A coalition of 64 organizations is citing research indicating that Asians need to on average score 140 points higher than white students on the SAT, 270 points higher than Hispanic students and 450 points higher than African-American students to equal their chances of gaining admission to Harvard. The exam is scored on a 2400-point scale.
Robert Iuliano, Harvard’s general counsel, says the university has maintained its fairness in the admissions process.
"Within its holistic admissions process, and as part of its effort to build a diverse class, Harvard College has demonstrated a strong record of recruiting and admitting Asian American students," Iuliano said in a statement.
He stressed that the percentage of Asian-American students admitted to the undergraduate school rose to 21 percent from less than 18 percent in the past decade.
The group filing the complaint, however, argues the number should be higher.
Harvard Is Being Accused Of Treating Asians The Same Way It Used To Treat Jews #religion http://t.co/8d8mlQmi7P pic.twitter.com/z1hyIbY8hZ— Religion Trends (@Religiolizer) December 5, 2014
"There is a lot of discrimination, and it hurts not just Asian-Americans, it hurts the whole country," said Yukong Zhao, a 52-year-old Chinese-American author who helped organize the coalition.
Asians Suing Harvard Over Affirmative Action Could Cause Drop in Black Students at Schools http://t.co/6kOj0i1pT4 pic.twitter.com/IKvvYf2Oyb— Melanin Rich Beauty (@MelaninRichness) November 25, 2014
He argued there are longtime stereotypes of Asian applicants’ being “not creative enough or risk-taking enough, but that’s not true. Nearly half of the tech start-ups in the country were started by Asian-Americans. Every one is a great example of creativity, and risk-taking and leadership."