Asians and Princeton Admissions

Asians and Princeton, Princeton Asian Applicants, Princeton Discrimination

The U.S. Department of Education may have cleared Princeton of discriminating against Asian American and Asian applicants but their investigation points to some interesting evidence worth noting.

We recently wrote about how the United States Department of Education, as expected, cleared Princeton of claims that the school demonstrated bias towards Asian American and Asian applicants to the university. As you may know from reading our blog, it is our firm and unwavering assertion that all highly selective colleges — and Princeton should by no means be singled out as an exception — discriminate against Asian American and Asian applicants (and, yes, this includes Indian American and Indian applicants, too). It’s not right. It’s downright wrong. And we’ve lifted our voice, calling on highly selective colleges to do better. We will continue to lift our voice on this issue.

Along these lines, there’s an interesting piece in “Business Insider” by Peter Jacobs entitled “Ivy League school’s admissions officers relied on cultural stereotypes, US investigation finds” that we wanted to share with our readers. Because even though Princeton was cleared of wrongdoing in this matter, there were some very interesting findings in the U.S. Department of Education’s investigation into the claim. As reported by Mr. Jacobs, the Department of Education examined notes by admissions officers on reader cards, notes that read like this: “Applicant is a bit of a puzzle. He was very likeable when I met him, but very hard to know. Perhaps HK [Hong Kong] cultural background and family background means he’s a tad guarded, but there was a quirkiness I found endearing … Not sure he would s.o. [stand out] among the HK crowd. Tough to take over some others at this point.”

And this: “Well, she’s bright, meticulous, and has been successful at [secondary school]; distinction in ELA and has more creativity and open mind than most from Singapore (from her [school] experience).” And this: “Even by Singaporean standards of taciturn, I’m not getting the sense that [the applicant] is a favorite @ [secondary school]. All admire her high music ability & eagerness for learning, but when they call her driven, it almost comes across as a character flaw (or perhaps it’s seen as such bc it’s for an interest in music).”

Are you starting to get the idea how admissions officers stereotype Asian American and Asian applicants? It’s quite obvious to us. Is it as obvious to you? Indeed any suggestion that highly selective colleges don’t discriminate against Asian American and Asian applicants can be rejected on the basis of these very comments on reader cards.

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