Thursday, November 20, 2014

Harvard, UNC sued over race discrimination against Asians

""Statistical evidence reveals that Harvard uses `holistic' admissions to disguise the fact that it holds Asian Americans to a far higher standard than other students and essentially forces them to compete against each other for admission," the lawsuit argues.
The lawsuit goes on to allege that Harvard is engaging in "racial balancing," enrolling the "essentially the same percentage" of African Americans, Hispanics, whites, and Asian Americans year after year, even though the application rates and qualifications for each racial group have undergone significant changes over time.
"Harvard's remarkably stable admissions and enrollment figures over time are the deliberate result of system wide intentional racial discrimination designed to achieve a predetermined racial balance of its student body," the lawsuit states.
The lawsuits conclude that "race neutral" policies - such as giving greater consideration to a prospective student's socio-economic background and boosting financial aid, scholarships and minority candidate recruitment efforts - can promote diversity better than affirmative action.
Elite schools should also stop giving preference to so-called "legacy" students and offering early admission deadlines, both of which tend to hurt low income and minority applicants and favor wealthy and white ones, the lawsuits suggests."

Harvard doesn't care if you are the smartest person in the applicant pool. They admit people based on 1) the probability that they will be very successful after graduation; and, 2) how well they fit into their pre-ordained vision of what a Harvard class should look like, e.g., just the right amount of blacks; some, but not too many foreigners (extra points if royalty), a discrete number of alumni offspring, etc. In the 1950s and 1960s they were careful not to admit too many Jews -- the didn't want the Harvard brand confused with Brandeis, for goodness sakes. Over the past couple of decades, they have been taking care not to admit too many Asians -- they don't want the Harvard brand confused with Berkeley or Caltech.

As I've said before, why not just admit anyone with +1400 SATs to the top 30 schools and randomly assign them? Do you think it really makes a difference whether you go to Harvard or Yale or Stanford or Penn? Sure, the social cachet is higher at Harvard, and hence the social capital associated with a Harvard degree, but in terms of an education, it just doesn't make any difference.



    Caption: "I thought it was me, but maybe the school's no damn good."


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