Jennifer Gratz points to a superb recent OpEd in the San Jose Mercury News by Michael Wang, a sophomore at Williams College who has filed a discrimination complaint against Yale, Princeton, and Stanford with the U.S. Department of Education.
Read the whole thing, but here’s a brief excerpt:
I grew up in a Chinese-American family in Union City, where my parents are educators and encouraged me to pursue my interests broadly. I sing and play the piano. My choir performed at the San Francisco Opera and President Obama’s first inauguration.
I founded the math club at my high school, James Logan, and debated in tournaments throughout the West Coast. I took the most challenging classes in school and graduated in the top 0.5 percent of my class. I got a perfect 36 on the ACT and 2230 on the SAT. I wanted to study international relations and become an ambassador.
I was rejected by Yale, Princeton and Stanford.
My disappointment turned into anger when I learned that Asian-Americans are being held to higher admissions standards by the selective schools. We have been the fastest growing minority group in America, and yet our presence on some Ivy League campuses has declined in the last 20 years.
A 2009 study found that Asian-Americans were admitted at the lowest rate of any racial group. For Asian-American applicants to have an equal chance of getting into an elite private college, we had to score 140 points higher than whites on the SATs, 270 points higher than Latinos and 310 points higher than blacks.
Actually, Mr. Wang understated the degree to which the deck is stacked against Asian-American applicants. He is referring to data presented by Princeton sociologist Thomas Espenshade, which I discussed at some length here. Here’s the data quoted there about the relative disadvantage:
In 2005 … Thomas Espenshade, a Princeton sociologist … , and a colleague published an article demonstrating that if affirmative action were eliminated across the nation “Asian students would fill nearly four out of every five places in the admitted class not taken by African-American and Hispanic students, with an acceptance rate rising from nearly 18 percent to more than 23 percent.” In a 2009 Inside Higher Ed article based on his book, No Longer Separate, Not Yet Equal: Race and Class in Elite College Admission and Campus Life, Espenshade and another colleague wrote that
[c]ompared to white applicants at selective private colleges and universities, black applicants receive an admission boost that is equivalent to 310 SAT points, measured on an all-other-things-equal basis. The boost for Hispanic candidates is equal on average to 130 SAT points. Asian applicants face a 140 point SAT disadvantage.
Thus Espenshade’s data, as I stated here, “shows that at selective private colleges and universities black applicants receive an admission boost equivalent to 450 points on the SAT compared to similarly qualified Asian applicants,” not the 310 points stated by Mr. Wang.
I hope representatives of Yale, Princeton, and Stanford are called on to explain why young Mr. Wang was not admitted. Perhaps one or all of them could muster the chutzpah to explain that, since everyone knows Asians are supposed to be so good at math, the fact that he made an arithmetic error in his OpEd reveals that he did not deserve admission.