Not only Susan Boyle loses to Diversity

I don’t know about you guys, but I was pretty well pleased when British pseudo-songstress slash cat lady, Susan Boyle, turned up short on Britain’s Got Talent the other night. Let me tell you, as an American, diversity always comes out on top.

But that’s a good thing for all of you Chinese students. In US admissions offices, you’ll frequently hear the word “tip” being tossed around. A tip is a good thing for a student. You want as many of them as possible. Basically, it means that if you’re on the border, this little quality will “tip” you into the accepted pile.

What are some tips? Being poor. Being talented in a desirable field (NOT BUSINESS). Being ultra-wealthy (nothing short of hundreds of millions of US dollars). Having overcome a learning disability. Oh, and of course, being “diverse.”

Don’t ever use the word diverse that way, it’s a terrible misuse, but one that’s become unfortunately common in America. Our schools are flat out obsessed with diversity. They want the “smilingest,” most colorful student body in the world. If you could convince the admissions office that your skin is really purple, you’d be accepted in a Red Bull heartbeat.

You see, all colleges are actively trying to increase the number of talented minorities and international students in their schools. It makes them look better, more open, more diverse.

What does this mean for you? Two points, really.

1. If you’re being compared to an average American student, simply being Chinese is a tip. It increases your chances.

2. If you’re being compared to another Chinese student (often the case), you’d better hope that ethnicity isn’t your only tip.

So when your application came/comes down the line, which way will it get tipped?

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