action policies in university admissions have been controversial since they
were first implemented, with several challenges in court. On Sept. 26, the U.S.
Department of Justice and the Department of Education publicized their investigation of
Yale University for potential discrimination against Asian-Americans in their
admissions process. In a statement by the university’s President,
Peter Salovey, he noted that the school considers “a multitude of factors
including their academic achievement, interests, demonstrated leadership,
background, success in taking maximum advantage of their secondary school and
community resources, and the likelihood that they will contribute to the Yale
community and the world.” He also stated that the number of Asian-American
students who arrive as freshmen each year has “grown from 14 percent in the
class of 2007 to 21.7 percent in the class of 2022.”
August, the Department of Justice weighed in on a lawsuit against Harvard
University in support of plaintiffs who have sued the institution for allegedly
discriminating against Asian-American students in admissions, allegations that
are similar to those made against Yale. The Harvard lawsuit and Yale
investigations could have far-reaching consequences for college admissions
policies and for affirmative action, a tool rooted in the civil-rights era to
make American education and opportunity more equitable.
Students for Fair
a nonprofit group opposed to any used of race in higher education admissions,
filed the original suit in 2014 on behalf of several Asian-American students
who were denied admission to Harvard despite having top grades and test scores.
along with 36 other higher education organizations and stakeholders, expressed
solidarity with Harvard College in support of race-conscious college admissions
in an Amici brief filed in U.S. district
court in late July.