The webmaster favors affirmative action based on
income: a poor
kid who has the same qualifications as a richer kid
should receive a
preference in university admissions.
- There is no reason the children
of wealthy minorities, e.g. Michael Jordan,
Oprah Winfrey, Bill Cosby, etc. should benefit from
affirmative action based on race.
New Mexico, and Texas, non-Hispanic
whites are in the minority.
will soon join them.
Statistics on reverse discrimination against Asian Americans at the University
California, UC medical schools, UC law schools, the University of Michigan, and
states, please click on: http://home.sandiego.edu/~e_cook/
for Equal Opportunity has published many studies showing that Bigots
the Left perpetrate reverse discrimination against Asian-Americans.
The 2009 book, No Longer Separate, Not Yet Equal: Race and
Class in Elite College Admission and
Campus Life, suggested that private institutions essentially admit black students with SAT scores 310
points below those of comparable white students. And the book argued that Asian-American applicants
need SAT scores 140 points higher than those of white students to stand the same chances of admission.
4/15/13 Time: "The Thin-Envelope Crisis"
By Fareed Zakaria
In an essay in the American Conservative, Ron Unz uses a
mountain of data to charge that America's
top colleges and universities have over the past two decades maintained a
quota--an upper limit--of
about 16.5% for Asian Americans, despite their exploding applicant numbers and
Some of Unz's data is bad. His numbers do not account for the
many Asian mixed-race students and
others who refuse to divulge their race (largely from fears that they will be
rejected because of a quota).
Two Ivy League admissions officers estimated to me that Asian Americans probably
make up more
than 20% of their entering classes. Even so, institutions that are highly
selective but rely on more
objective measures for admission have found that their Asian-American
populations have risen much
more sharply over the past two decades. Caltech and the University of
California, Berkeley, are now
about 40% Asian. New York City's Stuyvesant High School admits about 1,000
students out of the
30,000 who take a math and reading test (and thus is twice as selective as
Harvard). It is now 72%
Asian American. The U.S. math and science olympiad winners are more than 70%
In this context, for the U.S.'s top colleges and universities to be at 20% is,
at the least, worth some
Test scores are only one measure of a student's achievement,
and other qualities must be taken
into account. But it's worth keeping in mind that the arguments for such
subjective criteria are precisely
those that were made in the 1930s to justify quotas for Jews. In fact, in his
book The Chosen: The
Hidden History of Admission and Exclusion at Harvard, Yale and Princeton,
scholar Jerome Karabel
exhaustively documented how nonobjective admissions criteria such as interviews
were put in place by Ivy League schools in large measure to keep Jewish
admissions from rising.
4/11/13 Harvard Crimson: Phi Beta Kappa Announces 'Junior 24' for the Class of 2014
Reader comment: 42% on Harvard's Phi Beta Kappa Juniors List have Asian
names even though
Asians comprise less than 20% of the class. 10 of 24 are Asian, while there
were 1600 students in
Harvard's Class of 2014.
For over 10 years, Asian students are over-represented on Harvard's Phi Beta
Kappa list consistently
every year compared to their percentage (around 20%) of the Harvard College student
body. This over-
in Phi Beta Kappa also
occurs in other Ivy League and elite colleges. This is evidence
Harvard applies stricter admission criteria to Asian-American applicants than it
does to other students.
2/5/13 National Review: "Racial Quotas, Harvard, and the Legacy
Have three decades of Supreme Court support for affirmative action been based on fraud?"
by Ron Unz
Over the years, advocacy of “a holistic admissions system” as practiced by Harvard has become a
favored mantra among diversity advocates in higher education.
But what if all these claims were simply fraudulent?
I recently published a lengthy article analyzing the admissions policies of America’s Ivy League
universities; one of my main points was that these policies coincide with a very suspicious pattern of
Over the last 20 years, America’s population of college-age Asian Americans has roughly doubled;
but during this same period, the number admitted to Harvard and most other Ivy League schools has held
steady or even declined, despite significant improvement in Asian academic performance. Furthermore,
the Asian percentages at all Ivy League schools have recently converged to a very narrow range and
remained static over time, which seems quite suspicious.
Meanwhile, the Californian Institute of Technology (Caltech) follows a highly selective but strictly
neutral admissions policy, and its enrollment of Asian Americans has grown almost exactly in line with
the growth of the Asian-American population.
The stark difference between these two admissions policies is evident in this graph of comparative
Top officials at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton today strenuously deny the existence of Asian-American
quotas, but their predecessors had similarly denied the existence of Jewish quotas in the 1920s, now
universally acknowledged to have existed. In fact, the large growth in the Asian-American population
means that the fraction attending Harvard has fallen by more than 50 percent since the early 1990s,
a decline considerably greater than the decline Jews experienced after the implementation of secret
quotas in 1925.
Based on these officially reported enrollment statistics, the evidence of Ivy League racial quotas
seems overwhelming to many outside observers. The liberal New York Times recently ran a forum on
the topic, and a large majority of its commentators were scathing in their criticism of the Harvard
public-relations officer who defended his university’s position.
S. B. Woo, founding president of 80-20, a national Asian-American advocacy organization that
strongly supported President Obama’s reelection, participated in the New York Times forum, entitling
his contribution “Discrimination Is Obvious.” He argued that “the credibility of elite colleges suffers”
when they deny the clear evidence that they “set a quota for Asian students,” and he claimed that
“America’s core value of equal opportunity is being trampled.” Liberal and left-wing pundits from
publications such as The Atlantic and The Washington Monthly have similarly ridiculed Harvard’s
blatant dishonesty in the matter.
— Ron Unz, a theoretical physicist by training, serves as publisher of The American Conservative.
For full story, see
Center for Equal Opportunity: Preferences at the Service Academies
Racial, Ethnic and Gender Preferences in Admissions to the U.S. Military Academy
the U.S. Naval Academy
By Robert Lerner, Ph.D and Althea K. Nagai, Ph.D
There is no evidence that Asian applicants receive special
preference at either the U.S. Military
Academy or the U.S. Naval Academy. In fact, there is evidence that the
Asian applicants with the
same academic qualifications find it somewhat more difficult to obtain admission
than do their
white counterparts at both academies.
The four-year graduation rates of white and Asian students
are higher than those of blacks and
Hispanics at both academies. This is consistent with the existence of racial and
and similar to gaps which we have found elsewhere, indicating that preferences
have a negative
impact on graduation rates.
For full report, see http://www.acri.org/blog/wp-content/ceousa-service-adademies.pdf
12/22/12 Washington Monthly: "Discrimination against Asian American
students in Ivy League admissions"
By Kathleen Geier
The New York Times has been having an interesting debate
about the issue of anti-Asian quotas in
the Ivy League. There was this op-ed earlier in the week, as well as a series of
essays arguing various
sides of the question as part of the Times’ “Room for Debate” feature.
Participants mostly debated whether quotas limiting Asian
students in the Ivies really exist. But of that
there can be little doubt. While the Harvard guy in the “Room for Debate”
forum predictably swears up
and down that their admissions committee “does not use quotas of any kind,”
that appears to be almost
For full story, see http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal-a/2012_12/discrimination_against_asian_a041954.php#
12/21/12 The Atlantic: "Is the Ivy League Fair to Asian Americans? An
admission officer's uncomfortable
explanation for why they don't get in as often as their test scores would
predict suggests it's not."
By Conor Friedersdorf
Are Ivy League institutions discriminating against Asian
Americans by limiting how many are admitted?
That's the subject of a debate published this week in the New York Times. Let's
start with the folks who
believe that there's effectively a race-based quota limiting Asian Americans.
Ron Unz makes the most powerful argument for that
proposition. "After the Justice Department closed
an investigation in the early 1990s into charges that Harvard University
discriminated against Asian-
American applicants, Harvard's reported enrollment of Asian-Americans began
falling from 20.6 percent in 1993 to about 16.5 percent over most of the last
decade," he writes.
"This decline might seem small. But these same years brought a huge
increase in America's college-age
Asian population, which roughly doubled between 1992 and 2011, while
non-Hispanic white numbers
remained almost unchanged. Thus, according to official statistics, the
percentage of Asian-Americans
enrolled at Harvard fell by more than 50 percent over the last two decades,
while the percentage of whites
changed little. This decline in relative Asian-American enrollment was actually
larger than the impact of
Harvard's 1925 Jewish quota, which reduced Jewish freshmen from 27.6 percent to
For full story, see http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/12/is-the-ivy-league-fair-to-asian-americans/266538/
New York Times: "Statistics Indicate an Ivy League Asian Quota,"
Ron Unz is a software developer and publisher of The American Conservative,
where he elaborated
on these thoughts in a recent article . He is a graduate of Harvard University.
Just as their predecessors of the 1920s always denied the
existence of “Jewish quotas,” top officials
at Harvard, Yale, Princeton and the other Ivy League schools today
strongly deny the existence of “
Asian quotas.” But there exists powerful statistical evidence to the
Each year, American universities provide their racial
enrollment data to the National Center for
Education Statistics, which makes this information available online. After the
closed an investigation in the early 1990s into charges that Harvard University
Asian-American applicants, Harvard’s reported enrollment of Asian-Americans
declining, falling from 20.6 percent in 1993 to about 16.5 percent over most of
the last decade.
This decline might seem small. But these same years brought a
huge increase in America’s
college-age Asian population, which roughly doubled between 1992 and 2011, while
white numbers remained almost unchanged. Thus, according to official statistics,
the percentage of
Asian-Americans enrolled at Harvard fell by more than 50 percent over the last
two decades, while
the percentage of whites changed little. This decline in relative Asian-American
actually larger than the impact of Harvard’s 1925 Jewish quota, which reduced
from 27.6 percent to 15 percent.
The percentages of college-age Asian-Americans enrolled at
most of the other Ivy League schools
also fell during this same period, and over the last few years Asian enrollments
across these different
universities have converged to a very similar level and remained static over
time. This raises
suspicions of a joint Ivy League policy to restrict Asian-American numbers to a
Meanwhile, the California Institute of Technology follows a
highly selective but strictly race-neutral
admissions policy, and its enrollment of Asian-Americans has grown almost
exactly in line with the
growth of the Asian-American population.
