Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search

madville

(7,413 posts)
Sat May 16, 2015, 10:14 AM May 2015

Asian groups allege Harvard discriminates against them in admissions

"The complaint, filed by a coalition of 64 organizations, says the university has set quotas to keep the numbers of Asian-American students significantly lower than the quality of their applications merits. It cites third-party academic research on the SAT exam showing that Asian-Americans have to score on average about 140 points higher than white students, 270 points higher than Hispanic students and 450 points higher than African-American students to equal their chances of gaining admission to Harvard. The exam is scored on a 2400-point scale."

They can't just base admissions on test scores and GPA, Harvard would be 80% Asian. They have to look at the best and brightest from each group, not across the board, in order to promote any shred of diversity.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/asian-american-organizations-seek-federal-probe-of-harvard-admission-policies-1431719348

42 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
Asian groups allege Harvard discriminates against them in admissions (Original Post) madville May 2015 OP
I'm a little conflicted about this Ms. Yertle May 2015 #1
It's a balancing act madville May 2015 #2
They don't have to, they could just admit the most able students. N.T. Donald Ian Rankin May 2015 #8
They think that is achieved by a formula of test scores and GPA. Most universities don't. pnwmom May 2015 #14
Why do they have to do that? Snow Leopard May 2015 #10
It needs to be a cross-section of the population. madville May 2015 #13
Oh please! There's always Yale rusty fender May 2015 #3
And Princeton, Stanford, Cal, Columbia.... nt hifiguy May 2015 #12
On a more serious note... rusty fender May 2015 #4
Without some diversity standards what would happen FLPanhandle May 2015 #5
Plus factor in that tests like the SAT madville May 2015 #15
Maybe it's time they review the criteria they're using if it's giving them such lopsided results? Chathamization May 2015 #6
Flip it around 1939 May 2015 #7
DU would be outraged and politicians would be queueing up to denounce the college. Nye Bevan May 2015 #21
wouldn't the right approach be to not ask gender/race/sexual orientation etc. on applications? DeadEyeDyck May 2015 #9
but but... GummyBearz May 2015 #11
can't we have an argument without wings? DeadEyeDyck May 2015 #31
Are you speaking for MLK? gollygee May 2015 #38
I am a black man that does not want to be judged by colour of my skin. DeadEyeDyck May 2015 #42
actually, Martin Luther King supported affirmative action JustinL May 2015 #41
Harvard has to deal with paid agents gaming their admissions system, too daredtowork May 2015 #16
Finally LittleBlue May 2015 #17
I guess they want the same numbers they have at UCLA and UC Berkeley mnhtnbb May 2015 #18
Ban discrimination by race and also ban legacy preferences. Nye Bevan May 2015 #19
So what happens when colleges are full of Asians and Whites only? FLPanhandle May 2015 #20
I don't know what the answer is but the article suggests DemocratSinceBirth May 2015 #22
No it doesn't FLPanhandle May 2015 #24
From the Original Poster's article: DemocratSinceBirth May 2015 #25
Yes, but when you account for that percentage also applying at other schools too FLPanhandle May 2015 #27
That's kind of an offensive post. Nye Bevan May 2015 #23
Not meant to be offensive FLPanhandle May 2015 #29
Or maybe no federal money going to schools with selective admissions. That'd take care of Chathamization May 2015 #30
Scores and Grades are not the only basis on judging who is a worthy student alphafemale May 2015 #26
I know you didn't mean it but DemocratSinceBirth May 2015 #32
Never feign interest in higher math. alphafemale May 2015 #37
So asians lack life and flair, plus they are boring at parties AngryAmish May 2015 #34
No. You're saying that. alphafemale May 2015 #36
I don't think race-based preferences become either more or less legal/moral because they harm Romulox May 2015 #28
This is a really difficult subject... DemocratSinceBirth May 2015 #33
First, the idea Harvard limits their undergrads to such a low number reeks AngryAmish May 2015 #35
We are debating this because serious efforts to provide equal educational Vattel May 2015 #39
Just another example of how humans can't have everything The2ndWheel May 2015 #40

Ms. Yertle

(466 posts)
1. I'm a little conflicted about this
Sat May 16, 2015, 10:19 AM
May 2015

Diversity is a worthy goal, but people aren't just representatives of their group; they are individuals. The individual who doesn't get into Harvard on the basis of his/her ethnicity is harmed for life.

