On Friday, an alliance of 64 Asian American groups filed a complaint with the U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights on grounds of racial quotas used in the admission process at Harvard University.
The particular case is directed at Harvard University as a prestigious higher education institution. 64 groups of Chinese, Indian, Korean and Pakistani students are calling for an investigation, alleging that the higher education institution uses racial balancing in the admission process.
They stated that on average, Asian-American students looking to enter the ranks of Ivy League education must score 140 points higher than their white peers and 270 points that their Hispanic counterparts. In comparison with African-American students, Asian-American students need to score 450 points higher on the SAT tests.
Under the circumstances, a federal investigation will ensue. These allegations haven’t been met for the first time. Last year, the nonprofit group „Students for Fair Admission” filed a federal complaint against Harvard University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. They argued that based on their rejected applications it stands that affirmative action policies should be prohibited at U.S. colleges.
Yukong Zhao, the leader of the 64 strong coalition requested that Harvard University opens its admission book. The move would shed light on whether Asian-American students are in a clear disadvantage caused by racial quotas or not. He stated that the purpose of the action is to:
„to help this country move forward”.
To the allegation that Ivy League institutions purposefully limit the number of Asian American students they admit on a yearly basis, the Harvard University officials responded that the admission process is fully in line with federal law.
In addition, the number of Asian American students admitted in the University increased from 17.6 percent to 21 percent in the past ten years.
These allegations should be treated seriously at a federal level. The transparency of the admission process at top notch universities such as the Ivy League institutions should no doubt be taken up a step. The coalition intends to do just that.
As in any society that should foster talent and brightness, these students are looking for affirmation and acknowledgment of their capabilities. In a system that ranks racial quotas and affirmative action policies, the process is hindered.
The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights stands by the Asian-American groups and fully supports the increased transparency of admissions. At the same time, commissioners stated that no group in the United States should find itself under the incidence of racial quotas.
They are unfair and hinder progress by limiting students’ chances. Further developments of the case should reflect these considerations.
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