Do Elite Colleges Discriminate Against Asians?

In the recent years, applying to colleges has been an increasingly strenuous process. There are essays to write and interviews to be conducted. Students are told to achieve the highest scores in academics as well as succeed in extracurricular activities. Furthermore, the facts and figures seem to work against the students with colleges such as Harvard and Yale reporting their lowest acceptance rates ever. Adding to this stress is the decision of Asian American students whether to respond to the application question asking for their race and ethnicity. In the book No Longer Separate, Not Yet Equal written by Princeton professor Thomas Espenshade and his collaborator Alexandria Radford, the researchers analyzed the complete application histories of eight “elite” universities 1997. Through their research, it is found that Asian student needed an average of 140 points higher in SAT scores than a white student to be accepted to the same university all else being equal. On the other hand, critics of anti-Asian bias point to other factors that lower admissions for Asians such as sports and extracurricular activities. However, a lack of transparency in Ivy League admission data makes it hard for these critics to refute older data in 1997. Ultimately, the question of whether Asian are indeed discriminated against in higher education admissions could only be answered through an unveil of secrecy from these federally funded, tax-exempt institutions. Unfortunately, the decision to do so is up to them.

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