Confused if I qualify as disadvantaged applicant

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5+ Year Member
Jul 19, 2017
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My dad's an allied health professional but we mostly lived in lower middle class status in Asia since he worked for rural and underserved populations. I went to a crappy public school for most of my life until I got accepted to a charter school equivalent for high school. Learnt ESL when I was 13. Family immigrated to the US right before I started college but ended up moving back due to financial constraints. I worked through most of college to support sister.

For me, a large challenge at the beginning of college was my ESL skills and completely unfamiliarity with the US and adjusting here without a support system. Got Pell grant for all of college and worked throughout to support myself. Applying as a non-traditional applicant after getting settled in US and working for 2 years.

I'm confused if I should click "Yes" on disadvantaged applicant status question? Of course I did not grow up in the US, and thus did not face the racial animosity many immigrants experienced growing up. Not trying to claim a category which doesn't apply to me. However, I don't really know where I fit in as an independent low-income 1st generation immigrant myself.

(Note: My undergrad school does a committee letter and they will be mentioning these challenges and the growth there)
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May 16, 2017
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I vote yes. There are a number of struggles you mentioned that have created adversity in your life.

Even if it might not feel like it.

As an anecdote, I did not check “yes” on my application. One of my interviewers kept pushing me to state I was disadvantaged, but I disagreed with him. I told him it made no sense for me to claim I was disadvantaged when there were people around me who didn’t even have shoes, who didn’t know how they were going to get there next meal, where they were going to sleep.

How he finally helped me understand the subject better was sort of looking at it more from the lens of what barriers I faced that wouldn’t exist for someone belonging to the US majority. Money, gender, ethnicity.

Not sure if this helps at all, but just my $0.02.