Here’s a way to get your kid into a better college…

Instead of submitting SAT scores, take an ancestry-DNA test.


Call it the “Elizabeth Warren Method”.

The Senator used DMA testing to  “prove” that she is at least 1/10th of 1% Native American and she stands behind the legitimacy of her claiming minority status for academic standing ….

Tech note: The DNA testers inferred from Warren’s lab sample that she  has some Native American DNA tracing back 6 to 10 generations (i.e. hundreds of years).  “Inferred” because they don’t have enough certified Indian DNA in their data base to ascertain Indian  ancestry.  So, they “project” off of South American DNA that they assume mimics Native Americans.  Said differently, 1/10th of 1% is probably overstated … with a very wide margin of error.  In mathspeak, the result is not statistically different from zero.

Math note: 6 to 10 generations ago translates to between 1/64th and 1/1,024th Indian blood … 1/1,024 = .0009765 ~.001 ~ 1/10th of 1%That’s about a big toe nail’s worth of Indian blood

A veritable  Pandora’s has been opened.…

As previously reported, some colleges are no longer requiring (or accepting) SAT & ACT scores

See University of Chicago drops SAT / ACT scores … say, what?

The action is a thinly veiled move  to “diversify” the student body by throttling the number of high scoring Asian-American admissions.


I’m not a big fan of the commercial DNA testing done by ancestry sites.

But, they may be a tool for getting kids into better colleges.


First, a flashback: years ago a work colleague crowed that his daughter got into the Univ. of Virginia largely because she claimed to be 1/32nd American Indian.

The basis: Elizabeth Warren-like family folklore regarding a great-great grandfather


More currently, I spotted a NY Post article titled “My ancestry test revealed a genetic bombshell”.

The essence of the headlined story:

My dad was German, and my mother was Scottish-English.

When I went went on the AncestryDNA site to view my DNA matches … at least two-thirds of my matches had Hispanic surnames.

I realized, oh my God,  I’m Hispanic!

All these years I thought I was German-Scottish.

Just like the commercials, right?

Surprise surprise surprise, surprise.


Now, let’s get technical for a moment.

Also reported in the Post article:

DNA testing is far from a perfect science.

There’s really no oversight for ancestry testing.

There’s no independent testing that validates any of it with scientific certainty.

When these DNA-testing companies have been examined, they haven’t exactly passed with flying colors.

Researchers at Ambry Genetics, a medical laboratory in California analyzed the results of commercial DNA tests  and found that only 60 percent of the findings could be confirmed.

The other 40 percent were false positives; meaning, the genetic variants were incorrectly identified.


You can probably guess where I’m heading with this….

Why not have your kid spit in the test tube and see what the ancestry DNA testing says.

Like the lady in the Post article, you may be surprise to learn that that – based on the DNA test – your kids may have traces of a heritage that reclassifies them into a more preferred admissions category.

What the heck … check the appropriate box, staple the DNA results and cross your fingers.

After all, comparable strategy worked for Sen. Warren


P.S. For ethical reasons, I don’t really recommend this strategy.  But, rest assured that this is an angle already being leveraged by some applicants.


Follow on Twitter @KenHoma

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3 Responses to “Here’s a way to get your kid into a better college…”

  1. Misplaced Okie Says:

    Growing up in Oklahoma, this isn’t that unusual. The Native American tribes don’t accept DNA testing and actually discourage their members from contributing to the databases. the companies actually use Central and South American DNA as a proxy. for tribal membership the rules vary by tribe and often require a certain blood quantum ( I.e. 1/4, 1/8, 1/32, etc.) which is proven through genealogical research to an ancestor listed on one of a few tribal rolls such as the Dawes roll (done for the 5 “civilized tribes” relocated to Oklahoma, one semester of Okla. History in high school wasn’t a complete waste…) Membership has become significantly harder to get with many tribes opening casinos and, oddly enough, the Senator in question claims Cherokee which is one tribe that does not require a certain blood quantum. If she did a bit of research and found a direct link to an ancestor on the Dawes Roll, she would be eligible for membership.

  2. Dan Says:

    So most of us are now American Natives using the Elizabeth Warren standard!

  3. LosLobos Says:

    It’s actually still easier to get in and f your parents are Alumni who are benefactors. And one more time “Hispanic” not a race. There are Hispanics from all races. Latin includes Italians, French, Spaniards, etc. I’m Hispanic, from Latin America, and my family tree is linked to the Hapsburgs.

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