Harvard, Affirmative Action and Hypocrisy

By admin August 14, 2016 BS/MD Admissions Consulting

Harvard: “It is more apparent now than ever that maintaining a diverse student body is essential to Harvard’s goals of providing its students with the most robust educational experience possible on campus and preparing its graduates to thrive in a complex and stunningly diverse nation and world.”

Agreed. Diversity will add to the campus experience for all students.

The question I have is: Why does Harvard get to play with the numbers for their own benefit?

As Harvard and other prestigious universities are celebrating the recent ruling upholding affirmative action in the Supreme Court case, Fisher v. University of Texas, they will soon have a legal battle of their own to fight.

A coalition of the Asian-American organization is filing a federal complaint against Yale, Brown, and Dartmouth, accusing the Ivy League universities of “widespread and severe discrimination” against Asian-Americans in their admissions policies. Harvard has been fighting a similar legal battle since November 2014.

At nearly all of these highly selective universities, Asian students are counted as minorities. They help to bring up the minority numbers. Yet, they do not receive the same consideration as other minority groups during the admissions process. In fact, I would say that Asian students are held to a higher standard. It is automatically expected that Asians are good at math, play a musical instrument, and are top students with top test scores. The Asian-American enrollment at many Ivy League schools and top-tier colleges has declined in recent years despite an increase in the college-age population. Many blame the discrepancy on “negative stereotyping coupled with racial quotas and caps.”

If a university will use a group to inflate their diversity numbers for statistical reasons, then that groups deserves to be judged by the same standard. Asian students are held to a higher standard and yet they are counted as a minority group, which serves to benefit the university.

You can’t have it both ways, Harvard.

Read about Harvard’s legal battle here.

Read the federal complaint against Yale, Brown, and Dartmouth here.