The College Board touched on these sensitivities when it inadvertently sparked a vicious backlash over its 'adversity scores'. These attempts to quantify whether a student came from a 'privileged' or 'oppressed' background would be shared with colleges, but not the applicants.
GIven the controversies of the past week, a WSJ report on how college admissions scandal mastermind Rick Singer, the consultant charged with earning millions for bribing coaches and helping students cheat on the SATs in what the FBI called "Operation Varsity Blues", advised many of his clients to misrepresent their race couldn't have been better timed.
Apparently, it's difficult for the admissions committees to pick up on this type of deception.
One of WSJ's anonymous sources with insider knowledge of Singer's operations said that 'Native American' was a popular option, since most families could credibly claim an affiliation stretching back generations that may or may not be accurate, and it was impossible to tell if a white student was actually mixed-race just by looking at him or her. One student checked the 'Native American' box even though "there was absolutely nothing Native American about this kid.