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Racial Discrimination at Harvard and America’s ‘Elite’ Universities




Some elite schools are engaging in racial discrimination. Hans von Spakovsky reviews some of the evidence that has come to light from the lawsuit alleging that Harvard discriminates against Asian-American applicants:

Asian-Americans have been only about 19 percent of the freshman class at Harvard, although that number has increased slightly since this lawsuit was filed. But that number has remained consistently the same for years despite the increasing numbers of Asian-American students applying to colleges.

Harvard’s own reports showed that Asian-Americans would comprise 43.4 percent of the class based on academics alone, and their share would be 31.4 percent even if you included the university’s preferences for athletes and legacy admissions.

Harvard admissions officers keep down the numbers of highly qualified, highly credentialed Asian-Americans by unswervingly giving them low ratings on “personal” factors—the same type of low “character” and “fitness” ratings Harvard used to prevent qualified Jewish students from getting in 100 years ago. […]

Sadly, Harvard is not alone in what it is doing. Evidence brought to light in the litigation revealed that twice a year, admissions officers from Harvard and 15 other schools, including Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton, and Stanford get together to secretly compare their racial admission numbers to ensure they all have approximately the same racial percentages of admissions.

Another shameful example of this discrimination is M.I.T., my alma mater, which, when I was there, prided itself on being a place where applicants were accepted based on merit regardless of race. But, it seems, M.I.T. began engaging in similar discrimination in the mid-1990s. The number of Asian-American students there has been stalled at about 26 percent since then.

Caltech, M.I.T.’s big rival as a science and technology institution, has always rejected racial preferences and quotas in its admissions—and Asian-Americans now account for 43 percent of its undergraduates.

[Hans von Spakovsky, “Racial Discrimination at Harvard and America’s Elite Universities,” The Daily Signal, August 31]


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