madville

(7,413 posts)
2. It's a balancing act
Sat May 16, 2015, 10:30 AM
May 2015

If you are admitting 5000 people and 80% of the top 5000 on paper are Asian what do you do? They have to discriminate legally in this area in order to give a representative number of blacks, Hispanics, and whites a chance at getting in.

pnwmom

(109,031 posts)
14. They think that is achieved by a formula of test scores and GPA. Most universities don't.
Sat May 16, 2015, 12:42 PM
May 2015

And i don't think they should, either.

madville

(7,413 posts)
13. It needs to be a cross-section of the population.
Sat May 16, 2015, 12:33 PM
May 2015

12% black, 20% Hispanic, etc, etc.

It's been proven that black and Hispanic students are at a disadvantage when it comes to tests like te SAT measuring their capabilities. The tests are biased to whites and Asians.

 

rusty fender

(3,428 posts)
4. On a more serious note...
Sat May 16, 2015, 10:53 AM
May 2015

Everyone who applies anywhere believes that he/she is qualified to be admitted. Just because you don't get accepted by your first choice doesn't equate to being harmed for life. Something like 30,000 applicants don't get into Harvard every year. That'd be a lot of 'harmed for life' people in the U.S. over the last several decades. 'Harmed for life' = epic fail.

FLPanhandle

(7,107 posts)
5. Without some diversity standards what would happen
Sat May 16, 2015, 10:56 AM
May 2015

Do they want a school that is just Asain and White people?

Chathamization

(1,638 posts)
6. Maybe it's time they review the criteria they're using if it's giving them such lopsided results?
Sat May 16, 2015, 10:59 AM
May 2015

If only looking at someone's GPA and test scores leads to a non-diverse environment, maybe that's a good indication that those factors should be used as much?

1939

(1,683 posts)
7. Flip it around
Sat May 16, 2015, 11:10 AM
May 2015

What if a college cut off African-American admissions when they reached 13% because "we don't want to be too black."

Nye Bevan

(25,406 posts)
21. DU would be outraged and politicians would be queueing up to denounce the college.
Sat May 16, 2015, 01:50 PM
May 2015

But somehow discrimination against Asians is more acceptable.

DeadEyeDyck

(1,504 posts)
9. wouldn't the right approach be to not ask gender/race/sexual orientation etc. on applications?
Sat May 16, 2015, 11:25 AM
May 2015

That would be the MLK solution.

gollygee

(22,336 posts)
38. Are you speaking for MLK?
Sun May 17, 2015, 09:53 AM
May 2015

He was a proponent of affirmative action.

http://fair.org/extra-online-articles/the-right-has-a-dream/

King was well aware of the arguments used against affirmative action policies. As far back as 1964, he was writing in Why We Can’t Wait: “Whenever the issue of compensatory treatment for the Negro is raised, some of our friends recoil in horror. The Negro should be granted equality, they agree; but he should ask nothing more. On the surface, this appears reasonable, but it is not realistic.”

King supported affirmative action-type programs because he never confused the dream with American reality. As he put it, “A society that has done something special against the Negro for hundreds of years must now do something special for the Negro” to compete on a just and equal basis (quoted in Let the Trumpet Sound, by Stephen Oates).

In a 1965 Playboy interview, King compared affirmative action-style policies to the GI Bill: “Within common law we have ample precedents for special compensatory programs…. And you will remember that America adopted a policy of special treatment for her millions of veterans after the war.”

In King’s teachings, affirmative action approaches were not “reverse discrimination” or “racial preference.” King promoted affirmative action not as preference for race over race (or gender over gender), but as a preference for inclusion, for equal oportunity, for real democracy. Nor was King’s integration punitive: For him, integration benefited all Americans, male and female, white and non-white alike. And contrary to Gingrich, King insisted that, along with individual efforts, collective problems require collective solutions.

DeadEyeDyck

(1,504 posts)
42. I am a black man that does not want to be judged by colour of my skin.
Mon May 18, 2015, 09:04 AM
May 2015

Being a military brat, born and raised in Germany/United Kingdom, to a German mum and black father, I have done quit well for myself without special assistance because of my race. I would find it insulting to be offered a position, over others, because of the colour of my flesh.

