Race and Admissions to College: Asians Face Discrimination in Application Process?

October 15th, 2009

From the Daily Princetonian (h/t instapundit):

According to the data, not all races are considered equal in the college admissions game. Of students applying to private colleges in 1997, African-American applicants with SAT scores of 1150 had the same chances of being accepted as white applicants with 1460s and Asian applicants with perfect 1600s. The results of the study come three years after Jian Li, a rejected Princeton applicant, filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. He alleged in the complaint that he had been discriminated against based on his race when he was denied admission to the University.

Espenshade also found in his study that low-income minorities, but not necessarily low-income white students, had an edge in admissions.

Justice O’Connors Grutter countdown is still ticking, but since racial discrimination still exists, schools are allowed to consider diversity as a compelling interest, along with other factors. So looking at SAT scores alone isn’t enough. What about the “plus” factors?

The research discusses these factors, and more after the jump.

The article continues

Though he found a 140-point SAT score discrepancy between accepted white and Asian students, he did not have access to what he called “soft variables,” like extracurriculars and teacher recommendations

“The data we had is only part of the data that admission deans have access to,” Espenshade said. “If we had access to the full range of info, it could put Asian candidates in a different light. This so-called ‘Asian disadvantage’ does not necessarily mean that Asian applicants are being discriminated against.”

Interesting findings. I’d be curious how these admissions policy affect the Grutter/Gratz line of cases.