Report: 34% of white college applicants claimed to be minorities

This is a survey from a group called Intelligent. Apparently they asked hundreds of white college students if they lied on their applications and about a third of them admitted they had. Here’s there description of the methodology.

All data found within this report derives from a survey commissioned by and conducted online by survey platform Pollfish. In total, 1,250 white Americans were surveyed. To qualify for the survey, each respondent had to have previously applied to a college or university in the U.S. Appropriate respondents were found via a screening question. This survey was conducted on July 13, 2021. All respondents were asked to answer all questions truthfully and to the best of their abilities.

So it’s an online poll in which people promised to tell the truth. On to the results:

The survey found that 34% of white Americans who’ve applied to college falsely claimed on their applications they’re a racial minority.

The number one reason why applicants faked minority status is to improve their chances of getting accepted (81%). Fifty percent also lied to benefit from minority-focused financial aid.

As you can see in the chart above, more men than women said they had lied. Of the people who said they’d lied, here’s the breakdown of the race they (falsely) claimed to be:


That chart doesn’t actually add up to 100% for some reason but the text states that 48% of those who admitted to lying claimed they were Native American on their applications. That makes some sense at least because, as Sen. Elizabeth Warren could tell you, it’s not easy to look at a white person and know they are definitely not Native American.

But I’m really wondering how reliable this data is for a couple of reasons. The first is that, according to this, 10% of these white students claimed to be black on their applications. I realize that are some black Americans who are very light skinned and can pass as white. Are there really many white Americans who can pass as black? It just strikes me as an outrageous risk to take knowing that you could be expelled if you were discovered. However, it’s worth noting that people in this survey were of all ages. So, if you think about this today, in an era of cell phones and social media profiles, a white person claiming to be black probably couldn’t get away with it. But 25 years ago? Back before social media and selfies, maybe people could just check a box and get away with it. Unless the people who were responsible for that student’s admission were checking when he showed up for classes, maybe no one would really know.

But there’s another reason I’m skeptical this data might suffer from some sort of self-selection effect. If 34% of white applicants to college were lying and half were claiming to be Native American, that would mean universities were receiving far more Native American applicants than there are Native Americans. Here’s my rough math. Something like 60% of the population (using recent numbers) are non-Hispanic white. So if a third are lying that’s 20% of the population. And if half are claiming to be Native American that’s about 10% of the entire population. But Native Americans are only about 2 percent of the population. So wouldn’t admissions offices have noticed that suddenly they were getting six times as many Native American applicants as they might expect? (10% white students lying plus 2% actual Native American applicants.)

Let’s put it this way, if this is true it should be pretty easy to verify. There ought to be college admissions people all across the country slapping their foreheads and saying “Now it makes sense!”

Finally, the report says it’s very clear why the students lied. They believed it would help their chances and among this group, there’s some evidence it may have.

Seventy-seven percent of people who claimed to be a racial minority on their applications were accepted by the colleges to which they lied.

While other factors may have played a role in their acceptance, the majority of applicants who lied and were accepted (85%) believe that falsifying their racial minority status helped them secure admission to college.

Race isn’t supposed to be a primary factor in admissions but affirmative action still exists so it can be considered. Ibram Kendi tweeted this story out today which is where I saw it but for some reason he deleted it. I’m not sure why but I have a guess.

Again, I’m somewhat skeptical of the numbers, but assuming the story is true, doesn’t this suggest that these students saw being white as a disadvantage. Or to put it another way, doesn’t it suggest minorities have a real advantage in school admissions? That doesn’t make cheating acceptable but it does sort of cut against the grain of the idea that college admissions are part of a system of white supremacy.

Via      Hot Air

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