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Does Ethnicity and Residency Status Affect MS Application?

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For the unfunded MS programs I am applying to, most seem to require that I state my ethnicity and do not give me the option of not answering the question, which would be my preference.

One of my letter writers, who also is one of the senior professors in my undergrad's statistics department, commented on how my chances might be greater by being a domestic White applicant than an international applicant, since supposedly many graduate STEM programs get few domestic applicants and many more international Asian applicants. Is this true for an unfunded MS program? Or only true for PhD and funded MS programs?

Also, since I'm biracial, I am unsure if I should list both my White and Asian heritage. I have spoken with a lot of my friends and a few professors who suggested that I might be better off saying that I am White on my application since else I will be likely compared with the many international Asian applicants to the programs I'm applying, who tend to have much better mathematical preparation and performance compared to mine. But I've always been told to "put which side you identify more with", which is White. Does this information really matter from an admissions perspective if I am not a URM?

Any insight you can all provide is much appreciated!

Edited by WishyWashyMS
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Since neither White nor Asian are UR categories (so you're likely not eligible for any UR-targeted scholarships/fellowships), your answer to that question should have zero impact on your application. If it did, whoever was handling admissions would be in blatant violation of the Civil Rights Act.

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