New York Times: "Asians: Too Smart for Their Own Good?"
By Carolyn Chen
AT the end of this month, high school seniors will submit
their college applications and begin waiting
to hear where they will spend the next four years of their lives. More than they
might realize, the outcome
will depend on race. If you are Asian, your chances of getting into the most
selective colleges and
universities will almost certainly be lower than if you are white.
Asian-Americans constitute 5.6 percent of the nation’s
population but 12 to 18 percent of the student
body at Ivy League schools. But if judged on their merits — grades, test
scores, academic honors and
extracurricular activities — Asian-Americans are underrepresented at these
schools. Consider that
Asians make up anywhere from 40 to 70 percent of the student population at top
public high schools
like Stuyvesant and Bronx Science in New York City, Lowell in San Francisco and
in Alexandria, Va., where admissions are largely based on exams and grades.
In a 2009 study of more than 9,000 students who applied to
selective universities, the sociologists
Thomas J. Espenshade and Alexandria Walton Radford found that white students
were three times
more likely to be admitted than Asians with the same academic record.
Sound familiar? In the 1920s, as high-achieving Jews began to
compete with WASP prep schoolers,
Ivy League schools started asking about family background and sought vague
qualities like “character,”
“vigor,” “manliness” and “leadership” to cap Jewish enrollment.
These unofficial Jewish quotas weren’t
lifted until the early 1960s, as the sociologist Jerome Karabel found in his
2005 history of admissions
practices at Harvard, Yale and Princeton.
In the 1920s, people asked: will Harvard still be Harvard
with so many Jews? Today we ask: will
Harvard still be Harvard with so many Asians? Yale’s student population is 58
percent white and
18 percent Asian. Would it be such a calamity if those numbers were reversed?
As the journalist Daniel Golden revealed in his 2006 book
“The Price of Admission,” far more
attention has been devoted to race-conscious affirmative action at public
universities (which the
Supreme Court has scaled back and might soon eliminate altogether) than to the
elite universities afford to the children of (overwhelmingly white) donors and
The way we treat these children will influence the America we
become. If our most renowned
schools set implicit quotas for high-achieving Asian-Americans, we are sending a
message to all
students that hard work and good grades may be a fool’s errand.
Carolyn Chen is an associate professor of sociology and
director of the Asian American
Studies Program at Northwestern.
For full story, see http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/20/opinion/asians-too-smart-for-their-own-good.html?_r=0
11/29/12 National Review: "Why Aren’t Asians Republicans?"
By John Yoo
These characteristics should attract both groups to the Republican party. I think the reason Jews and
Asians, however, vote against their interests may be because both groups have been concentrated in cities.
One of the big demographic differences in the election, of course, was how the cities went for Obama, while
the rural areas and many of the suburbs went for Romney. Perhaps it is not just ethnicity, or class, although
these no doubt have something to do with it. It may be because Asians, like Jews when they first emigrated,
have congregated in cities, which are run by Democratic-party machines who may demand a certain level of
“loyalty,” shall we say, to compete for city business or to deal with city licenses. To the extent Asians then
seek to leave the cities through education and entering the professions, they move into other areas
controlled by the Left.
For full story, see http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/334436/why-arent-asians-republicans-john-yoo#
11/28/12 The American Conservative: "The Myth of American Meritocracy:
How corrupt are Ivy League admissions?"
By Ron Unz
There certainly does seem considerable anecdotal evidence that many Asians perceive their chances of
elite admission as being drastically reduced by their racial origins.17 For example, our national newspapers
have revealed that students of part-Asian background have regularly attempted to conceal the non-white
side of their ancestry when applying to Harvard and other elite universities out of concern it would greatly
reduce their chances of admission.18 Indeed, widespread perceptions of racial discrimination are almost
certainly the primary factor behind the huge growth in the number of students refusing to reveal their racial
background at top universities, with the percentage of Harvard students classified as “race unknown”
having risen from almost nothing to a regular 5–15 percent of all undergraduates over the last twenty years,
with similar levels reached at other elite schools.
Such fears that checking the “Asian” box on an admissions application may lead to rejection are hardly
unreasonable, given that studies have documented a large gap between the average test scores of whites
and Asians successfully admitted to elite universities. Princeton sociologist Thomas J. Espenshade and
his colleagues have demonstrated that among undergraduates at highly selective schools such as the Ivy
League, white students have mean scores 310 points higher on the 1600 SAT scale than their black
classmates, but Asian students average 140 points above whites.19 The former gap is an automatic
consequence of officially acknowledged affirmative action policies, while the latter appears somewhat
For full story, see http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-myth-of-american-meritocracy/
10/30/12 New York Observer: "The New Jews?"
By The Editors
The strong Asian-American presence at New York’s elite
public high schools has been years in the
making. Now, however, comes the backlash: parents are complaining, in essence,
that schools like
Stuyvesant and Bronx Science are, you know, too Asian.
10/15/12 City Watch Los Angeles: "Supremes Affirmative-Action Debate
Spotlights UC’s Shabby History,"
by Chris Reed
The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday in Fisher
v. the University of Texas, the latest
big affirmative-action case to reach SCOTUS. Conservative justices used their
questions to establish how
intentionally slippery and vague UT officials are in explaining how race is
included as a factor in deciding
admissions to their first-rate public university.
To students of California politics and academia, what should
be especially interesting is how the justices
deal with the claim that fuzzy, “holistic” judgments that lead to
less-qualified minority students being admitted
over much more-qualified white or Asian students are somehow less objectionable
than hard quotas.
In California, this “holistic” approach to college admissions was long ago
revealed as an explicit attempt
to game Proposition 209, the 1996 state law which bans racial quotas in state
And which journalistic outlet made this point best? The New
York Times! Economics columnist David
Leonhardt wrote a long piece in the Sunday magazine on Sept. 30, 2007,
explaining how the UC system,
especially UCLA, used fuzzy talk to advance a clearly racial agenda — one with
far more benefits for
the kids of affluent blacks and Hispanics than poor Asians (or poor whites).
Here was my take then:
“One of the aspects of the University of California
system/affirmative action debate that consistently gets
short shrift in media coverage is that in the old quota system, African-American
and Latino students with
less impressive scholastic records weren’t bumping white students, they were
students. So Asian-Americans paid the biggest price for a policy that has as its
central rationale the need
to remedy the dominant white culture’s historic discrimination against
Leonhardt mentioned the following pretty much in passing:
“Even as the number of low-income black freshmen [at UCLA]
soared this year, the overall number of
low-income freshmen fell somewhat. The rise in low-income black students was
accompanied by a fall in
low-income Asian students — not a decline in well-off students. So under the
old quota system, Asian-
American students in general paid the price for society’s attempts to atone
for white racism. Now under
the new surreptitious affirmative-action program, poor Asian-American students
are paying the highest
price. If this is social justice, count me out.”
This crucial detail in how affirmative action, disguised or
otherwise, works was a focus of Justice Alito
in Wednesday’s questioning:
“JUSTICE ALITO: Well, I thought that the whole purpose of
affirmative action was to help students who
come from underprivileged backgrounds, but you make a very different argument
that I don’t think I’ve
ever seen before. The top 10 percent plan admits lots of African Americans —
lots of Hispanics and a
fair number of African Americans.
“But you say, well, it’s — it’s faulty, because it
doesn’t admit enough African Americans and Hispanics
who come from privileged backgrounds. And you specifically have the example of
the child of successful
professionals in Dallas. Now, that’s your argument?
“If you have -¬you have an applicant whose parents are —
let’s say they’re — one of them is a partner
in your law firm in Texas, another one is a part — is another corporate
lawyer. They have income that
puts them in the top 1 percent of earners in the country, and they have -¬parents
both have graduate
degrees. They deserve a leg-up against, let’s say, an Asian or a white
applicant whose parents are
absolutely average in terms of education and income?”
By a quarter-century ago, it was apparent that innocent
Asian-Americans were the victims of affirmative
action in UC admissions, not historically oppressive whites. This is from a
September 1987 Los Angeles
“There may be a parallel between what is happening to
Asian-Americans now and what happened to
Jews in the 1920s and 1930s at some Ivy League schools. … And, like Jews
before them, the members
of the new model minority contend that they have begun to bump up against
artificial barriers to their
“Casual inspection of the Berkeley campus … makes any
suggestion of anti-Asian bias seem
implausible. Asians represent 6.7% of California’s population, but they
account for 25.5% of the Berkeley
student body. …
“But … the percentage of Asians in the student body might
be even higher, the critics contend, if
admissions were still based strictly on merit. Since the mid-1970s, both
Americans of Asian descent
and immigrants from Asia have so outperformed Caucasian, black and Latino
students in high schools
that universities have manipulated admissions criteria to hold back the Asian
influx, say the critics.
“‘As soon as the percentages of Asian students began
reaching double digits at some universities,
suddenly a red light went on,’ said Ling-Chi Wang, a peppery Chinese-born
professor of ethnic studies
at Berkeley and one of the university’s severest critics. ‘Since then,
Asian-American admissions rates
have either stabilized or declined … university officials see the prevalence
of Asians as a problem.’”
For the complete article, see http://www.citywatchla.com/component/content/article/317-8box-right/3922-supremes-affirmative-action-debate-spotlights-ucs-shabby-history
10/12/12 Inside Higher Ed: "Think Outside 'The Box'"
By Kevin Kiley
Denver – Don’t check the box.
It’s the advice that’s given to Asian-American students by friends, family members, guidance counselors,
even teachers, in the college application process. “The box” in question (actually more of a circle these days)
refers to the selection of “Asian” when college applications ask students how they identify themselves.
7/17/12 press release from Civil Rights Project UCLA: "Bans on Affirmative
Action Reduces Discrimination
Against Asian Americans"
(original title: "Bans on Affirmative Action Shown to Reduce Enrollment of Graduate Students of Color
at Universities in CA, FL, TX, WA")
[Re-written to remove Bigot for the Left bias against Asian Americans]
Los Angeles--A new study published today by the Civil Rights Project at UCLA examines the impact of
affirmative action bans, across a number of years in several states, on the enrollment of underrepresented
students of color. These latest data show that the bans have led to marked declines in
against Asian Americans in graduate studies.
