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TheBoneDoctah

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Hi SDN, I hope you are doing well.

I am currently torn on my disadvantaged status. I believe I am disadvantaged but just wanted to gather some input.

My background is as follows:
-While my parents both had Bachelor's degrees, they worked manual labor jobs throughout my childhood.
-For many years, we were on immigrant visas (legally residing), but we didn't qualify for any government-assisted programs such as Medicaid, as these programs required the permanent resident status or above.
-Without government assistance and being low-income, my family was uninsured for the most part of my life. I think I only ever got a check-up once or twice, only because the school required me to.
-I had to transfer schools several times as my parents relocated for jobs, and my secondary education was disrupted many times.
-I had to work during high school and college to support my family and help pay their debt.

I don't think my geographic area was underserved (it was urban), but because of my background, I just didn't have access to healthcare. Based on all of this, would I be considered disadvantaged?

Another concern is that I applied first-cycle and did not check off the disadvantaged status... I was told by a friend that since I was an ORM applicant coming from an urban area, I shouldn't risk coming off as entitled.

Please let me know what you think. Thank you so much for your time!
I would say no.


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Goro

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Here's what the wise LizzyM has to say:

It might be completely legit to self-identify as "disadvantaged" even if you are cis, white and male. "Disadvantaged" is meant to help identify people who may not look disadvantaged on the surface but who grew up with "less" than the vast majority of applicants. (As you could see when you got to college and realized that your "normal" was much less than usual state of affairs for most college students.)

Did you live in Section 8 housing? Qualify for free lunch? Work for spending money and/or to help with household bills before age 18? Those are all questions (or related to questions) on the AMCAS that help explain "disadvantage". Basically, it’s the question, "did you grow up in poverty such that poverty limited your choices/opportunities and your preparedness for college?" Some people growing up in poverty don't attend very good K-12 schools and are less prepared for college than students who attended better schools.
 
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