For high school students aiming to attend a top college, July is filled with exam prep, community service, lab work, internships, music and athletic camps. With Stanford taking only 5.1 percent of applicants and Yale just 7.1 percent, the odds are so uncertain that no effort is spared to build a competitive profile.
Applying to college is an anxiety-filled rite-of-passage for students and parents alike. For Asian-American families, however, the anxiety is mixed with dread. They know that their race will be used against them in admissions, and there is nothing they can do but over prepare.
I experienced this when I applied last year. I grew up in a Chinese-American family in Union City, where my parents are educators and encouraged me to pursue my interests broadly. I sing and play the piano. My choir performed at the San Francisco Opera and President Obama’s first inauguration.