The new report examined years of data on affirmative action bans in four states -- Texas, California,
Washington, and Florida. The results show the bans have reduced by 12 percent the average
against Asian Americans in graduate programs overall. The proportion of graduate students of color
(African American, Latino and Native American) has decreased 12% across all graduate programs.
In engineering, the bans have led to a 26-percent reduction in the mean proportion of all graduate students
of color; a 19-percent decline in the natural sciences; a 15.7-percent drop in the social sciences, and
percent drop in the humanities.
Laws in seven states (Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire and Washington)
now prohibit public postsecondary institutions from considering race or ethnicity in any way in admissions.
Prior studies showed that affirmative action bans have contributed to less
discrimination against Asian
Americans at selective undergraduate institutions and schools of law. This new study shows that the bans
have also led to
less discrimination against
in other graduate programs, with the largest
declines in science-related fields of study.
7/18/12 Inside Higher Ed: "Grad Student Diversity at Risk?"
by Scott Jaschik
Graduate professional enrollments of black, Latino and Native American students could drop
significantly if the Supreme Court bars colleges from considering race in admissions, warns a new
report. The fall could be particularly significant in engineering, where these enrollments are notably
The study examined minority graduate enrollments in four states -- California, Florida, Texas (where
the ban has since been lifted) and Washington State -- that have had bans on the consideration of race
in admissions decisions during the years since those bans were adopted. Across graduate programs,
the enrollment of underrepresented minority groups has fallen 12 percent under the bans, with the share
of these students among graduate student bodies falling from 9.9 percent to 8.7 percent. The following
table shows shifts by field of study.
Minority Share of Graduate Enrollments in 4 States, Before and After Bans on Consideration of Race
Field % of Minority Graduate Enrollments Before Ban
% After Ban Drop Since Ban
Engineering 6.2% 4.6% -26%
Natural sciences 7.8% 6.3% -19%
Social sciences 12.1% 10.2.% -16%
Humanities 10.2% 9.0% -12%
For complete article: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/07/18/new-study-explores-impact-affirmative-action-bans-graduate-enrollments
6/11/12 The Weekly Standard: "The New Jews: They're Asian Americans,"
by Ethan Epstein
Since 2008, the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights has been investigating whether
Princeton “discriminates against Asians, on the basis of race or national origin, in its admissions
—that is, whether students of Asian descent are being penalized for their background when applying to the
2011, an Indian-American student filed a complaint with the Department of Education against
Harvard alleging anti-Asian discrimination in its admissions department. (The student ultimately withdrew
the complaint in February 2012.)
Michele Hernández, author of A Is for Admissions and former admissions staffer at Dartmouth, recently
said that “after 10 years of [counseling] and 4 years in Dartmouth admissions, I don’t think it’s intentional,
but I think there is discrimination. If you look at the numbers, you can basically see that [if you are applying
to many selective colleges] you have to have higher-than-average scores if you are an Asian.”
A Center for Equal Opportunity study, cited on the Manhattan Institute’s website in the wake of the Harvard
complaint, found that Asian applicants to the University of Michigan in 2005 had a median SAT score that
was “50 points higher than the median score of white students who were accepted, 140 points higher than
that of Hispanics and 240 points higher than that of blacks.” The center also found that “among applicants
with a 1240 SAT score and 3.2 grade point average in 2005, the university admitted 10 percent of Asian
Americans, 14 percent of whites, 88 percent of Hispanics and 92 percent of blacks.”
After the state of California abolished racial preferences, the percentage of Asian Americans accepted
at Berkeley increased from 34.6 percent in 1997, the last year of legal affirmative action, to 42 percent
entering in fall 2006,” clear evidence that the group had been unfairly penalized under the previous regime.
In 2009, Thomas Espenshade, a Princeton professor of sociology, co-authored a report that revealed
students of Asian descent did indeed face discrimination at colleges and universities beyond the Ivy League.
According to Espenshade’s analysis, an Asian student needs to score 140 points higher than whites on the
math and reading portions of the SAT, 270 points higher than Hispanics, and 450 points higher than blacks
to have the same chances of admission at the nation’s top schools. “[A]ll other things equal,” Espenshade
told Inside Higher Ed, “Asian-American students are at a disadvantage relative to white students, and at
an even bigger disadvantage relative to black and Latino students.”
The Associated Press reported late last year that increasing numbers of Asian applicants are neglecting
to identify themselves as such—students of mixed descent, for example, fail to mention their Asian heritage
at all, checking the box for “Caucasian” and leaving “Asian” blank.
For complete article, see http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/new-jews_646422.html
Asian American Legal
Foundation amicus brief in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin
80-20 Educational Foundation amicus brief in Fisher v. University of Texas at
5/30/12: 80-20 Educational Foundation conducted a nation-wide survey of Asian
college admission policies. The 47,000+ participants selected a
"race-neutral" policy by a ratio of 52 to 1.
to see the survey itself, its methodology,
and the 50,000+ survey takers' names, cities and states.
4/4/12 Philadelphia Inquirer: "Colleges resist Asian Americans'
By Jonathan Zimmerman
In 1966, the American Jewish Committee reported that less
than 1 percent of American college and
university presidents were Jewish. Since the end of World War II, about 1,000
presidencies had been
filled, and only one - that's right, one - went to a Jew.
It wasn't for want of good candidates. Most institutions had
removed long-standing quotas on Jews,
who made up 10 to 12 percent of American college students and faculty. But when
it came to choosing
leaders, the committee concluded, "bias is at work."
It still is. Today, however, it has a different target: Asian
Americans. Like Jews in the 1960s, they hold
just 1 percent of higher-education presidencies. Dartmouth's Jim Yong Kim is the
only Asian American
who has ever led an Ivy League institution. And President Obama recently
nominated him to head the
But Asian Americans also continue to face a form of
discrimination in university admissions. And until
we change that, we probably won't get more Asian American college leaders,
According to Princeton sociologist Thomas J. Espenshade,
Asian Americans have to score about
140 points higher than whites on the SAT, all other things being equal, to get
into elite colleges. Everyone
knows that blacks and Hispanics get a leg up in the admissions sweepstakes. But
how many realize that
whites enjoy affirmative action when they go head-to-head with Asians?
That just doesn't make any sense. African Americans and
Hispanics have suffered discrimination
across our history; whites haven't. But if we make whites compete on a level
playing field with Asians,
some argue, our colleges and universities will become, well, too Asian.
That's exactly what American university leaders said about
Jews in the early 20th century, when elite
institutions decided to limit Jewish admissions. But first they had to figure
out who was Jewish. So
Harvard asked applicants to provide their mother's maiden names. It even
inquired, "What change,
if any, has been made since birth in your own name or that of your father?"
And most colleges started
to require the submission of photographs, which would allegedly reveal what a
Dartmouth official called
The student quotas started to be lifted in the late 1950s and
early '60s, as did similar limits on Jewish
faculty. Restrictions against Jewish college presidents lasted a little longer,
as the 1966 report confirmed.
But the following year, the University of Chicago appointed Edward H. Levi, the
son of a rabbi, as its
president. By 1971, Penn and Dartmouth both had Jewish presidents. Today, all
but one of the eight Ivy
League schools has been led by a Jew.
Meanwhile, other underrepresented groups have also gained
entry into the halls of university power.
By 2009, 5.9 percent of university presidents were African American and 4.6
percent were Hispanic.
But you can still count the number of Asian American presidents of four-year
colleges on two hands.
Here in the Delaware Valley, Ursinus' Bobby Fong is the only one.
You can't explain that without thinking about admissions.
Almost every elite institution is trying to recruit
more blacks and Hispanics, so hiring a president from one of those groups makes
sense. But an Asian
American president might stamp the institution as "too" Asian, which
is what universities are trying to avoid.
We need to ask why. After California forbade state
universities from considering race in admissions,
the Asian American share of the student body at the University of California,
Berkeley, jumped from
20 percent to 40 percent. At the California Institute of Technology, which
doesn't consider race either,
about a third of the students are now Asian.
Both institutions have benefited from an infusion of talented
students, many of whom would not get
into other elite universities simply because of their race. The people who lose
out are less-qualified
whites, who would fare better in a system that limits Asian admissions.
And maybe that's the real story here: Beneath all the
rhetoric, we're simply afraid of a minority that
has done too well. That's why Jews were so threatening for so many years, and
why Asians are now.
Shame on us for making the same mistake twice.
Jonathan Zimmerman teaches history at New York University and
lives in Narberth. He is the author
of "Small Wonder: The Little Red Schoolhouse in History and Memory"
(Yale University Press).
2/5/12 MindingtheCampus.com: "Let's Be Frank about Anti-Asian Admission Policies,"
By John S. Rosenberg
On February 2 Daniel Golden, former Wall Street Journal reporter and author of a highly regarded
book on college admissions, reported in Bloomberg's Business Week that Harvard and Princeton are
being investigated by the Dept. of Education's Office for Civil Rights for discrimination against Asians.
It's not the first time. In fact, for the past decade or so there has been a rising tide of accusations that
the Ivies and other selective institutions treat Asians as the "new Jews" (referring to quotas on Jews in
the Ivies and elsewhere early in the 20th Century, and often beyond), holding them to much higher
admission standards than applicants from other groups in order to prevent their "over representation"
and thus make room for the "under-represented" blacks and Hispanics admitted under much lower
affirmative action standards.
2/3/12 San Francisco
Chronicle: "What Harvard Owes Its Top Asian-American Applicants"
by Stephen Hsu
Feb. 3 (Bloomberg) -- It's a common belief among Asian-
American families that their children are held
to higher academic standards than college applicants from other ethnic groups.
Such practices were openly
acknowledged after investigations at universities like Berkeley and Stanford in
the 1980s and 1990s.
Have they been corrected?
2/3/12 Inside Higher Ed: "Is It Bias? Is It Legal?"
