More than 60 Asian American organizations filed a complaint (see below) with the federal government on Friday alleging that Harvard University discriminates against Asian Americans in the admissions process and calling for an investigation.
The Harvard Crimson, a student newspaper on campus, wrote in this storythat 64 groups filed the complaint with the U.S. Education and Justice departments, arguing that the university makes an “unlawful use of race” in its decisions that hurts Asian Americans.
More than 21 percent of the admitted students for the current school year were Asian American, according to Harvard data. Asian Americans comprised the largest minority group accepted, the data shows. In the Class of 2017, admitted four years earlier, Asian Americans comprised 19.9 percent.
The complaint, in part, says:
Over the last two decades, Asian-American applicants to Harvard University and other Ivy League colleges have increasingly experienced discrimination in the admissions process. Many Asian-American students who have almost perfect SAT scores, top 1% GPAs, plus significant awards or leadership positions in various extracurricular activities have been rejected by Harvard University and other Ivy League Colleges while similarly situated applicants of other races have been admitted. Because of this discrimination, it has become especially difficult for high-performing male Asian-American students to gain admission to Harvard University and other Ivy League colleges. In recently years these trends have become more and more severe. They are widely reported by various Asian-American web bloggers and other media.
The Crimson story said that Robert W. Iuliano, the university’s general counsel, issued a statement in response to Friday’s complaint denying that Harvard admissions uses unlawful methods of selecting students:
“[W]ithin its holistic admissions process, and as part of its effort to build a diverse class, Harvard College has demonstrated a strong record of recruiting and admitting Asian American students,” Iuliano wrote, citing recent increases in the percentage of admitted Asian American students at Harvard College.
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