Author Topic: Harvard records show discrimination against Asian-Americans  (Read 4578 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline WTTCHMN

  • Certified Irvine Addict
  • ****
  • Thanks
  • -Given: 15
  • -Received: 279
  • Posts: 1734
Re: Harvard records show discrimination against Asian-Americans
« Reply #15 on: July 29, 2018, 10:23:52 AM »
‘Lopping,’ ‘Tips’ and the ‘Z-List’: Bias Lawsuit Explores Harvard’s Admissions Secrets

He had perfect scores — on his SAT, on three SAT subject tests and on nine Advanced Placement exams — and was ranked first in his high school class of 592. An admissions officer who reviewed his application to Harvard called him “the proverbial picket fence,” the embodiment of the American dream, saying, “Someone we’ll fight over w/ Princeton, I’d guess.”

But in the end, the Asian student was wait-listed and did not get in.

Harvard’s much-feared admissions officers have a whole other set of boxes that few ambitious high school students and their parents know about — or could check even if they did. The officers speak a secret language — of “dockets,” “the lop list,” “tips,” “DE,” the “Z-list” and the “dean’s interest list” — and maintain a culling system in which factors like where applicants are from, whether their parents went to Harvard, how much money they have and how they fit the school’s goals for diversity may be just as important as scoring a perfect 1600 on the SAT.

The sorting begins right away. The country is divided into about 20 geographic “dockets,” each of which is assigned to a subcommittee of admissions officers with intimate knowledge of that region and its high schools.

Harvard says it also considers “tips,” or admissions advantages, for some applicants. The plaintiffs say the college gives tips to five groups: racial and ethnic minorities; legacies, or the children of Harvard or Radcliffe alumni; relatives of a Harvard donor; the children of staff or faculty members; and recruited athletes.

Whether Harvard gives a penalty — in effect, the opposite of a tip — to Asian-Americans goes to the heart of the current litigation. A 1990 report by the Education Department found that Harvard was not giving tips for being Asian-American. A 2013 internal report by Harvard found that being Asian-American was negatively correlated with admission, as did an expert analysis for the plaintiffs. But using a different statistical approach, Harvard’s expert found a modest bump for two subgroups of Asian-Americans — women and applicants from California — belying, Harvard said, the overall claim of discrimination.

There are other ways to bolster one’s chances of admission, according to the court papers. Savvy alumni hope to gain an advantage for their children by volunteering for Harvard, perhaps by being an admissions interviewer.

It also helps to secure a spot on the “dean’s interest list” or the “director’s interest list.” These are not the familiar lists from academic deans recognizing students with good grades. These lists are named for the dean and director of admissions, and include the names of candidates who are of interest to donors or have connections to Harvard, according to the court papers.

How about, the plaintiffs’ lawyer asked, “if a candidate is of interest to a donor to Harvard, is that something that might land them on the interest list?” Over another objection, Mr. Fitzsimmons replied, “It is possible.”

After an exchange running three fully blacked-out pages, Mr. Fitzsimmons explained that candidates on the dean’s list could receive a separate rating, in consultation with people connected to the alumni association and the development office, the chief fund-raising arm.

The plaintiffs’ lawyer asked, “And are you rating the applicant, or are you rating the level of interest that other people at the university have in this applicant’s admission prospect?”

Over an objection, Mr. Fitzsimmons replied, “The latter.”

The plaintiffs’ lawyer asked whether the bigger the financial contribution from a donor, the more it would affect the development office’s rating of someone on the dean’s list related to that donor. “It would tend to go that way,” Mr. Fitzsimmons replied.

Court filings also explore Harvard’s little-known Z-list, a sort of back door to admissions.

Harvard is reticent about the Z-list, and much of the information pertaining to it in court papers has been redacted. The list consists of applicants who are borderline academically, the plaintiffs say, but whom Harvard wants to admit. They often have connections. They may be “Z-ed” (yes, a verb) off the wait-list, and are guaranteed admission on the condition that they defer for a year.

Court papers describe a continuing process called “a lop,” which the plaintiffs say is used to shape the demographic profile of the class.

The plaintiffs say that admissions officers then fine-tune the final class using a form that lists five pieces of information about the applicant; they give an example of a form that has spaces for the applicant’s name, LIN (lineage), ETH (ethnicity), ATH (athlete), and HFAI (financial aid).

Along the way, Mr. Fitzsimmons, the dean, consults what are called “ethnic stats,” which he defines as “any statistics that would give us a sense of where we are in the class regarding ethnicity at that moment.” Ethnicity is one of many factors considered in a lop, Mr. Fitzsimmons said in his deposition.

The plaintiffs accuse Harvard of jiggering its selection process to create a remarkably stable racial profile from year to year. This year it admitted a class that was almost 23 percent Asian-American; almost 16 percent African-American; and just over 12 percent Latino. The share of admitted students who are Asian-American has risen from 17.6 percent in 2009, and other minorities have gained in concert.