By Scott Jaschik
One applicant who came to Michele Hernandez this fall for
help getting into college had two academic
passions – science and Latin – and great grades, too. With report after
report calling on colleges to attract
more talent to STEM fields, and jobs going unfilled for lack of science and
technology expertise, perhaps
play up the science? Not for this applicant. Hernandez, the author of A Is for
Admission and the founder of a
high-end private counseling service, said she steered the applicant in the other
direction. He is an Asian
"I told him Latin was way better to stress, and that
helped him a ton," she said. (He is already in to his first
choice institution.) If, as an Asian American, you apply, "as another
biology major, as another pre-med, you
are doomed," Hernandez said.
2/3/12 Philadelphia Inquirer: "Ursinus' Fong a rare Asian American college
By Jeff Gammage
Ursinus College made a highly unusual move when it named
Bobby Fong its president last year.
Not because of his qualifications - he's brilliant, educated at Harvard, editor
of a volume of poetry, a world
authority on Oscar Wilde.
It was unusual because Fong is Chinese American. And in the
United States, Asians rarely get to be
2/2/12 Bloomberg Business Week: "Harvard Targeted in U.S. Asian-American
By Daniel Golden
(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Education Department is probing
complaints that Harvard University and
Princeton University discriminate against Asian-Americans in undergraduate
The department’s Office for Civil Rights is investigating a complaint it received in August that
Harvard rejected an Asian- American candidate for the current freshman class based on race or
national origin, a department spokesman said. The agency is looking into a similar August 2011
allegation against Princeton as part of a review begun in 2008 of that school’s handling of
American candidates, said the spokesman, who declined to be identified, citing department policy.
Both complaints involve the same applicant, who was among the top students in his California high
school class and whose family originally came from India, according to the applicant’s father, who
declined to be identified.
The new complaints, along with a case appealed last September to the U.S. Supreme Court
challenging preferences for blacks and Hispanics in college admissions, may stir up the longstanding
debate about whether elite universities discriminate against Asian-Americans, the nation’s fastest-
growing and most affluent racial category.
Like Jews in the first half of the 20th century, who faced quotas at Harvard, Princeton, and other Ivy
League schools, Asian-Americans are over-represented at top universities relative to their population,
yet must meet a higher standard than other applicants based on measures such as test scores and
high school grades, according to several academic studies.
Asian-Americans comprised 16 percent of Harvard undergraduates in the
year, down from 18 percent in 2005-2006, according to the university’s website.
The proportion of Asian-Americans among Princeton undergraduates increased to 17.7% this year
from 14.1% in 2007- 2008.
A Chinese-American student, Jian Li, filed a complaint against Princeton with the Education
Department in 2006, alleging discrimination on the basis of race or national origin. Li, who scored the
maximum 2400 on the SAT and 2390 -- 10 points below the ceiling -- on subject tests in physics,
chemistry and calculus, was denied admission by Princeton, Harvard, Stanford University, and the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In 2008, the Office for Civil Rights broadened its examination of Li’s complaint into a compliance
review of whether Princeton discriminates against Asian-Americans.
Because the 2011 complaint against Princeton “raised substantially identical issues,” the agency is
folding it into the compliance review, the Education Department spokesman said. Li enrolled at Yale
University and later transferred to Harvard, graduating in 2010. He declined to comment, citing
concerns about a backlash.
The Education Department received a complaint in September that Yale, in New Haven,
Connecticut, rejected an Asian-American applicant on the basis of race, the department spokesman
said. The complainant later withdrew the allegation. It also involved the Indian-American student from
California, his father said.
Asian-Americans make up 15 percent of Yale undergraduates.
Asian-American applicants have to outperform their counterparts from other backgrounds on the
SAT to gain entry to elite universities, recent studies show.
Asian-Americans admitted to the University of Wisconsin’s flagship Madison campus in 2008 had
a median math and reading SAT score of 1370 out of 1600, compared to 1340 for whites, 1250 for
Hispanics, and 1190 for blacks, according to a 2011 study by the Center for Equal Opportunity, a
Falls Church, Virginia-based nonprofit group that opposes racial preferences in college admissions.
Asian-American students who enrolled at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina in 2001 and
2002 scored 1457 out of 1600 on the math and reading portion of the SAT, compared to 1416 for
whites, 1347 for Hispanics and 1275 for blacks, according to a 2011 study co-authored by Duke
economist Peter Arcidiacono.
If all other credentials are equal, Asian-Americans need to score 140 points more than whites,
270 points higher than Hispanics, and 450 points above African-Americans out of a maximum 1600
on the math and reading SAT to have the same chance of admission to a private college, according
to “No Longer Separate, Not Yet Equal,” a 2009 book co-written by Princeton sociologist Thomas
Budget-strapped state schools such as the University of California at San Diego are reducing
enrollment of Asian-Americans to make room for international students from China and elsewhere
who pay almost twice the tuition of in-state residents, Bloomberg News reported Dec. 28.
Asian-American organizations are weighing in on both sides of a federal lawsuit filed on behalf of
Abigail Noel Fisher, a white student who was rejected in 2008 by the University of Texas at Austin.
Fisher v. Texas marks the first federal court challenge to affirmative action in college admissions filed
since a 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court decision in the 2003 Grutter v. Bollinger case, which upheld the use
of race by the University of Michigan law school to achieve a “critical mass” of under- represented
minority groups such as blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans.
University of Texas
The University of Texas automatically admits in-state applicants in the top 10 percent of their high
school classes, who make up most of its students. It then considers race in selecting the remainder
of its freshman class.
The suit contends that the top 10 percent program is enough to ensure campuswide diversity.
The university responds that, without taking race into account, many individual courses would have
hardly any black or Hispanic students.
After federal district and appeals courts upheld the university’s position, the U.S. Supreme Court
is considering whether to hear the Fisher case. The Justice Department supports the university.
“Asian-American students suffer discrimination at the hands of the University of Texas at Austin,”
the Asian-American Legal Foundation said in a friend-of-the-court brief for the plaintiff.
While the university justifies its preference for Hispanic applicants as an effort to diversify
classrooms, it has more Hispanic students than Asian-Americans, the San Francisco- based
There are 14.7 million Americans of Asian descent only, plus 2.6 million who are multiracial
including Asian, according to the 2010 U.S. census. The combined 17.3 million comprises 5.6
percent of the population, up 46 percent from 2000. Median household income for single-race
Asian-Americans exceeds $65,000, compared with a national average of $50,000. Half of those
25 and older hold college degrees, almost double the national average.
The Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights first examined Harvard’s handling of
American applicants more than 20 years ago. It turned up stereotyping by Harvard evaluators, such
as this comment about one Asian-American candidate: “He’s quiet and, of course, wants to be
It also documented that Harvard admitted Asian-Americans at a lower rate than white applicants
even though the Asian- Americans had slightly stronger SAT scores and grades.
Nevertheless, the agency concluded in 1990 that Harvard didn’t violate civil rights laws because
preferences for alumni children and recruited athletes, rather than racial discrimination, accounted
for the gap.
For full story, see: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-02-02/harvard-targeted-in-u-s-asian-american-discrimination-probe.html
2/2/12 biggovernment.com: "Did Top Liberal Arts College Falsify SAT Data to
by Charles C. Johnson
Claremont McKenna College, a private liberal arts college in
Los Angeles, has earned international
infamy for fraudulently misreporting its SAT scores to game the U.S. News &
World Report rankings.
Richard Vos, dean of admissions since 1987, resigned in disgrace Monday,
starting a nationwide debate
about the role of SATs in higher education and the integrity of Claremont’s
admission process. But absent
from any analysis is this: Vos began falsifying SAT scores in 2005, right around
the time Claremont began
to institutionalize racial preferences. An investigation of the data since
released suggests that Claremont
manipulated the school’s scores to cover up admittance of under-qualified
12/16/11 New York Post:
"Hiding their race,"
By Rich Lowry
To check or not to check the Asian box? That’s the choice
faced by Asian-American students applying to what are supposed to be the
most tolerant places on Earth: the nation’s colleges.
12/3/11 Associated Press: "Some Asians' college strategy: Don't check
by Jesse Washington
Lanya Olmstead was born in Florida to a mother who immigrated
from Taiwan and an American
father of Norwegian ancestry. Ethnically, she considers herself half
Taiwanese and half Norwegian.
But when applying to Harvard, Olmstead checked only one box for her race:
"I didn't want to put 'Asian' down," Olmstead says,
"because my mom told me there's
discrimination against Asians in the application process."
11/14/11 The Cornell Daily Sun: "No Asians Need Apply,"
By Judah Bellin
My father likes to tell a story about my grandfather, a
former professor at Columbia’s school of public
health. At a meeting with colleagues in the faculty club at Cornell Hospital, he
noticed the presence of
Jews, Italians and other ethnic groups at the table, and recalled the ugly
history of ethnic discrimination
in college and medical school admissions. “Years ago they wouldn’t admit us
into this school,” he
remarked. “Now look where we are.”
When will Asians have this moment?
It’s hard to deny that the admissions process is stacked
against Asian students. A study on affirmative
action by Princeton sociologist Thomas Espenshade showed that when numerous
factors are controlled for,
Hispanic students receive a admissions boost equivalent to around 130 points on
the SAT, while black
students receive a boost of 310 points. Asian students, however, face a 140
point penalty. It was therefore
no surprise when, after California outlawed the use of racial preferences in
admissions, the representation
of Asian Americans jumped significantly at University of California schools.
We can’t really gauge Cornell’s role in penalizing Asian
applicants, mostly because the admissions
office is always hesitant to reveal information about minority students.
However, we must pay careful
attention to our treatment of Asian students. I do know of one former admissions
officer who likes to boast
about rejecting scores of Asians because he didn’t want them in his classes.
Given the faculty
condescension towards Asian students that I and many others have observed, it
wouldn’t surprise me if
more admissions officers acted on similar impulses.
True, any information on this phenomenon is anecdotal.
However, this will also be true years from now.
