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Physicist, Startup Founder, Blogger, Dad

Friday, May 25, 2018

Too Many Asian Americans: Affirmative Discrimination in Elite College Admissions

An updated analysis of discrimination against Asian-American applicants at elite universities. Figures below are from the paper. See also The Content of their Character: Ed Blum and Jian Li.
Too Many Asian Americans: Affirmative Discrimination in Elite College Admissions

Althea Nagai, Ph.D.

Asian Americans are “overrepresented” in certain elite schools relative to their numbers in the U.S. population. In pursuit of racial and ethnic diversity, these schools will admit some Asian American applicants but not as many as their academic qualifications would justify. As a case study, I examine three private universities and Asian American enrollment in those universities over time.

No “Ceiling” on Asian Americans at Caltech But One at MIT and Harvard.
Some basic facts: Caltech has race-blind admissions. The fraction of Asian-Americans enrolled there tends to track the growth in the overall applicant pool in recent decades. Harvard does use race as a factor, and is being sued for discrimination against Asian-Americans. The peak in A-A representation at Harvard, in the early 1990s, coincides with external pressure from an earlier DOJ investigation of the university for discrimination (dramatic race-based adjustments, revealing the craven subjectivity of holistic admissions!). Despite the much stronger and larger pool of applicants today (second figure below), A-A representation at Harvard has never recovered to those 1990s levels.




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