But if Harvard were race-blind, the plaintiffs say, its freshman class would be about 40 percent Asian-American, like the University of California, Berkeley, a public institution that has to abide by a state ban on racial preferences.

The plaintiffs say that the personal rating — which considers an applicant’s character and personality — is the most insidious of Harvard’s admissions metrics. They say that Asian-Americans are routinely described as industrious and intelligent, but unexceptional and indistinguishable — characterizations that recall painful stereotypes for many people of Asian descent.

In the recently unredacted court filings, several Asian-American applicants were described in conspicuously similar terms. One was described as “busy and bright,” but the “case will look like many others without late info.” Another was “very busy” but “doesn’t go extra mile, thus she looks like many w/ this profile.” Yet another was “bright & busy” but it was “a bit difficult to see what would hold him in during a lop.”

One student was “so very bright but lacking a DE.” DE, the court papers say, stands for “distinguishing excellence.” Another got a backhanded compliment: “hard worker,” but “would she relax and have any fun?”

In Friday’s filing, Harvard countered with examples of its positive assessments of applicants of Nepalese, Tibetan, Vietnamese and Indian descent, who were described with words like “deserving,” “fascinating” and “Tug for BG,” an abbreviation for background. None of the examples the university gave appeared to be of applicants specifically of Chinese or Korean background.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/29/us/harvard-admissions-asian-americans.html

Offline WTTCHMN

  • Certified Irvine Addict
  • ****
  • Thanks
  • -Given: 15
  • -Received: 279
  • Posts: 1734
Re: Harvard records show discrimination against Asian-Americans
« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2018, 07:21:12 PM »
Justice Department sides with Asian-Americans suing Harvard over admissions policy

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/30/us/politics/asian-students-affirmative-action-harvard.html

Offline qwerty

  • Certified Irvine Addict
  • ****
  • Thanks
  • -Given: 2412
  • -Received: 1520
  • Posts: 6990
Re: Harvard records show discrimination against Asian-Americans
« Reply #17 on: August 30, 2018, 08:40:21 PM »
Good luck Asians.

Online zubs

  • Certified Irvine Addict
  • ****
  • Thanks
  • -Given: 61
  • -Received: 326
  • Posts: 1519
Re: Harvard records show discrimination against Asian-Americans
« Reply #18 on: September 17, 2018, 11:21:08 AM »
Today I came across a thread talking about Harvard admissions on reddit.

https://www.reddit.com/r/todayilearned/comments/9gf6y0/til_13_of_harvard_students_are_legacies/

Every few months this type of thread pops up.

Offline WTTCHMN

  • Certified Irvine Addict
  • ****
  • Thanks
  • -Given: 15
  • -Received: 279
  • Posts: 1734

Offline Kings

  • O.C. Resident
  • ***
  • Thanks
  • -Given: 178
  • -Received: 195
  • Posts: 943
Re: Harvard records show discrimination against Asian-Americans
« Reply #20 on: October 17, 2018, 06:21:11 AM »
Harvard’s Uncle Tom:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/16/us/harvard-bill-lee.html

Quote
A ruling against Harvard would send a strong message to institutions schooling the elite that merit should determine the future leaders of American society. A victory for Harvard would vindicate the university’s claim that it is motivated by a quest for an ideal, diverse society.

in other words, a ruling against harvard would send a message that if you work hard you should be rewarded.  a victory for harvard would mean you should "get out of here with your asian privilege"

Offline freedomcm

  • O.C. Resident
  • ***
  • Thanks
  • -Given: 310
  • -Received: 74
  • Posts: 594
Re: Harvard records show discrimination against Asian-Americans
« Reply #21 on: October 17, 2018, 07:25:34 AM »
or that when admitting students to an educational program, you should look at more than just test scores

Offline nosuchreality

  • Certified Irvine Addict
  • ****
  • Thanks
  • -Given: 94
  • -Received: 326
  • Posts: 1539
Re: Harvard records show discrimination against Asian-Americans
« Reply #22 on: October 17, 2018, 07:34:44 AM »
or that when admitting students to an educational program, you should look at more than just test scores


That unfortunately is the crux of the issue.  Harvard had 42,000 applicants. Schools like UCLA are even worse.  Of those applying to Harvard, probably north of 40,000 had test scores and class grades that indicate they could handle the curriculum.

Many want the 2400 test score to be admitted before the kid with 2370 or gasp, a 2200 even though the kid with the 2400 has had four if not more years of SAT boot camps to prepare for the test.

Here's a rather simple question which shows greater merit?  The kid that did several years of SAT prep camps to prepare and achieve a 2400 after multiple test attempts or the kid that achieved a 2200 or even 2000 taking the SAT once? Without attending multiple prep camps?


