CaliGirl14

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If your parents were white and gave birth to you in China because your mother was randomly going labor during a trip in China...would that make you Chinese?
 

texasgal87

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Eh maybe you should click other and say in your app/personal statement that you are south African? You do have a point but I think the "American" view of african American would not match what you are thinking. Maybe call an admission office and ask
 
Jul 3, 2009
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According to wikipedia, an African American is defined by the U.S. government as, "A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa." So, probably not.
 

illegallysmooth

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I would not check African American, but if there is an "other" option, I would put that and explain that you are South African, if possible. This only applies if you lived in South Africa long enough to develop an identity as a South African. Otherwise, if you were born there and moved to the US shortly thereafter, no. Just put white.
 

mspeedwagon

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I have wondered what the admissions people at the interviews would think of me. By the definition below I am definitely African-American. My mom and dad both have roots in the black racial groups in Africa (Ethiopia and Tanzania). However, both my parents are mixed and while I have always identified as being African-American and have close ties to Tanzania (my citizenship and maintaining residence there), I am relatively fair skinned (most people think I'm Hispanic looking at me). I'm still going to claim African-American (as I always having after getting permenant residence in US).


According to wikipedia, an African American is defined by the U.S. government as, "A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa." So, probably not.
 

mmmcdowe

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If you aren't a citizen, I'm not sure if you count as African American, just as an African. What I mean is I'm not sure how much URM bonus adcoms give to permanent residents.
 

mspeedwagon

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I should have mentioned that I should be getting my citizenship before I apply to medical school so I'll have dual-citizenship at that point (Tanzania and the United States).

If you aren't a citizen, I'm not sure if you count as African American, just as an African. What I mean is I'm not sure how much URM bonus adcoms give to permanent residents.
 
Mar 11, 2010
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I would not do it.

True story. Back in high school, there was a competitive pre-med applicant from my class year who applied to the Ivy League. To get an edge, he marked himself as African American even though he was Arabic descent from northern Africa. He lost a lot of respect from the guidance counselor/teachers, and he got rejected at every Ivy.

Technically, he's "African-American." His stats were good enough to get into at least one Ivy as a non-African American.
 

drizzt3117

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You were applying to ivy league med schools out of high school?

I guess I went to the wrong hs...
 
Mar 11, 2010
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You were applying to ivy league med schools out of high school?

I guess I went to the wrong hs...
Which part of "back in high school" do you not understand?

Are you saying your high school didn't have a few nerdy kids who were absolutely sure they were going to do pre-med in college?
 

drizzt3117

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Which part of "back in high school" do you not understand?

Are you saying your high school didn't have a few nerdy kids who were absolutely sure they were going to do pre-med in college?
I guess the nerdy pre-med crowd wasn't who I hung out with in high school, sorry.
 

bannie22

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I guess the nerdy pre-med crowd wasn't who I hung out with in high school, sorry.

Hahah...

Someone is banned for trolling.


This is such a touchy issue.
The fact that people recognize that being African American gives you an "edge" is already a sensitive issue.
 
Apr 6, 2010
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Wow! I am an African-American student. I had no idea that being "black" was an advantage. Why? I don't even want to begin to understand. To totally honest with you. If that gives you an edge, I'll take it. It may be my skin color that gets me there, but it's my skill that keeps me.
 

MacVA

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True Story:

I have a friend who is in residency and tried to apply as "AA" to big name medical schools. Long story, short - he went through a whole big ordeal with the AAMC and he was told that he couldn't apply as "AA". Apparently, on the forms it specifically excludes "South African Caucasians" from claiming "AA" status.

Yet another friend was awarded a full ride to med school as an "AA" but he is Egyptian. :)
 
Apr 6, 2010
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True Story:

I have a friend who is in residency and tried to apply as "AA" to big name medical schools. Long story, short - he went through a whole big ordeal with the AAMC and he was told that he couldn't apply as "AA". Apparently, on the forms it specifically excludes "South African Caucasians" from claiming "AA" status.
Surely this cannot be legal.
 

ThaliaNox

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What is an "AA" applicant?
I do believe that would be "African American," grasshopper.

I've always found this whole issue to be hilarious and hippocritical. It just shows how ridiculous labels are. If they only want blacks to get the advantage, I'm cool with that and I understand. But then ask people to identify racial groups, rather than geographical origin. A person who immigrated from South Africa or Egypt or Morroco is just as "African American" as someone from Zambia.
 
Nov 19, 2009
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I hate that people pretend they don't know what it means to be African-American. You know that they mean black.

And when did apartheid end in South Africa...? Right, 20 years ago. Would you have tried to claim being "African-American" then I wonder.