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Lawsuit accuses Harvard University of bias against Asian Americans

Julie Park: High scores on standardized tests are not a "golden ticket"

A lawsuit filed against Harvard University in November alleges that the school’s admissions policy discriminates against Asian Americans. The suit cites the findings of a study of seven public and private US colleges, which showed that Asian Americans needed much higher SAT scores than white students in order to be admitted. MPRC faculty associate Julie Park calls the narrative underlying the lawsuit “deeply misleading” because it assumes that high test scores should guarantee acceptance. Due to the limited number of spots at elite institutions like Harvard, many students who score well on standardized tests will not be admitted to their top-choice school. Harvard only accepts 6 percent of its applicants, and many of those who are rejected have high test scores.

According to Park, the real worry here is that the Students for Fair Admissions lawsuit could undermine the legality of race-conscious admissions. The majority of Asian Americans support affirmative action, and many studies have shown that college students of all backgrounds benefit from engaging with racial diversity. “Affirmative action is critical to challenging stereotypes and supporting learning environments that prepare students for citizenship in a diverse democracy,” says Park. “What we have is not discrimination but elite schools being limited in the number of outstanding students they can admit. There are no golden tickets.”

Read the story in the Washington Post

Read the story in the Monterey Herald

Read a related story on Fox News

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