Offline WTTCHMN

  • Certified Irvine Addict
  • ****
  • Thanks
  • -Given: 15
  • -Received: 279
  • Posts: 1734
Re: Harvard records show discrimination against Asian-Americans
« Reply #23 on: October 17, 2018, 07:57:00 AM »
or that when admitting students to an educational program, you should look at more than just test scores


That unfortunately is the crux of the issue.  Harvard had 42,000 applicants. Schools like UCLA are even worse.  Of those applying to Harvard, probably north of 40,000 had test scores and class grades that indicate they could handle the curriculum.

Many want the 2400 test score to be admitted before the kid with 2370 or gasp, a 2200 even though the kid with the 2400 has had four if not more years of SAT boot camps to prepare for the test.

Here's a rather simple question which shows greater merit?  The kid that did several years of SAT prep camps to prepare and achieve a 2400 after multiple test attempts or the kid that achieved a 2200 or even 2000 taking the SAT once? Without attending multiple prep camps?

Unfortunately, that is NOT the crux of this issue and to state so shows a gross misunderstanding of the case.

The issue at trial is whether Harvard systematically discriminated against Asians.

Yes, Asians in aggregate had higher grades and test scores, but also more extra-curricular activities and leadership roles than other ethnic groups.

Yet, inexplicably, they were uniformly rated lower in "personality" than whites and other ethnicities.

The plantiffs allege that Harvard used this fudge factor to discriminate against Asians and pull down their acceptance rate.

The following member(s) thanked this post:


Offline nosuchreality

  • Certified Irvine Addict
  • ****
  • Thanks
  • -Given: 94
  • -Received: 326
  • Posts: 1539
Re: Harvard records show discrimination against Asian-Americans
« Reply #24 on: October 17, 2018, 08:24:05 AM »
or that when admitting students to an educational program, you should look at more than just test scores


That unfortunately is the crux of the issue.  Harvard had 42,000 applicants. Schools like UCLA are even worse.  Of those applying to Harvard, probably north of 40,000 had test scores and class grades that indicate they could handle the curriculum.

Many want the 2400 test score to be admitted before the kid with 2370 or gasp, a 2200 even though the kid with the 2400 has had four if not more years of SAT boot camps to prepare for the test.

Here's a rather simple question which shows greater merit?  The kid that did several years of SAT prep camps to prepare and achieve a 2400 after multiple test attempts or the kid that achieved a 2200 or even 2000 taking the SAT once? Without attending multiple prep camps?

Unfortunately, that is NOT the crux of this issue and to state so shows a gross misunderstanding of the case.

The issue at trial is whether Harvard systematically discriminated against Asians.

Yes, Asians in aggregate had higher grades and test scores, but also more extra-curricular activities and leadership roles than other ethnic groups.

Yet, inexplicably, they were uniformly rated lower in "personality" than whites and other ethnicities.

The plantiffs allege that Harvard used this fudge factor to discriminate against Asians and pull down their acceptance rate.

Formulaic is not personality.  Following a checklist is neither original nor personality.

Seriously, look at Uni high and all the resume padding clubs.  That's what they really are, resume padding clubs.

Unfortunately, that means the people coming to interview the kids at Uni or the other area schools see a bunch of high achieving grinders that look very similar. 


Seriously, how many of the kids that graduated from Uni last year had the chops to actually do the curriculum at Harvard?  Each of them is a unique and precious California flower. 

« Last Edit: October 17, 2018, 08:35:02 AM by nosuchreality »

Offline misme

  • Tourist
  • *
  • Thanks
  • -Given: 17
  • -Received: 19
  • Posts: 75
Re: Harvard records show discrimination against Asian-Americans
« Reply #25 on: October 17, 2018, 08:35:31 AM »
or that when admitting students to an educational program, you should look at more than just test scores


That unfortunately is the crux of the issue.  Harvard had 42,000 applicants. Schools like UCLA are even worse.  Of those applying to Harvard, probably north of 40,000 had test scores and class grades that indicate they could handle the curriculum.

Many want the 2400 test score to be admitted before the kid with 2370 or gasp, a 2200 even though the kid with the 2400 has had four if not more years of SAT boot camps to prepare for the test.

Here's a rather simple question which shows greater merit?  The kid that did several years of SAT prep camps to prepare and achieve a 2400 after multiple test attempts or the kid that achieved a 2200 or even 2000 taking the SAT once? Without attending multiple prep camps?

there seems to be an unspoken assumption in this post and other posts that:

1) the only thing that Asian kids have going for them is high grades and test scores
2) the only reason why these high achieving Asian kids have these high test scores is because they went through years of SAT prep classes, giving them an unfair advantage and not a true representation of their abilities.
3) Asian kids come from rich families that are able to give them an unfair leg up with prep classes, tutoring, etc.

