DOJ finds Yale discriminating against Asians, Whites in undergraduate admissions

Source: Yale University Twitter account

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) found that Yale University has been discriminating against Asian and White American applicants in its undergraduate admissions process.

The DOJ conducted a two-year investigation into alleged discrimination in undergraduate admissions with respect to domestic non-transfer applicants to Yale College. The allegations were lodged by Asian American groups.

The investigation involves a thorough review of documentation related to the university’s undergraduate admissions process, interviews with admissions officials, and analysis of admissions data.

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The Department concluded its investigation with the findings that “Yale’s discrimination is long-standing and ongoing. The university discriminates based on the race and national origin of applicants in its undergraduate admissions process. Race is the determinative factor in its admissions decisions every year. Asian and White Americans represent only one-tenth to one-fourth of the likelihood of admission compared to African American applicants with similar academic credentials. Every year, Yale rejects scores of Asian Americans and White applicants based on their race. Otherwise, the university would admit them.

Yale violated civil rights laws

According to the DOJ, Yale receives millions of dollars in taxpayer money. Its conduct violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance.

In a statement, DOJ Civil Rights Division Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband said, “There is no such thing as a nice form of race discrimination. Unlawfully dividing Americans into racial and ethnic blocs fosters stereotypes, bitterness, and division. It is past time for American institutions to recognize that all people should be treated with decency and respect and without unlawful regard to the color of their skin.”

He added, “In 1890, Frederick Douglass explained that the ‘business of government is to hold its broad shield overall and to see that every American citizen is alike and equally protected in his civil and personal rights.’ The Department of Justice agrees and will continue to fight for the civil rights of all people throughout our nation.”

The Justice Department demanded Yale to stop using race or national origin in its upcoming 2020-2021 undergraduate admissions cycle and must voluntarily comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act.

“If Yale proposes to consider race or national origin in future admissions cycles, it must first submit to the Department of Justice a plan demonstrating its proposal is narrowly tailored as required by law, including by identifying a date for the end of race discrimination,” according to the Justice Department.

Yale said the DOJ’s allegation is “baseless”

In response to the DOJ, Yale President Peter Salovey said, “The department’s allegation is baseless. Given our university’s commitment to complying with federal law, I am dismayed that the DOJ inexplicably rushed to conclude its investigation without conducting a fully informed analysis, which would have shown that Yale’s practices absolutely comply with decades of Supreme Court precedent.”

“Yale College will not change its admissions processes in response to today’s letter because the DOJ is seeking to impose a standard that is inconsistent with existing law. We will continue to look at the whole person when selecting whom to admit among the many thousands of highly qualified applicants,” added Salovey in a statement.


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