Friday, November 21, 2014

Does Harvard discriminate against Asians?

It looks as if there are so many well-qualified Asian students who are applying to Harvard that many are being rejected just because they are Asian.  It's hard to say for sure, however, since every private school has it's own way of choosing students, and diversity might be an important goal for a private school and it might be possible to reach the goal of 'racial' diversity without breaking US law. 

I don't think the Asian students who are suing Harvard are going to win their legal case. Harvard takes a look at each applicant (supposedly) and chooses whom they want.  This seems to be legal.  The students don't seem to realize that SAT scores are not the biggest deal for an Ivy League admission.  They are, basically, trying to 'hijack' Harvard's admissions process and make it work in their favor. (to hijack an airplane is to take control of the airplane away from its pilots)

{By the way, the SAT is a test which measures reading, vocabulary, writing and math skills. Many US universities require that students take this exam. This is because many American high schools differ in their levels of difficulty.  Some high-schools are incredibly easy, so if a student presents good grades from this easy school while another student presents less good grades from a more difficult school, the SAT results should reveal a student's basic academic ability.}

What was shocking to me, however, was the fact that an acceptable SAT score for 'white' students at Harvard was only 1320.  This comes out to (theoretically) 660 on the verbal and 660 on the math. Frankly, those are not elite numbers.  After reading this article and seeing the numbers, I am not sure that Harvard really lives up to its reputation.

It could be that Harvard accepts many relatively stupid rich kids or accepts many 'legacy' admissions (students who had parents who went to Harvard) - perhaps this is why the SAT scores can be so low. I think the big question should be whether such 'legacy' admissions are legal.  If my dad and his grand-dad went to Harvard, I can automatically get in?  What? 

So, coming from the 'working class', I attended a state university for my BA and then an Ivy university for my MA.  To be candid (honest) with you, I feel the University of Wisconsin at Madison was better than Columbia University.  I saw a lot of cheating, ignorance, hypocrisy and worse at Columbia.  Students regularly received high grades for handing in mediocre (average) work because they were paying such a high amount for tuition.  I think the Ivy League is over-rated.

Furthermore, there was a study of American Nobel Prize winners done awhile ago and most Nobel winners hadn't even gone to schools like Harvard or MIT - they went to 'good' schools and worked hard.  So the goal should be getting into a good school where you can learn and work hard.

You can read the full article below. So what do you think? Do you think Harvard is discriminating against Asians?  Are the Asian students over-reacting and trying to force Harvard to accept them?

Here's the article:


rejected - not accepted

to sue - to claim that someone or some place did something wrong to you and to take them to court to receive money from them as a punishment

minorities - anyone who is not 'white' is considered a minority in the USA

affirmative action policies - policies meant to make sure there is a diversity of students, by diversity they mean students of all races.  Affirmative means positive - so affirmative action means positive action to make campuses diverse

vaunted - highly regarded, highly esteemed, well-thought of, well-respected

to discriminate against - to treat someone unfairly because of his/her race; prejudice is a feeling or attitude, discrimination is action

A GPA - Grade Point Average For example, if a student gets an A in a class, he/she earns a 4, for a B - 3, for a C - 2 for a D - 1.  So the GPA of a student is his/her average after all his her classes were taken.  Funny thing, my GPA at Wisconsin and Columbia was 3.65.

filed the suit - he initiated or brought about the suit (the law case)

a quota - a certain number of a type of people who should be included in an activity.  For instance, I might set a quota - we want 40% white students, 20% black, 20% Latino and 20% Asian.

remanded it with orders - gave it orders or forced it to make sure it did not look at a student's race before determining the admission of the student

pending - we are waiting for it (this is confusing because previously it seems a decision was made)

disproportionately high - too high compared to other groups.  If Harvard accepted Asians based on their SAT scores compared to other groups, Harvard might have a student population of 80% Asians - that would be disproportionately high

a plaintiff - someone who is suing someone else. The person being sued is the defendant

holistic - looking at the whole picture

vibrant - exciting

aspirations - hopes

elite - the 'best'

to give a leg up to someone - to assist, to help

explicit - openly stated, openly revealed

unambiguously - there can be no ambiguity or doubt or mistakes

invidious - sneaky, not honest, undercover, hidden

My book, please consider buying it:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.