The Green Hope Falcon

Harvard Sued For Asian Admission Policies

Geoffrey Dean, Staff Writer

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Harvard, ubiquitously revered, and perennially considered one of the top schools in the country, is currently being taken to court.  The university is being accused of upholding discriminatory admission policies that disadvantage Asian-American applicants, while favoring legacy prospective students.  The Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA), is leading the accusations, and is being backed by the Justice Department, who says they support the group. Harvard is being criticized for the method by which they rate students, and their utilization of legacy admission preference.

The notion of “legacy scholarships” or “legacy preference” has been something that has become a de facto aspect of the college admissions process nationwide.  At UNC, in-state legacy students were accepted 12.3% more than their non-legacy in-state counterparts (The Daily Tar Heel). At Duke University, 13.5% of it’s incoming class is of legacy status (The Duke Chronicle).  At Harvard University 29% of class of 2021 is legacy, and 36.8% of the class of 2022 had some relative who had previously attended the school (The Harvard Crimson). Harvard fears if it eliminates legacy preference, wealthy alumni will cease to contribute money to the University.  As a result, the school would not be able to provide the same level of monetary support to students who have demonstrated financial need. Currently, Harvard University’s financial need policy states, “If your family earns less than $65,000 per year, your parents pay nothing for you to attend Harvard.”  A majority of the funding comes from the parents of legacy students.

Today, the Asian-American population is allegedly being slighted by legacy preferences and the Harvard rating scale.  The University ranks it’s applicants on a one to six scale (with one being the best and six being the worst) in several different categories, ranging from personality, to academics, to extracurriculars. According to the SFFA, this system discriminates against Asian-Americans, and therefore reduces their chances of getting into the school.  The SFFA specifically sites the personality test as biased against Asian applicants, and as a result, they need to score approximately 150 points higher on the SAT to compensate. Harvard has responded by saying that in order to maintain the diversity of student body they desire, they cannot admit race blind. This is to say that by admitting students solely by score, Harvard’s student body would become overwhelmingly Asian, and the number of Hispanic and African-American students would suffer tremendously.

The trial is ongoing at the moment, as the Students for Fair Admissions and Harvard University continue to battle on.  The case is expected to go on to the Supreme Court at some point, as the district court judge predicts they will likely not be able to make the final decision.  

About the Writer
Geoffrey Dean, Staff Writer

This is Geoffrey’s first year on The Falcon.  He is an aspiring writer, who is now a Junior after spending two years at Green Hope already.  He is looking forward to his favorite class, history. Some interesting facts about Geoffrey is that his spirit animal is either an eagle or killer whale, depending on the day, he is an oldest child, and does not own any pets.  Geoffrey enjoys pop music and will listen to anything that is playing on the radio. His favorite thing about green hope is the teachers, he has not had a teacher that he did not like, and he is a swimmer on the Green Hope team.

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Harvard Sued For Asian Admission Policies