We won’t uncover evidence of rigid quota systems, or committees tasked with
addressing “the Jewish
question,” a la Harvard and Yale in the early 20th century. I suspect, though,
that future interviews with
former admissions officers will reveal that “the Asian question” — what to
do about massive numbers of
qualified Asian applicants? — has been both a persistent worry and a major
factor in admissions
Such subtle discrimination would be consistent with
Cornell’s history. We never instituted a rigid quota
system for Jewish students; however, there was always an underlying concern that
Jews might overtake
the University due to their disproportionate success on standardized tests.
Therefore, President Livingston
Farrand asserted that though “Cornell had not adopted any general anti-Semitic
rule,” it could not “permit
itself to be so flooded by Jewish students as to kill non-Jewish attendance.”
Though we do not know how
this affected Jewish admissions at the undergraduate colleges, a similar
attitude likely influenced the
dean of Cornell’s medical school, who in 1940 described his attempt to
“limit the number of Jews
admitted to each class to roughly the proportion of Jews in the population of
I have no doubt that admissions officers now use similar
rhetoric about “flooding” with regards to Asian
students, both at Cornell and around the country. Of course, this is not
entirely unwarranted: If Cornell
wishes to create leaders for many different segments of our society, a class of
representing mostly one ethnic, racial, socioeconomic or political group is
undesirable. However, history
suggests that this attitude may both reflect and reinforce widely held, yet
unwarranted, cultural stereotypes.
And indeed, many members of the student body will also lump
together all Asian students. This has a
decisive impact on our social fabric. Indeed, it is no secret that many of our
campus organizations —
especially, but not exclusively, fraternities — have an unspoken fear of
appearing “too Asian,” just as many
of Cornell’s fraternities, sports teams and ROTC units were careful not to
accept or promote too many
Jews in the early 20th century.
Jewish students eventually overcame discrimination in both
college admissions and campus life.
However, their success story provides little guidance for Asian students for a
few important reasons.
The first is that Jews succeeded due to the University’s newly placed emphasis
on merit, as measured
by exam scores and grades. As Espenshade showed, Asian applicants’ merit
won’t get them in the door.
More importantly, the “Asian question” has emerged after
we’ve made tremendous strides toward
eliminating racial discrimination, and after our society has determined which
minorities should benefit
from racial preferences. Our institutions — particularly college admissions
officers — have little room
to accommodate new minority groups.
A Chinese friend once expressed frustration with his campus
organization, because, by his telling,
at their recruitment meeting they considered their Asian applicants as
interchangeable but other ethnic
minorities as worthy of individualized attention. “I think it’s really
sad,” he said, after we discussed his
story in light of Jewish quotas. “So many Chinese parents dream of sending
their kids to America, but
they have no idea that this is happening.”
His statement resonated deeply with me, but his subsequent
point, that Asian students will continue
applying to Cornell no matter how poorly we treat them, resonated more. In their
opportunities represented by our institution, and by our country, outweigh any
discrimination they might
anticipate or even experience. All citizens, and all students — especially
those like myself, whose
grandparents faced similar challenges but persevered — must live up to their
Judah Bellin is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences.
9/16/11 Center for Equal Opportunity: "Racial Preferences in Wisconsin,"
by Linda Chavez
The campus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison erupted this week after the release of two
studies documenting the heavy use of race in deciding which students to admit to the undergraduate
and law schools. The evidence of discrimination is undeniable, and the reaction by critics was
undeniably dishonest and thuggish.
The Center for Equal Opportunity (CEO), which I founded in 1995 to expose and challenge
misguided race-based public policies, conducted the studies based on an analysis of the university's
own admissions data. But the university was none too keen on releasing the data, which CEO
obtained through filing Freedom of Information Act requests only after a successful legal challenge
went all the way to the state supreme court.
It's no wonder the university wanted to keep the information secret. The studies show that a black
or Hispanic undergraduate applicant was more than 500 times likelier to be admitted to
Madison than a similarly qualified white or Asian applicant. The odds ratio favoring black law school
applicants over similarly qualified white applicants was 61 to 1.
The median SAT scores of black undergraduates who were admitted were 150 points lower than
whites or Asians, while the median Hispanic scores were roughly 100 points lower. And median
high school rankings for both blacks and Hispanics were also lower than for either whites or Asians.
CEO has published studies of racial double standards in admissions at scores of public colleges
and universities across the country with similar findings, but none has caused such a violent reaction.
Instead of addressing the findings of the study, the university's vice provost for diversity, Damon
A. Williams, dishonestly told students that "CEO has one mission and one mission only: dismantle
the gains that were achieved by the civil rights movement." In fact, CEO's only mission is to promote
color-blind equal opportunity so that, in Martin Luther King's vision, no one will be judged by the color
of his or her skin.
Egged on by inflammatory comments by university officials, student groups organized a flashmob
via a Facebook page that was filled with propaganda and outright lies about CEO wanting to dismantle
their student groups. More than a hundred angry students stormed the press conference at the
Doubletree Hotel in Madison, where CEO president Roger Clegg was releasing the study.
The hotel management described what took place in a press statement afterward: "Unfortunately,
when escorting meeting attendees out of the hotel through a private entrance, staff were then rushed by
a mob of protestors, throwing employees to the ground. The mob became increasingly physically violent
when forcing themselves into the meeting room where the press conference had already ended, filling
it over fire-code capacity. Madison police arrived on the scene after the protestors had stormed the hotel."
But the outrageous behavior didn't end there -- and it wasn't just students but also faculty who engaged
in disgraceful conduct. Later the same day of the press conference, Clegg debated UW law professor
Larry Church on campus. The crowd booed, hissed, and shouted insults, continuously interrupting
Clegg during the debate.
Having used Facebook to organize the flashmob, students and some faculty extended their use of
social media and tweeted the debate live. Even with Twitter's 140-character limit, you'd think participants
would be able to come up with something more substantive than the repeated use of the label "racist"
to describe Clegg and his arguments against racial double standards, but hundreds of tweets exhibited
little more than hysterical rants and personal attacks.
Perhaps the most offensive tweet was posted by Sara Goldrick-Rab, an associate professor of
educational policy studies and sociology. After announcing that she was "Getting set to live blog this debate
between a racist and a scholar," she tweeted that Clegg sounded "like the whitest white boy I've ever heard."
The only racism in evidence came from the defenders of the university's race-based admissions policies,
such as Professor Goldrick-Rab.
You'd think that a responsible university would denounce the intimidation and lack of civility by its
students and faculty. Instead, Vice Provost Williams told the student newspaper, "I'm most excited about
how well the students represented themselves, the passion with which they engaged, the respectful tone in
how they did it and the thoughtfulness of their questions and interactions."
It appears that not only are the university's admissions policies deeply discriminatory, but also that
university officials applaud name-calling, distortion and outright physical assault.
Linda Chavez is the author of "An Unlikely Conservative: The Transformation of an Ex-Liberal."
7/29/11 Wall Street Journal: "The New Chinese Exclusion Act: Self-appointed civil rights defenders
support rules that keep Asian kids out of top schools,"
By Charles C. Johnson
With Washington focused on a last-minute debt deal, one California congresswoman wants her
colleagues to turn their attention to an anti-immigration law that's been off the books for 70 years.
Democrat Judy Chu of the 32nd District in Los Angeles County has called on fellow members to join her
in a "Resolution of Regret" over the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882—a bill that House Minority Leader
Nancy Pelosi endorsed on Wednesday.
Setting aside Ms. Chu's sense of priorities, there's a deep irony in her resolution. Even as she calls
public attention to sins committed while Chester A. Arthur was president, Ms. Chu staunchly supports the
most harmful form of anti-Asian discrimination in the U.S. today: racial preferences in hiring and university
Ms. Chu's resolution rightly notes that the Chinese Exclusion Act was "incompatible with the basic
founding principles of equality recognized in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution."
It goes on to call on Congress to "reaffirm its commitment to preserving the same civil rights and
constitutional protections for people of Chinese or other Asian descent in the United States accorded to
all others." Yet "the same" rights aren't what Ms. Chu wants for Asians today.
Consider her record. In 1996, while a City Council member in Monterey Park, Ms. Chu campaigned
to defeat Proposition 209—a ballot initiative that would have outlawed the use of racial references by the
state government. (The proposition passed 54.5% to 45%.)
In 2003, as a state assemblywoman, she crusaded against Proposition 54, which would bar government
from collecting racial data. She argued the law would make it impossible to study hate-crime laws or
suicide rates across ethnic groups. In fact, Prop. 54 did no such thing—it had clear exemptions for
enforcement or medical data—but it was nonetheless defeated.
Prop. 209 was the nation's first referendum explicitly banning a state's public institutions from taking into
account race, sex or ethnicity in hiring or admissions. For years, administrators in the University of
California system denied discriminating against Asian students. Race, they insisted, was merely used as
a "plus" factor, the standard that the Supreme Court set out in Regents of the University of California v.
Yet after Prop. 209 passed, Asian-American enrollment grew. At UC Berkeley, the system's flagship,
Asian-American enrollment grew to 43% in 2008 from 37.3% in 1995. At the University of California
San Diego, it grew to 50% from 36% in 1995. Asian-Americans now make up a majority in seven of the
nine UC campuses.
Evidence from Florida and Texas, where preferences were temporarily abolished by court order,
confirms that Asian-Americans are systematically kept out of college in favor of less qualified applicants
benefitting from government-sanctioned racial discrimination. A 2005 study of elite colleges by Princeton
researchers Thomas J. Epenshade and Chang Y. Chung found that in the absence of racial preferences,
Asians would gain four out of five spots that go to blacks and Hispanics.
Another 2009 study from Mr. Epenshade and Alexandria Walton Radford, in collaboration with
Mr. Chung, found that Asian students need a near-perfect SAT score of 1550 to have the same chance
of being admitted at a top school as whites and blacks with scores of 1410 and 1100, respectively.
Overall, whites had a three-fold, Hispanics a six-fold, and blacks a more than 15-fold chance of being
admitted compared to Asian-Americans.
Lee Cheng, spokesman for the Asian American Legal Foundation, told me this month that racial
preferences give Asians a "Chinaman's chance" of admission to the nation's best colleges and
universities. Indeed, discrimination against Asians is so pervasive that Daniel Golden, author of
"The Price of Admission," has dubbed them the "new Jews, inheriting the mantle of the most
disenfranchised group in college admissions."