Wrong.

1) The Harvard applications of Asian kids have been shown to be higher achieving not only on academics but also extracurricular achievement. And on academics, its not just SAT and other standardized test scores, but other forms of academic achievement. Doing original research, getting published, winning national competitions, etc.  It is only through the use of "personality'' scorings that Harvard has managed to dock  their applications. Hmm, how much more subjective can you get? Believe me, you would be shocked at the way people talk when it comes time to discuss applicants at alumni interview committee. "this kid is incredible--how can they do it? They must be a robot, or have no social skills, because otherwise where do they find the time to do all this?" Again, lumping all Asians into one monolithic category.  It is beyond a doubt that Asian kids are held to a higher standard when we discuss the merits of individual applicants in committee. Sometimes it is very hard for an Asian high achiever to stand out as memorable from all the other superachievers, even from the perspective of an Asian alumni interviewer.

2)  Not all Asian kids are privileged and not all of them do years and years of test prep cramming. People here in Orange County have a skewed perception of the Asian population when the news keeps on harping about rich Chinese buying million dollar houses for cash so their kids can attend Irvine schools. But in reality, Asians are not a homogeneous monolithic group and there are plenty from working class families, refugees, etc that are unfairly getting lumped in with the "model minority" and being subjected to the same handicap on their applications due to an assumption of privilege.  People sometimes equate "Asian" to East Asian Chinese, Koreans and Japanese, but actually, there's a lot of South East Asians and Pacific islanders that do not fit that stereotype.


I'm for affirmative action on the basis of socioeconomic factors, not race.
I'm also for dismantling legacy admissions privilege, even though my own kids would benefit from that.

There is no reason why an African American or Latino kid from an upper/upper middle class family should be given a boost over a poor/working class white or Asian kid, unless we are all OK with open and blatant racial quotas. 

Interestingly, a significant proportion of the black and Latino kids I knew at Harvard were from educated upper middle class families, or were international students (parents were powerful, well connected business people or politicians in their home countries). So the idea of affirmative action as "pay back" for historical inequities of slavery/discrimination in the United States is not exactly being put to use in the fashion it was designed for. But you better believe that it allowed Harvard to check off their "diversity box" when publishing their statistics on their incoming class.

Anyway, Harvard is over-rated, especially on the West Coast and even more so in SoCal.

 







Offline Kings

  • O.C. Resident
  • ***
  • Thanks
  • -Given: 178
  • -Received: 195
  • Posts: 943
Re: Harvard records show discrimination against Asian-Americans
« Reply #26 on: October 17, 2018, 09:33:47 AM »
easy solution here folks: remove race from college admissions applications. 

Offline bones

  • Certified Irvine Addict
  • ****
  • Thanks
  • -Given: 190
  • -Received: 1068
  • Posts: 4361
Re: Harvard records show discrimination against Asian-Americans
« Reply #27 on: October 17, 2018, 09:59:09 AM »
easy solution here folks: remove race from college admissions applications. 

Everyone should just be a Jane Doe or John Doe.  But of course leave the legacy tags :)

The following member(s) thanked this post:


Offline bones

  • Certified Irvine Addict
  • ****
  • Thanks
  • -Given: 190
  • -Received: 1068
  • Posts: 4361
Re: Harvard records show discrimination against Asian-Americans
« Reply #28 on: October 17, 2018, 10:27:39 AM »

Formulaic is not personality.  Following a checklist is neither original nor personality.

Seriously, look at Uni high and all the resume padding clubs.  That's what they really are, resume padding clubs.

Unfortunately, that means the people coming to interview the kids at Uni or the other area schools see a bunch of high achieving grinders that look very similar. 


Seriously, how many of the kids that graduated from Uni last year had the chops to actually do the curriculum at Harvard?  Each of them is a unique and precious California flower. 



I try not to blanket the kids I interview.  But due to where I live, they're all Irvine Asian kids.  In the decade or so since I've been doing this, most of them are pretty "unremarkable", "unmemorable" and "boring".  But every year, I interview one or two Irvine Asian kids that are above and beyond.  I can usually tell within minutes of meeting them, and it must also come across loud and clear in their application materials, because they're the ones that always get in.

I suppose the argument here is "would the other dozen or so "unremarkable" kids have gotten in if they weren't asian?".  I have no idea, but I wasn't that impressed so I can't see why the application committees would be. 


Offline eyephone

  • Certified Irvine Addict
  • ****
  • Thanks
  • -Given: 287
  • -Received: 554
  • Posts: 9018
Re: Harvard records show discrimination against Asian-Americans
« Reply #29 on: October 17, 2018, 10:30:48 AM »
Let’s cut the games. It’s what the donor base wants.

 

Talk Irvine Links

[Recent Posts]
[FAQ / Rules]

Site Supporters


Related Links

Recent Posts