Are you the child of immigrants from India? Do your parents’ friends go up to you at Costco and ask where you’ll be applying to college? Do you regularly Google the US News & World Report college rankings? If so, know that you’re not alone. Like many other young Indian Americans, your parents value education as they believe an elite American university will be your ticket to the American Dream. And your parents are not wrong. As we’ve shown time and again on the pages of this college admissions blog, attending an Ivy League or other highly selective institution can significantly impact your earning potential and career.
In fact, a rising Stanford University freshman, Ananda Chatterjee, penned a terrific piece in Tallahassee Democrat that shines a light on the importance of a top notch education in the Indian American community. As Chatterjee writes in his op-ed entitled “The influence of cultural factors on college admissions,” “Being a part of Tallahassee’s Asian-American immigrant community where students accepted to the Ivy League and other elite institutions are treated like legends, the pressure to “win” the college application process is high. Within this community, Art of Problem Solving, Kumon, and Math Kangaroo are all terms that have been heard by sixth grade…The cultural importance placed on higher education by immigrant communities often results in 2nd generation immigrant children having access to greater opportunities and better information from a much earlier age. It can even be argued that race and by extension cultural values play a greater role in shaping a student’s mindset than wealth.”
We applaud Ananda Chatterjee for shining a spotlight on his experience as an Indian American navigating the churning waters of elite college admissions and we congratulate him on his admission to Stanford! As he writes, “The intersection between race and educational opportunity is something that will be crucial to understand, especially as our generation transitions into positions where we become responsible for shaping college admissions policies.” Well said!
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