Yale discriminates against Asian-Americans: Feds

September 26, 2018

The Education and Justice departments on Wednesday disclosed that they are investigating whether Yale University’s admission practices illegally discriminates against Asian-Americans, marking the second Trump Administration probe into an ivy league school’s student selection process.

In a letter to students and faculty, Yale President Peter Salovey confirmed the existence of the investigation. He vowed to cooperate fully with the federal government, but also said the school will vigorously defend “our ability to create a diverse and excellent academic community.”

The Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights revealed the joint investigation in a letter to the Asian American Coalition for Education, a nonprofit that has argued universities cap the number of Asian-Americans admitted each year. A 2016 complaint the group filed with both the Justice and Education departments led to the current investigation.

The complaint accused Yale, Brown University and Dartmouth College treated Asian-Americans different during the admission process because of their race.

In the letter, the Education Department said it is treating the allegations as three separate complaints and opened an investigation into Yale because the complaint included information related to particular Asian-American student’s application experience. The Education Department also said it was dismissing the complaints against Brown and Dartmouth because of a lack of information.

Mr. Salovey said over the past 15 years, Yale’s Asian-American student population increased to 21.7 percent for this year’s incoming freshman class from less than 14 percent in 2003.

“I write now to state unequivocally that Yale does not discriminate in admissions against Asian Americans or any other racial or ethnic group ... and to affirm our unwavering commitment to diversity as a pillar of this community,” he wrote in the letter.

The Justice Department last month said Harvard University “significantly disadvantages” Asian-American applications during the admissions process. It made the claim in a statement of interesting in an ongoing legal battle between an Asian-American student group and the elite university.

Harvard said its policies are being misconstrued and is fighting the court challenge.

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