JustinL

(722 posts)
41. actually, Martin Luther King supported affirmative action
Mon May 18, 2015, 01:35 AM
May 2015

From Why We Can't Wait (1964):

Among the many vital jobs to be done, the nation must not only radically readjust its attitude toward the Negro in the compelling present, but must incorporate in its planning some compensatory consideration for the handicaps he had inherited from the past. It is impossible to create a formula for the future which does not take into account that our society has been doing something special against the Negro for hundreds of years. How then can he be absorbed into the mainstream of American life if we do not do something special for him now, in order to balance the equation and equip him to compete on a just and equal basis?

Whenever the issue of compensatory or preferential treatment for the Negro is raised, some of our friends recoil in horror. The Negro should be granted equality, they agree; but he should ask nothing more. On the surface, this appears reasonable, but it is not realistic. For it is obvious that if a man is entered at the starting line in a race three hundred years after another man, the first would have to perform some impossible feat in order to catch up with his fellow runner.


From Where Do We Go From Here? (1967):

The white liberal must affirm that absolute justice for the Negro simply means, in the Aristotelian sense, that the Negro must have "his due." There is nothing abstract about this. It is as concrete as having a good job, a good education, a decent house and a share of power. It is, however, important to understanding that giving a man his due may often involve giving him special treatment. I am aware of the fact that this has been a troublesome concept for many liberals, since it conflicts with their traditional ideal of equal opportunity and equal treatment of people according to their individual merits. But this is a day which demands new thinking and the re-evaluation of old concepts. A society that has done something special against the Negro for hundreds of years must now do something special for him, in order to equip him to compete on a just and equal basis.

daredtowork

(3,732 posts)
16. Harvard has to deal with paid agents gaming their admissions system, too
Sat May 16, 2015, 12:52 PM
May 2015

but my understanding has been that Harvard, like all major American universities, takes the diversity of American (and International) high school experiences into account and attempts to look at the "whole person" in admissions. They are also attempting to craft a diverse incoming class as a whole.

Besides, as a private institution Harvard can do what it wants.

However, if this group wants to go after the Ivy League's routine admission of super rich "legacy" students, who take up seats that a more deserving student should have had, God bless 'em. Every time it's mentioned that Bush got to go to Yale, it contributes to my future ulcer.

 

LittleBlue

(10,362 posts)
17. Finally
Sat May 16, 2015, 12:53 PM
May 2015

Asians get shafted in college admissions. It's clear race-based discrimination.

I hope Harvard gets nailed big time for this.

mnhtnbb

(31,450 posts)
18. I guess they want the same numbers they have at UCLA and UC Berkeley
Sat May 16, 2015, 01:41 PM
May 2015

2010 Census--14.1% of California population is Asian

http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/06000.html


Undergraduate Student Ethnicity at UCLA for 2014: Asian/Pacific Islander 33.5%

https://www.admissions.ucla.edu/campusprofile.htm


http://opa.berkeley.edu/uc-berkeley-fall-enrollment-data


I'm a UCLA grad and I heard a lot of my friends who still live in California complain that it's almost
impossible for their children to get into UCLA anymore (for whites).


Harvard's Class of 2018 ethnicity: 20% Asian-American
https://college.harvard.edu/admissions/admissions-statistics

Nye Bevan

(25,406 posts)
19. Ban discrimination by race and also ban legacy preferences.
Sat May 16, 2015, 01:47 PM
May 2015

Seems a lot of people who oppose discrimination against blacks are fine with discrimination against Asians.

FLPanhandle

(7,107 posts)
20. So what happens when colleges are full of Asians and Whites only?
Sat May 16, 2015, 01:49 PM
May 2015

Maybe a little leeway should be in place besides grades and tests scores for other minorities?

DemocratSinceBirth

(99,719 posts)
22. I don't know what the answer is but the article suggests
Sat May 16, 2015, 01:53 PM
May 2015

I don't know what the answer is but the article suggests elite universities wouldn't be full of Asians and white but would be full of Asians and a few whites.

FLPanhandle

(7,107 posts)
24. No it doesn't
Sat May 16, 2015, 01:56 PM
May 2015

The numbers even in heavily Asian California top out at 40%.

For a school like Harvard, it would be much less.

DemocratSinceBirth

(99,719 posts)
25. From the Original Poster's article:
Sat May 16, 2015, 01:59 PM
May 2015
"...They can't just base admissions on test scores and GPA, Harvard would be 80% Asian."

FLPanhandle

(7,107 posts)
27. Yes, but when you account for that percentage also applying at other schools too
Sat May 16, 2015, 02:06 PM
May 2015

Like I said, even in the most heavily Asain state, it's tops out at 40%. Asians can only fill so many slots.

