This is my first post, and I just wanted to thank everyone who has made a contribution here. This has definitely been the go to resource for me as I prepare to apply to business school. I am applying to matriculate in Fall 2012 and I am hoping I can make a contribution to this community as I go through the process.
Anyway on to the question. I am 50% Hispanic (my dad is Puerto Rican). The other half is straight-up "white". I am not sure if I should mark myself as Hispanic on the application. While I did have exposure to my dad's side of the family and have gone to Puerto Rico for weddings I grew up in a white neighborhood and went to school there. I don't speak Spanish fluently either, although that can also be attributed to my dad's lack of involvement at times (parent's divorced at young age and mom was primary custodian).
Just looking for any advice from someone who may have a better idea? Would this even help me to get in?
A little background about myself: I went to Cornell Engineering and graduated with a 3.6 in Computer Science. Commissioned in the Army and will have served 4 years as a combat arms (infantry) officer. I have excellent garrison and combat leaderships evaluations, and great recommendations lined up. I am hoping to apply to HBS, Stanford, Wharton, and Tuck as my top choices (GMAT willing!).
As a note, I don't really look Hispanic either. I have red hair but instead of a pale complexion I get tan and have brown eyes.
Thanks for any help you guy's can contribute
There's no ethical dilemma here - you're Hispanic. It seems that culturally you don't associate closely with the Hispanic community and you don't "pass the eye test," but that does not make your blood any less Puerto Rican.
Putting Hispanic down on your application might not necessarily help you, since you're not culturally Hispanic and you don't speak Spanish, but it absolutely will not hurt your application.
For what it's worth, I am half-Peruvian, but you would never guess it looking at me, and I put Hispanic down on all my applications. However, I do speak Spanish and I do identify with my Peruvian heritage (although I grew up in a predominantly White neighborhood as well) so our situations aren't exactly alike.