Dem Rep Rips Harvard: ‘Your Admissions Policies Against Asian-Americans Are Racist’

Dem Rep Rips Harvard: ‘Your Admissions Policies Against Asian-Americans Are Racist’

Dem Rep Rips Harvard: ‘Your Admissions Policies Against Asian-Americans Are Racist’

Harvard University defended its undergraduate admissions in a statement intended as a rebuttal to allegations of discrimination against Asian Americans.

There is also an exhaustive process of reading, review and commentary before the admissions committee votes on each application.

On Friday, the two sides put out a flurry of motions, memoranda and declarations, seeking summary judgments and showing how they intend to argue the case - which goes to trial in mid-October.

After Donald Trump became the United States president a year ago, the justice department began investigating whether Harvard's policies are discriminatory because they limit the acceptance of Asian Americans.

The research found that based on academics alone, Asian-Americans should comprise 43% of Harvard classrooms; when considering extracurricular and personal ratings, Asian-American admissions should comprise almost 26% of the school's roster of aspiring scholars and professionals.

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"It turns out that the suspicions of Asian-American alumni, students and applicants were right all along", Students for Fair Admissions said in a court document. But their chances of admission were hampered by low ratings for personality traits, such as likability, kindness, positive personality, courage and being widely respected. Admissions officers undertake a "whole-person evaluation" that includes academic performance, extracurriculars, personal qualities, talent, as well as socioeconomic background and race.

The documents also show that Harvard has considered race-neutral admissions policies in recent years, including socio-economic factors and geography, but found that neither were sufficient.

Harvard says the group's study excludes important admissions factors and provided a countering study finding no disadvantage for Asian-American applicants.

The suit against Harvard, brought by Students for Fair Admissions, alleges the institution imposes what is in effect "racial balancing" to keep the number of Asian students artificially low while advancing less qualified white, black, and Hispanic applicants.

Harvard countered that the study was never meant to evaluate possible discrimination and that it was "incomplete, preliminary and based on limited inputs".

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Instead, Harvard sought its own study from David Card, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley, who found no evidence of discrimination against Asian-Americans.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit claim Harvard buried the results of the internal review when it didn't like what they found.

In 2016, the Supreme Court examined the topic and upheld race-conscious admissions at the University of Texas, but the justices warned that other colleges still must be able to prove affirmative action is the only way to meet diversity goals. In previous lawsuits, such as against the University of Texas, Blum enlisted white students as plaintiffs. Fisher is also an executive in Students for Fair Admissions, according to the group's tax filings.

President of Students for Fair Admissions explains why they have filed suit against Harvard College for its admissions policies regarding Asian students. Blum's group said the public should have access to the records, and the U.S. Education Department weighed in to agree.

The judge ultimately sided with Harvard, but Blum said Friday that he believes the rest of the records will be released 'in the next few weeks'.

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