FLPanhandle

(7,107 posts)
29. Not meant to be offensive
Sat May 16, 2015, 02:08 PM
May 2015

Just using the data in the article.

Sure individuals of all races get high scores, but the overall numbers cited in the article would lead to primarily Asian/White college populations.

Chathamization

(1,638 posts)
30. Or maybe no federal money going to schools with selective admissions. That'd take care of
Sat May 16, 2015, 07:23 PM
May 2015

discrimination, and hopefully move colleges away from credentialism and back towards education (and probably lowering costs significantly, since I imagine community colleges would get a lot of the windfall).

 

alphafemale

(18,497 posts)
26. Scores and Grades are not the only basis on judging who is a worthy student
Sat May 16, 2015, 02:03 PM
May 2015

They want some life and flair in there.

Not just a bunch of people that will bore the ass off you at a party.

DemocratSinceBirth

(99,719 posts)
32. I know you didn't mean it but
Sun May 17, 2015, 09:24 AM
May 2015

I know you didn't mean it but this sentiment:


Not just a bunch of people that will bore the ass off you at a party.



feeds into certain stereotypes ...
 

alphafemale

(18,497 posts)
37. Never feign interest in higher math.
Sun May 17, 2015, 09:47 AM
May 2015

You will have the potted plant in the far corner poking you in the back all night.

Nothing at all to do with race in my mind.

Just people communicating from a place in the brain I can barely fathom.

 

alphafemale

(18,497 posts)
36. No. You're saying that.
Sun May 17, 2015, 09:43 AM
May 2015

A college roster should be filled by many means and not grades and numbers alone.

Schools and grades before college favors a narrow sliver of thought process.

That sliver of thought bores me.

Whatever race they might happen to be.

Romulox

(25,960 posts)
28. I don't think race-based preferences become either more or less legal/moral because they harm
Sat May 16, 2015, 02:07 PM
May 2015

the interests of Asian Americans, rather than just those of whites.

DemocratSinceBirth

(99,719 posts)
33. This is a really difficult subject...
Sun May 17, 2015, 09:28 AM
May 2015

This is a really difficult subject . I suspect an Asian or Pacific Islander would argue that they too are discriminated against and while if they shouldn't be beneficiaries of affirmative action as a consequence of being discriminated against they certainly shouldn't be penalized as a result of it.


 

AngryAmish

(25,704 posts)
35. First, the idea Harvard limits their undergrads to such a low number reeks
Sun May 17, 2015, 09:37 AM
May 2015

But they are protecting their brand.

Second, the administrators and faculty of Harvard, first and foremost, protect their own interests. If they go by test scores, class rank and AP course they would become almost exclusively a pre med and STEM school. Not so good for the sociology department or the various studies programs. And they have to protect those jobs.

 

Vattel

(9,289 posts)
39. We are debating this because serious efforts to provide equal educational
Sun May 17, 2015, 10:00 AM
May 2015

opportunity to blacks and Hispanic students would require a lot of money and would target early education. People are not willing to do that, and so we try to bandage things up at the level of college admissions. Granted, grades and SAT scores are not the only relevant measures of ability, but the bottom line is that universities are not only interested in ability when it comes to admissions. They have diversity goals that mean that students who are more capable are sometimes not admitted to make room for students who are less capable but help the university achieve its diversity goals.

The2ndWheel

(7,947 posts)
40. Just another example of how humans can't have everything
Sun May 17, 2015, 10:15 AM
May 2015

Is college about academic performance, or is it a sociological experiment? You can go 50/50, but then obviously you won't get all of either one, which isn't fair to everyone. Not fair to everyone if you go 100% one way or the other either.

From a fan in the stands viewpoint, there's really nothing more entertaining than people getting crazy about fairness. We all do it at some point too. What's fair for one won't be for another. They say life isn't fair, and by trying to make life more fair, we still end up proving the original assertion correct.

Kick in to the DU tip jar?

This week we're running a special pop-up mini fund drive. From Monday through Friday we're going ad-free for all registered members, and we're asking you to kick in to the DU tip jar to support the site and keep us financially healthy.

As a bonus, making a contribution will allow you to leave kudos for another DU member, and at the end of the week we'll recognize the DUers who you think make this community great.

Tell me more...

Latest Discussions»General Discussion»Asian groups allege Harva...