Speaking on behalf of her resolution earlier this summer, Ms. Chu saluted George Frisbie Hoar,
the lone Republican senator to vote against the Chinese Exclusion Act, appealing to his legacy
"that all people, no matter the color of their skin or their nation of origin, are the equals of every other
man or woman." If she and her fellow Democrats truly want America to transcend discrimination, they
need not look 129 years into the past. It is alive and well, harming Americans every single day.
Mr. Johnson, winner of the 2011 Eric Breindel Collegiate award, is a Robert L. Bartley fellow this
summer at the Journal.
7/12/11 National Review: "California Wants to
Discriminate Against Asians . . . Again"
by Charles C. Johnson
Okay, so Governor Jerry Brown didn’t say that explicitly
when he joined the growing chorus of activists
trying to water down or overturn California’s Proposition 209, a ballot effort
that invalidated the
consideration of race in higher education, in the wake of the ruling out of the
Sixth Circuit. The Pasadena
Star-News has the details.
The overwhelming losers in this scheme to contort the logic
of the Constitution are Asians, as years of
data has revealed.
Jennifer Rubin, writing over at The Weekly Standard in 2008,
laid bare the findings of a study that looked
at the abolition of anti-Asian preferences in universities:
A 2008 study of changes at the Universities of California,
Texas, and Florida after racial preferences
were eliminated showed:
At UCB [Berkeley], for example, Asian-American FTIC [first
time in college] enrollment jumped from
1,277 or 37.30 percent in 1995 to 1,632 or 43.57 percent in 2000 following the
Proposition 209, and, since that date, the number and percentage of
Asian-Americans has increased
steadily at both UCB and UCLA, reaching 46.59 percent at UCB and 41.53 at UCLA.
[San Diego], the number of Asian-American students continues to increase as both
a number and percent
of the student body, from 1,070 or 35.93 percent in 1995 to 1,133 or 36.33
percent in 2000 and to 1,684
or 46.88 percent in 2005. At Texas, the number of Asian-American FTIC students
went from 886 or
14.26 percent in 1995 to 1,311 or 17.74 percent in 2000 and has leveled off at
17.33 percent in 2005,
while in Florida, which has a much smaller Asian-American population, the UF
numbers grew from 342
or 7.50 percent in 1995 to 518 or 7.84 percent in 2000, and to 531 or 8.65
percent in 2005.
The authors concluded:
Clearly in an open admissions process where affirmative
action does not enter into enrollment
decisions and where legacy and donor issues are discouraged, Asian-American
very well. What the data also reveal is that Asian-American students filled the
gap as black and Hispanic
enrollment fell following the elimination of affirmative action in California.
In 2005, yet another study, described in The Chronicle of
Higher Education, looked at who would be
the big gainers in a world without affirmative action. Here’s what it found.
In short, black and Latino enrollment would tank, while white
enrollments would hardly be affected.
The big winners would be Asian applicants, who appear to face “disaffirmative
action” right now. They
would pick up about four out of five spots lost by black and Latino applicants.
. . .
The research looked at admissions decisions at elite colleges
and found that without affirmative action,
the acceptance rate for African American candidates would be likely to fall by
nearly two-thirds, from
33.7 percent to 12.2 percent, while the acceptance rate for Hispanic applicants
probably would be cut
in half, from 26.8 percent to 12.9 percent.
While white admit rates would stay steady, Asian students
would be big winners under such a system.
Their admission rate in a race-neutral system would go to 23.4 percent, from
17.6 percent. And their
share of a class of admitted students would rise to 31.5 percent, from 23.7
All else being equal, Asians have, in the words of an Asian
activist friend of mine, “a Chinaman’s
chance” of being admitted at our top schools. If California Republicans were
intelligent, they would use
this data against their racist adversaries in every majority-Asian neighborhood
in the state.
Why don’t they?
4/17/11 Boston Globe Magazine:
High-achieving Asian-American students are being shut out of top schools around the country. Is this what diversity looks like now?"
by Jon Marcus
Although Asian-Americans represent less than 5 percent of the US population (and slightly more than 5 percent in Massachusetts), they make up as much as 20 percent of students at many highly selective private research universities – the kind of schools that make it into top 50 national rankings.
But, critics charge, Asian-American students would constitute an even larger share if many weren’t being filtered out during the admissions process. Since the University of California system moved to a race-blind system 14 years ago, the percentage of Asian-American students in some competitive schools there has reached 40, even 50 percent. On these campuses, the so-called “model minority” is becoming the majority.
In researching their 2009 book No Longer Separate, Not Yet Equal, Princeton sociologist Thomas Espenshade and researcher Alexandria Walton Radford examined data on students applying to college in 1997 and found what looks like different standards for different racial groups. They calculated that Asian-Americans needed nearly perfect SAT scores of 1550 to have the same chance of being accepted at a top private university as whites who scored 1410 and African-Americans who got 1100. Whites were three times, Hispanics six times, and blacks more than 15 times as likely to be accepted at a US university as Asian-Americans.
Asian-Americans represent 17.8 percent, or 383, of the students admitted to Harvard last month, which is up from 14.1 percent a decade ago. During the last five years, however, the proportion there and at other Ivies has remained relatively flat or increased only slightly, even after an Asian-American student at Yale filed a federal complaint in 2006 against Princeton, where he applied but was not accepted, alleging it discriminated against him because of his race. Despite perfect SAT scores and nine Advanced Placement courses, the student said he was also rejected by Harvard, Stanford, the University of Pennsylvania, and MIT. (That complaint has not been resolved, a US Department of Education spokesman says.)
By contrast, at California’s competitive – and race-blind – state schools, Asian-Americans are much better represented: 52 percent of the student population at the University of California at Irvine, 40 percent at Berkeley, and 37 percent at UCLA. (The ban on admissions committees considering race was upheld by a federal judge in December.)
The difference suggests that, where considering race is allowed, elite universities may be handicapping Asian-American applicants.
“They just all sort of magically end up with under 20 percent Asian
students,” Stephen Hsu, a professor of physics at the University of Oregon,
says. One Princeton lecturer has asked if that number represents the “Asian ceiling.”
For full story, see http://articles.boston.com/2011-04-17/news/29428526_1_asian-american-students-competitive-schools-high
UCLA Today: "Tiger mom adds to stereotype that burdens Asian American
Mitchell J. Chang is a professor of education and Asian
His op-ed appeared originally in the Sacramento Bee's Jan.
26, 2011 edition.
The Wall Street Journal published an essay this month by Yale
University law professor Amy Chua titled, "Why Chinese Mothers Are
Superior," bringing national attention to the methods by which Asian
American parents raise high-achieving children. Within a week, the essay
received more than 6,500 comments on
the newspaper's website, catapulting her previously unnoticed book, "Battle
the Tiger Mother," up the New York Times' list of best-sellers.
Chua's essay is considered controversial largely because it
stresses a rigid parenting style based on tough love — the "Tiger
Mother" — that goes against what she considers more typical
"Western" styles that emphasize self-esteem and self-discovery.
Parenting strategies aside, what has been overlooked is how this essay
unintentionally undermines Asian American college applicants by perpetuating an erroneous
High-achieving Asian Americans have been struggling against
an "Asian tax" in college as well as graduate school admissions
for over three decades. In the late '80s, the federal government investigated
charges that Asian American college applicants faced a higher admissions bar
than other groups. They concluded in 1990 that Harvard admitted Asian American
applicants at a lower rate than white students despite the fact that Asian
American applicants had slightly stronger test scores and grades.
The federal government also inspected other elite
universities, including some UC campuses where Asian American enrollment
dropped despite increased numbers of highly qualified applicants. Federal investigators
found that admissions staff at these elite universities had stereotyped Asian
American applicants in characterizing them as quiet, shy and not "well
In October 2006, Inside Higher Ed reported that at the annual
meeting of the National Association for College Admission Counseling,
admissions officers and high school counselors readily admitted that bias
against Asian Americans continues to be a real problem — so much so that some
even recommended that Asian Americans should not identify their race in
their applications. Admissions officers reportedly complained on a regular
basis that they didn't "want another boring Asian."
Meeting participants also reacted to a November 2005 Wall
Street Journal article, which reported that white families were leaving top
public schools as districts became "too Asian," apparently referring
to a shift in the emphasis of after-school programs away from a sports focus and
toward an academic one.
Now comes Chua's characterization of the "Tiger
Mother," adding to what it means to be "too Asian." This image
contributes to an already problematic stereotype by suggesting not only that
most Asian Americans are high-achieving, but also that their achievements
are due to overbearing parents.
Her characterization can further tax Asian American college
applicants by reducing the chances that they will be viewed as self-starters,
risk-takers and independent thinkers — attributes that are often favored
by admissions officers but rarely associated with Asian American applicants. If
the "Tiger Mother" image leaves a lasting impression and is
applied broadly beyond Chua's own experiences, this characterization can advance
a one-dimensional view of Asian Americans that minimizes their
achievements and overlooks their diversity.
With any luck, those involved with admissions in higher
education fully recognize the shortcomings of Chua's essay and understand
that the story of high achievement for Asian Americans is as varied as the
number of college applicants. If they don't and the "Asian tax" rises
instead, we will hopefully be reading about the determination of Asian
American parents to eliminate discriminatory admissions practices, rather than
essays about an obsession with raising hyper-achieving kids. Ideally, the public
will be just as concerned about the former as they have been with the latter.
11/10/10 FoxNews.com: "Get Your Affirmative
Action Cupcakes Here!"
By John Stossel
This week, I held a bake sale -- a racist bake sale. I stood
in midtown Manhattan shouting, “Cupcakes
for sale.” My price list read:
Asians -- $1.50
Whites -- $1.00
Blacks/Latinos -- 50 cents
People stared. One yelled, “What is funny to you about
people who are less privileged?” A black
woman said, angrily, “It’s very offensive, very demeaning!” One black man
accused me of poisoning the
I understand why people got angry. What I did was hurtful to
some. My bake sale mimicked what some
conservative college students did at Bucknell University. The students wanted to
satirize their school’s
affirmative action policy, which makes it easier for blacks and Hispanics to get
I think affirmative action is racism -- and therefore wrong.
