Justice Department: Harvard Illegally Discriminates Against Asian-American Applicants

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

On Thursday morning, the Justice Department stated in a court filing that Harvard University discriminates against Asian-American applicants.

“Harvard admits that, on average, it scores Asian-American applicants lower on the personal rating than white applicants. Yet when an internal Harvard report pointed out that the personal rating may be infused with racial bias and sought authorization to study the issue further, Harvard buried it.” This is part of the court document filed today by the Justice Department as a “statement of interest” in the ongoing lawsuit against Harvard University’s alleged practice of discriminating against Asian-American applicants during the admissions process.

The filing also argues that the Ivy League school’s admissions process may also discriminate against white applicants. “The record evidence demonstrates that Harvard’s race-based admissions process significantly disadvantages Asian-American applicants compared to applicants of other racial groups — including both white applicants and applicants from other racial minority groups,” the filing reads.

The document contends that the Harvard admission’s office failed to use race in the admissions process in a meaningful way. “The evidence… shows that Harvard provides no meaningful criteria to cabin its use of race; uses a vague ‘personal rating’ that harms Asian-American applicant’s chances for admission and may be infected with racial bias; engages in unlawful racial balancing; and has never seriously considered race-neutral alternatives in its more than 45 years of using race to make admissions decisions,” the document adds.

A Harvard spokesperson said that the university is deeply disappointed with the Justice Department’s filing and will continue to defend themselves against accusations of discrimination. “We are deeply disappointed that the Department of Justice has taken the side of Edward Blum and Students for Fair Admissions, recycling the same misleading and hollow arguments that prove nothing more than the emptiness of the case against Harvard,” the spokesperson wrote in the statement.


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