Student at Penn Claims That Racism is Rampant

Are you considering diversity when selecting a college?

When making a decision to attend a particular college, students generally weigh factors such as academics, location, and cost. We usually don’t think of racism as a deciding factor. However, that might all change after a student at Penn was published last week in The Daily Pennsylvanian discouraging minority students from attending Penn because of his encounters with racism on campus.

In this article, Christopher Abreu recounts his humiliating experience in which he was taunted by other students based on the color of his skin. While the story is appalling, many disagree with Abreu’s solution. Discouraging other minority students from attending the university can only exacerbate a problem. Further, students have stepped forward to say that they have not felt racism to be as extensive as Abreu has indicated.

According to an article in The Daily Pennsylvanian, not everyone’s decision will be affected by Abreu’s advice. Black student Daniel McCord stated, “I’ve never gotten any negative feelings about [the University] in that way…If racism was a prevalent enough problem at Penn, I think I would’ve heard about it.” While your comfort level on campus is incredibly important in your decision-making process, make sure to get feedback from a variety of students, faculty and alumni before forming your opinion.

There is Help Available to Make Your College Decision the Best One Possible

Are you looking for answers?

Most of the talk these days, is still about how to narrow down the list of acceptances, and possible acceptances (wait lists), and come to the best possible decision. For some, financial aid is the biggest consideration, often forcing a student to choose between a higher ranked school with a lesser aid package and a less competitive school offering a full scholarship.

In other cases, the decision may be between a school that the student has her heart on vs. a higher ranked school that the parents are pushing for. In yet another scenario, a student may be so heartbroken over a rejection that he is utterly unable to focus and consider the positives and negatives of his other choices.

Thankfully, there are places to turn when in need of a sympathetic and knowledgeable ear. One such site is The Choice, the NY Times blog dedicated to the college admissions process. Bruce Poch, an experienced admissions officer who has served at Pomona College, Wesleyan University and Connecticut College, is offering answers to admissions questions this week.

Poch's common sense responses are sure to be insightful and direct, and cut to the heart of the issues at hand.  Questions and answers are posted here, and they are sure to echo many of your own ongoing internal dialogues, so even if you don’t post a question, you can certainly benefit by checking it out.

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