by Devon, Erica, and Eric
While most people associate December with the coming of winter, for most high school seniors, it is the season of college applications and deadlines. Typically starting in early October for until late winter or early spring, seniors become flustered with the accumulation of deadlines and essays to write. Many hopeful students create a list of colleges consisting of top institutions in hopes of getting accepted into these top ranking schools, including the Ivy League, throughout the country. Colleges like Harvard, Yale, MIT, UC Berkeley, and many more receive countless applications, but a small percentage of students are able to be accepted to these prestigious institutions. For the Asians community, sadly to say, your chances of getting into such schools like Harvard is significantly lower than your peers.
To understand the reason behind this, there must be a clear understanding of the college admissions. Most colleges only accept students to fit their ‘holistic’ system which means do you fit into the school’s culture? A lot of people would see this as a kind of meritocracy and it allows for the best and best of all to get the chance to enter. However, these schools may be lying to the hopeful students, and that the colleges are setting quotas on the number of certain students entering their school. Recent news reports have been on the lawsuit against Harvard University on the unfair admission process against Asian-American applicants. Several Asian-American organizations have placed their complaints and currently the Department of Justice is looking into this.
To look into the case for the Asian-Americans, they came in with the applications detailing excellent credentials, but still are passed up for others less qualifications on their papers. This is direct threat to the American Dream for the many Asian families in the United States who have faced hardships economically when newly arrived and encouraged their children to study diligently. This may be upsetting for the Asians, as in history, there has been in an increasing number of Asians in colleges. Such schools such as California Institute of Technology as report to have gone from a quarter to half of student population to be college-age Asians since 1992. With the increasing presence of competition, you would think other schools have similar growths, but not Harvard. According to the Students for Fair Admissions, Harvard has been setting up quotas to limit the number of Asians entering their school, the percentage is kept around 20%. This is still shocking even as more Asian-Americans come in with better credentials than those past, they will still be denied to meet the quota. The organization also had cited Harvard for setting the quota based on stereotypes such as “the Asian who is quiet and wants to be a doctor.” This lawsuit isn’t really new, but it had been coming since 2014 with 60 Asian advocacy groups had sent out complaints that accusing Harvard of discrimination. The DOJ had since begun investigations and requested Harvard to surrender their admissions record containing applications, personal essays, and interviews.
This isn’t the first time the government has been involved with college admission processes. Most of the cases have called upon the race-based affirmative action to achieve diversity in college life. For example, in 2013 and 2016, the case Fisher vs University of Texas saw a student being unfairly rejected because of a school’s goal to achieve diversity. The Supreme Court has since ruled in favor of the university with a 4-3 standing and the issue may be revisited. For now, the investigation is still ongoing and as more Asian-Americans apply for college, it is unknown what the future may hold for them.