How a DNA Test Kit Can Help You Edge Out the Competition

Chris Boylan had always thought of his adopted son as white. Henry seemed to almost blend in perfectly with Boylan’s biological children and their Irish coloring.

The Many Benefits of Knowing Your True Ethnicity

Chris Boylan had always thought of his adopted son as white. Henry seemed to almost blend in perfectly with Boylan’s biological children and their Irish coloring. 

But Henry was about to apply to college, and Chris began to toy with the thought that maybe Henry’s ethnic makeup was dramatically different than what his skin coloring or the texture of his hair had led him to assume. 

“I’ve been saving for their college tuition since they were in diapers and even I was smacked in the face when I started crunching the real numbers. I’ll try anything that might provide some financial relief,” Chris said.  

So he bought an at-home DNA test kit from MyHeritage​ and tested his son, who, it turned out was 36% Native American.

Genetic testing tools, once relegated to elite researchers, have made their way into the mainstream consumer market and are making huge impacts on people’s lives - changing the way people view themselves, where they come from and how they fit into and relate to the world around them. 

Chris, right, on his college campus. He used a DNA test to find out he's part Native American

The Power of Uncovering Your Origins

When Henry uncovered his Native American heritage, it not only gave him an increased sense of identity, but it also meant that he could check the Native American box on his Dartmouth application - something that could give him an extra edge over other applicants. 

The consensus on college applications seems to be just write what you feel. Many college admissions offices leave it up to applicants to describe themselves as they seem fit. 

For many young adults, filling out college applications is the first time they have to consciously think about their race. And for those who grew up in some iteration of white suburbia, where race is an afterthought, the desire to stand apart is a driving force leading more to question, “Who am I?” 

Knowing your ethnic makeup can benefit you greatly when applying to college or a job

Finding Your Place in a Mixed-Up World

Research indicates that more and more people are turning to DNA kits to answer this question of personal identity and to gain an ethnic advantage in college and job applications. 

Tests are being used by white prospective employees to take advantage of minority hiring. There’s a case of a Christian man who used a test to prove his Jewish roots and apply for Israeli citizenship. And many Americans have used it to show Native American ancestry, looking for their piece of scholarship money and even casino royalties. 

“My parents and grandparents wanted me to feel connected to my Middle Eastern and British roots” says Betty Kohn, a senior from Michigan who recently used a DNA test from MyHeritage​ to explore her origins while filling out college applications. “But now, I can actually take a test and know for certain that I’m 48% Middle Eastern and 13% British. And just in terms of how I see myself, having these numbers makes that connection even stronger.”

With mounting pressure in academia and the workplace to diversify, finding out that you are 15% Native American or 26% West African can spell the difference in getting into your first choice school, or landing your dream job over another candidate.

If you want to join millions of who have already begun to discover what their DNA can reveal, try an at-home kit from MyHeritage​ today.