Survey Shows 34 Percent of White College Applicants Admit to Misrepresenting Their Race on Applications

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Nearly half of college students falsely claimed they were Native American and 77 percent, who claimed to be a racial minority, were accepted by the college of their choice

SEATTLE, WA–, a trusted resource for online degree rankings and higher education planning, has published findings from a survey that examines the rate of race misrepresentation on college applications. Research experts analyzed responses from 1,250 White American college applicants.

The survey shows that 34 percent of White American applicants admit they claimed a different race on their college applications. Forty-eight percent of respondents say they identified themselves as Native American during the application process. Comparably, 13 percent of respondents claimed to be Latino, 10 percent claimed to be Black, and 9 percent claimed to be Asian or Pacific Islander. Men were three times as likely as women to lie about their race on a college application. Forty-eight percent of male respondents claimed to be a minority on their college application, compared to just 16% of female applicants.

Data results indicate that the misrepresentation of race also varies by age. Forty-three percent of college students 35-44 years old and 41 percent of students 16–24 years old say they lied about their racial identity. Falsification is lower among people aged 25-34, with only 31 percent admitting to lying about their race. Twenty-eight percent of students aged 45 to 54 say they did not tell the truth about race, and only 13 percent of respondents aged 54 and older admit to claiming another race.

According to the study, 81 percent of respondents say they lied about their minority status to increase their chances of being accepted to a college or university. Fifty percent of applicants also say they claimed to be another race to qualify for minority-focused financial aid. Of the 77 percent of students who lied and gained admission, 85 percent believe that falsifying information on their applications helped them. created and paid for this study, which was administered via the online survey platform Pollfish. On July 13, 2021, the survey was distributed to 1,250 white college applicants ages 16 and older across the United States, and appropriate respondents were found via a screening question. To access the complete report, please visit:

ABOUT INTELLIGENT.COM provides unbiased research to help students make informed decisions about higher education programs. The website offers curated guides that include the best degree programs as well as information about financial aid, internships, and even study strategies. With comprehensive, user-friendly guides and hundreds of program rankings, is a trusted source among students and prospective students. To learn more, please visit

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