If a private school like Bucknell wants to have
such policies to increase diversity, fine. But government-imposed affirmative
action is offensive. Equality
before the law means government should treat citizens equally.
But it doesn’t. Our racist government says that any school
receiving federal tax dollars, even if only in
the form of federal aid to students, must comply with affirmative action rules,
and some states have
enacted their own policies.
Advocates of affirmative action argue it is needed because of
historic discrimination. Maybe that was
true in 1970, but it’s no longer true. Affirmative action is now part of the
minority special privilege
machine, an indispensable component of which is perpetual victimhood.
All the Bucknell students wanted was a campus discussion
about that. Why not? A university is
supposed to be a place for open discussion, but some topics are apparently
off-limits. On my Fox
Business show this week, I’ll discuss this with a member of the Bucknell
Conservative Club who
participated in the bake sale.
About an hour after the students began their “affirmative
action” sale, the associate dean of students
shut it down. He said it was because the prices charged were different from
those listed on the
permissions application. An offer to change the prices was rejected. Then the
club’s application to
hold another sale was rejected. Ironically, the associate dean said it would
violate the schools
nondiscrimination policy! He would authorize a debate on affirmative action, but
How ridiculous! Fortunately, the Foundation for Individual
Rights in Education (FIRE) has come to
the students’ defense:
“Using this absurd logic, Bucknell would have to require
its College Democrats to say nothing
political on campus unless they give equal time to Republican candidates at
their events, or its Catholic
Campus Ministry to remain silent about abortion unless it holds a debate and
activists to speak,” FIRE’s Adam Kissel said. “While students are free to
host debates, they must not
be required to provide a platform for their ideological opponents. Rather, those
opponents must be
free to spread their own messages and host their own events.”
Right. My affirmative action cupcake “event” led to some
interesting discussions. One young woman
began by criticizing me, “It’s absolutely wrong.”
But after I raised the parallel with college admissions, she
said: “No race of people is worth more
than another. Or less.”
But do you believe in affirmative action in colleges? I
“I used to,” she replied.
Those are the kind discussions students should have.
Affirmative action wasn’t the only issue that brought
conservative Bucknell students grief. When
they tried to protest President Obama’s $787 billion “stimulus” spending
last year by handing out
fake dollar bills, the school stopped them for violating rules against
soliciting! According to FIRE,
Bucknell’s solicitation policy covers only sales and fundraising, which the
students were not engaged
in, but the school rejected the students’ appeal, saying permission was needed
to distribute “anything,
from Bibles to other matter.”
Absurd! The Bucknell administration tells me it stopped the
anti-stimulus protest because the
students had not registered to use that busy campus space. FIRE disputes that.
“Distributing protest literature is an American free-speech
tradition that dates to before the founding
of the United States,” Kissel said. “Why is Bucknell so afraid of students
handing out ‘Bibles [or] other
matter' that might provide challenging perspectives? Colleges are supposed to be
ideas, but Bucknell is betraying this ideal.”
It is, indeed. Why are America’s institutions of higher
learning so fearful?
John Stossel is host of "Stossel" on the Fox
International Business Times: "Asian-Americans in the Ivy League: A
Portrait of Privilege and Discrimination,"
By Palash R. Ghosh
Reflecting their growing social and economic prominence in
the U.S., Asian-Americans are disproportionately represented at the most elite
universities in the land, relative to their numbers in the total population.
While "Asians" -- defined broadly as people who can
trace their ancestry to East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia and the Pacific
Islands -- account for only about 5 percent of the U.S. populace, they are
believed to represent up to 20 percent of the enrollment at the top Ivy League
However, the irony is that if the admission criteria and
process in all U.S. universities were completely fair and equitable -- that is,
based purely on academic qualifications -- the Asian weighting in the elite
colleges would likely be significantly higher.
In an article in the Boston Globe, Kara Miller, a history
professor at Babson College, wrote that Asian-Americans score an average of 1623
-- out of a possible 2400 -- on SAT tests. By comparison, Hispanics and blacks
average 1,364 and 1,276 on the SAT, respectively, while whites average 1,581.
Quite a conundrum, indeed. Are Asians being celebrated and
rewarded for their hard work, intelligence and success? Or are they being
It depends on who you ask.
Consider what happened in California -- a state with a very
high Asian population of about 13 percent -- in late 1996. Voters passed
Proposition 209, a referendum that essentially revoked Affirmative Action
measures and deemed that entry into public colleges -- including the huge
University of California (UC) system -- should be entirely race-blind.
"A direct consequence of this was that the percentage of
Asian-Americans at universities like Berkeley, UC-Irvine, and UCLA immediately
skyrocketed," said Stephen D.H. Hsu, a professor of physics at the
University of Oregon in Eugene.
"At those institutions, the Asian-American
representation currently approaches 50 percent."
Not surprisingly, the passage of "209" led to a
political backlash and resentment against Asian-Americans -- from whites, but
particularly from African-Americans and Hispanics, who saw their numbers plunge
at these institutions."
The administration at UC is now under significant pressure to
remove the current system, Hsu noted.
"They've responded to the criticism by tweaking the
admission process," he said.
"Test scores are not weighted as heavily as high school
GPA, and the top few percent of graduates at each high school are admitted to UC,
even if, in absolute terms, they are not as strong as higher scoring students
from top high schools."
Of course, Hsu adds, Asian-Americans are generally happy with
things as they are -- since they both find it fair and beneficial to them.
Moreover, California's top two private schools, Stanford
University and California Institute of Technology (Caltech) also boast
disproportionately high Asian-American representation.
"At my alma mater, Caltech, which has a heavy focus on
science and engineering and a completely meritocratic admission process,
Asian-Americans account for 30 percent-40 percent of the student body," Hsu
Hsu concludes that Affirmative Action probably hurts both
whites and Asians since it arbitrarily takes class slots away from them.
is quite ironic since Asian-Americans have long been discriminated in most other
ways throughout their long history in this country.
The word "quota" is controversial and
politically-charged; one must be careful when using it. However it's difficult not to conclude that some elite universities do indeed
impose a quota -- officially or subconsciously -- upon Asian enrollment in order
to control their numbers at some specified levels.
Consider a recent study undertaken by Thomas Espenshade, a
Princeton sociologist. He calculated that in 1997 African-Americans who achieved
scores of 1150 scores on two original SAT tests had the same chances of getting
accepted to top private colleges as whites who scored in the 1460s and Asians
who scored perfect 1600s.
Or put it another way, Asian applicants typically need to
score an extra 140 or so points on their SATs to compete "equally"
with white students.
Miller of Babson College also wrote that "most elite
universities appear determined to keep their Asian American totals in a narrow
range. Yale's class of 2013 is 15.5 percent Asian American, compared with 16.1
percent at Dartmouth, 19.1 percent at Harvard and 17.6 percent at
However, white students are similarly victimized by admission
policies at some elite schools.
Espenshade discovered that when comparing applicants with similar grades,
scores, athletic qualifications, and family history for seven elite private
colleges and universities: whites were three times as likely to get accepted as
Asians; Hispanics were twice as likely to win admission as whites. and
African-Americans were at least five times as likely to be accepted as whites.
Moreover, if all elite private universities enacted
race-blind admissions, the percentage of Asian students would jump from 24
percent to 39 percent (similar to what they already are now at Caltech and
Berkeley, two elite institutions with race-blind admissions; the former due to a
belief in meritocracy, the latter due to Proposition 209).
What Asian-Americans are enduring now is reminiscent of the
travails of American Jews in the 1930s and 1940s, when colleges like Harvard and
Yale imposed quotas to limit their numbers at these elite institutions. And like
many of those Jews from seven or eight decades ago, numerous Asian-American
students today come from poor, humble immigrant households.
Perhaps the bottom line in all this discussion is that entry
into and success in top-flight schools -- regardless of the surrounding
circumstances and controversies -- are pushing more and more Asian-Americans
into prominent positions in corporate America, Wall Street and even the
corridors of power in Washington D.C.
3/28/10 San Francisco Chronicle: "Ivy League schools' barrier to Asian
by Jules Older
Somewhere in hell, at this very moment, industrious devils
are preparing a particularly hot fire. A busload of VIP sinners is on its way
They're from America's leading universities. And even better
... their grandparents are already there.
Both generations are from Ivy League college admissions
offices. Both are guilty of sins against humanity and the American way.
The grandparents are still searing for discrimination against
Jews. The new crop will be charbroiled throughout eternity for the same crimes
Amazed by the lack of learning at prestigious institutions of
learning, the denizens of hell can't get over their good fortune.
The grandparents ran the admissions offices of American
universities during the 1930s and '40s. One of their jobs was to keep their
institutions from being "overwhelmed" by Jewish kids from New York.
The New Yorkers had heroic stories. They were poor and
hardworking, and their parents were new American immigrants, escaping
oppression, even death. The kids got into college because their mothers made
them do their homework.
Only they didn't get in.
They were kept out by the quota system, by a newfound
interest in "geographic diversity" and by plain old bigotry. They
weren't wanted, and those who did squeeze through the barriers (in that pushy
way of theirs) were simply too smart to keep out.
But surely, lessons have been learned since then.
In her carefully researched article in the Boston Globe,
"Do colleges redline Asian Americans?," adjunct Professor Kara Miller
clearly demonstrates that, yes, they do. Here's the most damning piece of
evidence: "Princeton sociologist Thomas Espenshade, who reviewed data from
10 elite colleges, writes ... that Asian applicants typically need an extra 140
points [on their SATs] to compete with white students."
140 extra points? Try carrying that weight in your high school backpack. Like
the predominantly Eastern Jews of the past century, the mostly Western Asians of
this one are being routinely, systematically and almost openly discriminated
against by America's leading educational institutions.
"Indeed," Miller writes, "most elite
universities appear determined to keep their Asian American totals in a narrow
range. Yale's class of 2013 is 15.5 percent Asian American, compared with 16.1
percent at Dartmouth, 19.1 percent at Harvard and 17.6 percent at
And these practices aren't just at East Coast universities.
