ERIC Number: ED308730
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Nov-30
Reference Count: N/A
Discrimination against Asian-Americans in Higher Education: Evidence, Causes, and Cures.
Reynolds, William Bradford
The issue of discrimination against Asian-Americans in higher education is discussed. The focus is on: whether certain of the country's most prestigious universities discriminate against Asian-American applicants; why this occurs; and what university officials, executive branch administrators, and members of Congress can do about it. Suspicions arise because university admissions committees tend to be extremely vague about the impact of race on their acceptance/rejection decisions. Though minority status can add 40 to 50 percentage points to an applicant's chance of admission, such racial preferences generally do not operate in favor of Asian-Americans and are often quite the opposite. Statistical evidence shows these candidates face higher hurdles than academically less qualified candidates of other races. One study shows the cultural bias and stereotypes that prevail in the admission office work to the detriment of Asian-American applicants. Rejection of such applicants appears to be driven by university affirmative action policies aimed at favoring other, preferred racial minorities. Thus, where admissions policies are primarily merit-based, Asian-Americans will in all likelihood be accepted in numbers that far outstrip their percentage share of the general population. Three suggestions for action are: universities should continue to their self-scrutiny; the Department of Justice and Department of Education must play major roles; and Congress should be a major player in the effort to root out and bring to a halt any unlawful discriminatory admission policies at U.S. colleges and universities. (SM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Department of Justice, Washington, DC. Civil Rights Div.
Note: Remarks presented at the Symposium on Asian American University Admissions (Washington, DC, November 30, 1988).