 20%, though I later found out most of my friends who check it exclusively are about 20-30%).  Does that qualify me as a minority or will it (likely) vary from school to school?  I included a diversity statement, but focused on socioeconomic and education factors, but not race. 
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Hybrid Vigor

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Re: URM?
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2005, 04:07:20 PM »
I posted this question in another thread, but didn't get a response.  It was somewhat off-topic where it was posted, so I'm resubmitting it as a new thread.

I wrote in (or checked two when possible) American Indian and White (I didn't think it was right to check only American Indian when I am about 20%, though I later found out most of my friends who check it exclusively are about 20-30%).  Does that qualify me as a minority or will it (likely) vary from school to school?  I included a diversity statement, but focused on socioeconomic and education factors, but not race. 

do you have tribal documentation?
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AH

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Re: URM?
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2005, 04:17:01 PM »
I'm in the process of re-obtaining documentation.  My grandmother kept all family records and they were destroyed in a house fire (and yes my family is dumb enough for that to be the only copy of anything).  I actually may have affliation with more than one tribe (I only indicated one on applications), but will find that out for sure when I research the family tree over winter break to try and track down some of that lost information (which is why it was not indicated). 
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Hybrid Vigor

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Re: URM?
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2005, 04:48:32 PM »
If you have documentation, I think you'll definitely get an admissions boost. The question tends to be what happens if you feel you have a legitimate claim to NA/AI but don't have tribal records.
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Denny Crane

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Re: URM?
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2005, 05:00:25 PM »
For anyone checking that they are Native American, you should make sure you have the proper documentation.  Native American tribes are very specific as to how they confer tribal member status (some require at least one parent be fully NA, some only grant status to people whos parents were both registered members, etc.).  Because tribes keep documentation, law schools may ask for certification to verify NA status.  If you can't provide the proper documentation/proof, you may be perceived as someone trying to deceive them, which will get you nowhere.  Being only 20% NA, plus asking whether or not you're a NA, kind of makes it seem as if you are not NA.  It doesn't seem to be a big part of your life, and it doesn't seem as if you participate in NA culture, so I might not check it off, especially since you may not have the proper documentation.  Just be careful.
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AH

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Re: URM?
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2005, 05:09:22 PM »
Thanks for the advice Swat07.  I actually have participated in the culture (to the extent I was able as a resident of a very remote state), but did not find out documentation was there until the fire and my parent's seperation, when I learned that I was actually a much larger part of my heritage than I orignially thought (I always knew I was part AI, but didn't know until recently that it was such a high %).  I def. understand law schools' concerns, which is why I asked the question. I mean, I know what I am, but I wasn't sure how it fit into LS's expectations of what identifies you as one group or another (as I'm noticing more and more it's way outside of realworld standards in many respects), which is why I set up the thread.

Thanks all for the input, it's very helpful...
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angmill08

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Re: URM?
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2005, 09:02:56 PM »
I wonder if there are law schools who actually ask for tribal documentation. Really, I doubt that any do this. If they wanted it in order to make an admissions decision, they'd request it with the application, right?

If not then, when would they request it? When you show up on campus and don't look "native enough?" By what standards would they determine this?

Racial identity is self-defined. Tribal membership, obviously, is not, but schools aren't asking for your tribal membership status when they present you with a race box. I think you are fine to check NA and white, and if they ask for tribal documentation, I think it would be fine to say you have none.

Again, they didn't ask if you are a member of a tribe. They asked what race/ethnicity you define yourself as. As long as you are consistent and straightforward, I don't think this will be a problem.

Has anyone heard firsthand of NA students being asked by schools to submit proof of their NA heritage? Or being told by any school that only NA ancestry of a certain percentage is considered legit? If any school has such a policy I think they would have to disclose it in their application materials when they ask how you define your race.
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AH

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Re: URM?
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2005, 09:24:04 PM »
I always considered 12.5% to be "legit" (because that was the amount you had to be to be considered Native Hawaiian and attend a NH-only school on Oahu), but that might just be one school's standards.  That is, though, why I never marked it before.  I knew I was NA, but thought it was around 10%.  It was only after all this crazy mess with my family that I learned more.

It would be interesting to know if anyone was asked to provide paperwork after their application was received or accepted.  Many schools ask your tribal affiliation and some go a step further and ask for your BIA number, but I don't know how following up on this works.
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SolarysBlue

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Re: URM?
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2005, 11:35:50 PM »
How did you get all those fee waivers? I would kill for some!


AH

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Re: URM?
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2005, 11:42:37 PM »
They're all need-based.  I dealt a lot w/ my financial aid dean b/c school was funded entirely through grants/loans/my employment, so I asked how to obtain one and he wrote me a request to send to law schools. 

It's nice being able to apply to so many schools since my stats basically suck, but w/o fee waivers I couldn't even apply to one school (as it is I'm having a hard time coming up w/ the $12 a school).  So, yea, fee waivers are great, but there's pros and cons. 
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