Espenshade's research included institutions from all over the country.
Two facts are particularly galling: Our best and brightest
halls of higher education have apparently learned nothing from their past sins.
Even worse, the kids these schools reject are once again
exemplars of the American dream. They come from poor, immigrant families. Many
narrowly escaped from horrors at home. They're being rejected in favor of the
wealthy offspring of already privileged white Americans who presumably look more
like the alumni than they do.
In 1958, Pete Seeger recorded "The Ballad of Sherman
Wu." To the tune of "Streets of Laredo," it recounted the tale of
a student at Northwestern University who was "depledged" from a
fraternity because he was Asian. Here's the key line, spoken by the fraternity
If he were just Jewish,
Or Spanish or German,
But he's so damned Chinese,
The whole campus would know.
What's happened between the 1950s and the 2010s? Back then,
Sherman Wu couldn't get into a fraternity. Now he might not get into college.
That's why the furnaces of hell are going full blast.
Jules Older, julesolder.com, lives and writes in San
Boston Globe: "Do colleges redline Asian-Americans?"
by Kara Miller
SAT Scores aren’t everything. But they can tell some
Take 1,623, for instance. That’s the average score of
Asian-Americans, a group that Daniel Golden - editor at large of Bloomberg News
and author of “The Price of Admission’’ - has labeled “The New
Jews.’’ After all, much like Jews a century ago, Asian-Americans tend to
earn good grades and high scores. And now they too face serious discrimination
in the college admissions process.
Notably, 1,623 - out of a possible 2,400 - not only separates
Asians from other minorities (Hispanics and blacks average 1,364 and 1,276 on
the SAT, respectively). The score also puts them ahead of Caucasians, who
average 1,581. And the consequences of this are stark.
Princeton sociologist Thomas Espenshade, who reviewed data
from 10 elite colleges, writes in “No Longer Separate, Not Yet Equal’’
that Asian applicants typically need an extra 140 points to compete with white
students. In fact, according to Princeton lecturer Russell Nieli, there may be
an “Asian ceiling’’ at Princeton, a number above which the admissions
office refuses to venture.
Emily Aronson, a Princeton spokeswoman, insists “the
university does not admit students in categories. In the admission process, no
particular factor is assigned a fixed weight and there is no formula for
weighing the various aspects of the application.’’
A few years ago, however, when I worked as a reader for
Yale’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions, it became immediately clear to me
that Asians - who constitute 5 percent of the US population - faced an uphill
slog. They tended to get excellent scores, take advantage of AP offerings, and
shine in extracurricular activities. Frequently, they also had hard-knock
stories: families that had immigrated to America under difficult circumstances,
parents working as kitchen assistants and store clerks, and households in which
no English was spoken.
But would Yale be willing to make 50 percent of its freshman
class Asian? Probably not.
Indeed, as Princeton’s Nieli suggests, most elite
universities appear determined to keep their Asian-American totals in a narrow
range. Yale’s class of 2013 is 15.5 percent Asian-American, compared with 16.1
percent at Dartmouth, 19.1 percent at Harvard, and 17.6 percent at Princeton.
“There are a lot of poor Asians, immigrant kids,’’ says
University of Oregon physics professor Stephen Hsu, who has written about the
admissions process. “But generally that story doesn’t do as much as it would
for a non-Asian student. Statistically, it’s true that Asians generally have
to get higher scores than others to get in.’’
In a country built on individual liberty and promise, that
feels deeply unfair. If a teenager spends much time studying, excels at an
instrument or sport, and garners wonderful teacher recommendations, should he be
punished for being part of a high-achieving group? Are his accomplishments
diminished by the fact that people he has never met - but who look somewhat like
him - also work hard?
“When you look at the private Ivy Leagues, some of them are
looking at Asian-American applicants with a different eye than they are white
applicants,’’ says Oiyan Poon, the 2007 president of the University of
California Students Association. “I do strongly believe in diversity, but I
don’t agree with increasing white numbers over historically oppressed
populations like Asian-Americans, a group that has been denied civil rights and
property rights.’’ But Poon, now a research associate at the University of
Massachusetts Boston, warns that there are downsides to having huge numbers of
Asian-Americans on a campus.
In California, where passage of a 1996 referendum banned
government institutions from discriminating on the basis of race, Asians make up
about 40 percent of public university students, though they account for only 13
percent of residents. “Some Asian-American students feel that they lost
something by going to school at a place where almost half of their classmates
look like themselves - a campus like UCLA. The students said they didn’t feel
as well prepared in intercultural skills for the real world.’’
But what do you do if you’re an elite college facing
tremendous numbers of qualified Asian applicants? At the 2006 meeting of the
National Association for College Admission Counseling, a panel entitled “Too
Asian?’’ looked at the growing tendency of teachers, college counselors, and
admissions officers to see Asians as a unit, rather than as individuals.
Hsu argues it’s time to tackle this issue, rather than
defer it, as Asians’ superior performance will likely persist. “This
doesn’t seem to be changing. You can see the same thing with Jews. They’ve
outperformed other ethnic groups for the past 100 years.’’
Which leaves us with two vexing questions: Are we willing to
trade personal empowerment for a more palatable group dynamic? And when - if
ever - should we give credit where credit is due?
Kara Miller teaches at Babson College.
7/6/09: Selling Merit Down the River
By Russell K. Nieli
Excerpted from pages 21 and 22
The River Pilots' concern here may be misplaced, however, for even if black and
Latino students do earn substantially lower grades than whites and Asians, they may have
just as good a chance as the members of those higher-performing groups of gaining
entrance to competitive graduate and professional schools. The admissions boost for
being black at many of the most competitive law schools, medical schools, business
schools, and graduate programs is often huge -- larger even in standard deviation terms
than the undergraduate college boost -- and black undergraduates all know this. The
post-graduate boost for being Latino is less but still substantial. Mediocre grades for a
black or Latino student is not the same impediment to getting into a good graduate or
professional school as it is for a white or Asian.
Consider, for example, medical schools. According to the American Association
of Medical Colleges, the average college GPA in the pre-med college science courses for
all whites who entered an American medical school in 2007 was 3.63, and for Asians a
near-identical 3.62. For blacks, however, it was only 3.29. This is by itself a very
significant difference but the spread of the black scores was much wider than that of
either the whites or Asians (black SD .43, white and Asian SD each .29), indicating that
significant numbers of blacks with science GPAs as low as 2.9 or 3.0 were accepted into
medical schools, scores that would virtually preclude whites or Asians. Latino science
GPAs were roughly halfway between those of the blacks and the higher-scoring whites
and Asians (3.45 mean).
Scores on the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) tell a similar story. The
median score on the basic science part of the MCAT for a black admitted to medical
school in 2007 was equal to that of a white at only the 14th percentile of white admits, and
of an Asian at only the 10th percentile of Asian admits. In other words, 86% of whites
and 90% of Asians entering medical schools did better on the MCAT basic science
section than the median black. Once again, Latino scores were roughly halfway between
the blacks and the higher-scoring Asians and whites.20 This same pattern was shown in
earlier studies of MCAT scores. For instance, a Rand Corporation study of admissions
policies at ten medical schools in the late 1970s found a black/white gap in MCAT scores
well over a standard deviation, a Chicano/white gap slightly less than one SD. The Rand
study calculated that a black or Chicano applicant with a better then 50% chance of
admission to these ten medical schools, had that applicant been held to the same entrance
standards as whites, would have reduced his admissions chances to only about one-intwenty,
or 5%.21 From a 5% admissions chance up to a 50% or better chance as the bonus
for being black or Chicano -- can anyone imagine that this will have no effect on many
of those seeking to gain entry into the medical profession?
The law school story is similar. Consider for instance the University of Michigan
Law School, one of the ten most prestigious in the nation. Like virtually all competitive
law schools, Michigan places a great emphasis on the LSAT, a test of several kinds of
aptitudes needed for the successful completion of a rigorous law school curriculum.
Scores on the LSAT range from 120 to 180 (much like the 200 to 800 scoring system on
the SAT) with the average score of those admitted to the highest ranking schools being
around 170 (at the lowest ranked schools admits average around 150). In 2004, a year
after the Supreme Court's Grutter decision approving Michigan Law's racial preference
program, the median LSAT score for both white and Asian admits was 169, just under
the typical score earned by whites at top-rated Harvard and Yale. For black admits,
however, the average score was only 160. Now a 160 is certainly a respectable LSAT
score, but for a white or Asian such a score might gain an entry ticket to a middle-range
law school like Boston University, the University of Washington, or Rutgers, but never to
a top-ten school like Michigan. Blacks essentially compete only with one another for
entry to the nations' top law schools, all of which practice a system of de facto race
norming and (slightly flexible) quota admissions (though none of them will admit this
publically). Black LSAT scores need not be, and usually are not, competitive with those
of whites and Asians. Indeed, at Michigan in 2004, a 75th percentile black admit had an
LSAT score (164) significantly lower than that of a 25th percentile white (167) or Asian
(167) admit. Latino LSAT scores were much better than those of the blacks (mean 166)
but still significantly behind the whites and Asians.
The lowering of the bar for underrepresented minorities extends to the college
GPA as well. A study of Michigan Law School applicants submitted during the litigation
over the Grutter case indicated that in 1995 the average GPA for white admits was 3.68,
that of blacks only 3.33. Of students with college GPAs in the 3.25 to 3.45 range and
LSAT scores near the 75th percentile of the national distribution, 51 whites applied to
Michigan in 1995, 14 Asians, and 10 blacks. But only one of the whites in this credential
range was admitted to Michigan's elite law school that year, while none of the Asians
were. Blacks had a much easier time of it: all of the blacks in this credential range were
accepted though their grades and test scores would have virtually precluded them from
admission were they white or Asian.23 How reasonable is it to think that knowledge of
such lowered standards will not filter down to the black sophomores and juniors at
various Michigan colleges who plan on attending Michigan or some other elite law
school? And given the knowledge of such lowered standards, how reasonable is it to
think that this will not negatively affect the behavior of many of those who know they
can get into great law schools like Michigan's without having to match the performance
of their white and Asian classmates?