Harvard Docked Asian American Applicants For Personality, Lawsuit Alleges

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Rob Shimshock Education Reporter
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The plaintiff in an affirmative action lawsuit against Harvard University alleged Friday that the school regularly docked Asian American applicants for their personality.

Students for Fair Admissions made the assertion based on its inspection of over 160,000 student records, reported The New York Times.

“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 obtained by NYT. “Harvard today engages in the same kind of discrimination and stereotyping that it used to justify quotas on Jewish applicants in the 1920s and 1930s.”

Asian American applicants to Harvard consistently outranked applicants of other races when measured by grades, test scores, and extracurricular activities. But the Ivy League school gave Asian American applicants lower ratings in categories such as “positive personality,” likability, and “widely respected.”

Harvard allegedly ignored an accusation of bias against Asian American applicants made by its own researchers in 2013.

“Thorough and comprehensive analysis of the data and evidence makes clear that Harvard College does not discriminate against applicants from any group, including Asian-Americans, whose rate of admission has grown 29 percent over the last decade,” Harvard said in response to allegations made by Students for Fair Admissions and its founder, Edward Blum. “Mr. Blum and his organization’s incomplete and misleading data analysis paint a dangerously inaccurate picture of Harvard College’s whole-person admissions process by omitting critical data and information factors.”

But Blum fired back, asserting his data’s veracity in a statement obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“This filing definitively proves that Harvard engages in racial balancing, uses race as far more than a ‘plus’ factor, and has no interest in exploring race-neutral alternatives,” he said. “Harvard has endeavored to litigate in secret because it knows the American people will be shocked to learn how it treats Asian-American applicants.”

The Students for Fair Admissions founder alleged that evidence revealed in a few weeks time will corroborate the school’s willful violation of Title IX in the Civil Rights Act.

While Asian students make up 43 percent of CalTech’s student population, they only comprise 17 percent of Harvard’s student body, a May study showed. (RELATED: Asian Students 250 Percent Underrepresented At Harvard When Compared To School Without Race-Based Admissions)

Both parties asked a Boston federal court for summary judgment. If the litigants do not receive summary judgement, the case will proceed to an October trial.

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