Are there Ivy League ethnic quotas? There was a great article recently in “The Brown Daily Herald” by Mark Valdez entitled, “U. refutes claims of ethnic quotas.” In the article, the highly respected Dean of Admissions at Brown University weighs in on whether or not Brown has an Asian quota in their admissions process. According to the article, “‘The Asian American applicant pool has grown in concert with the pool generally. We can control who we admit,’ Miller said. ‘What we can’t control is who shows up.'” At Ivy Coach, we’ve written for years about how Asian Americans and Asians applying to attend highly selective colleges in the United States face discrimination in the admissions process. We’ve offered tons of tips to these applicants on how they can circumvent the discrimination that is ingrained in the admissions process. While we greatly respect Brown’s Dean of Admission, we can’t help but disagree with the notion that Brown — and other highly selective universities in the United States — doesn’t discriminate against Asian and Asian American applicants (whether knowingly or unknowingly).
Jim Miller asserts in the article in the Brown newspaper that he has never done an SAT differential between the overall applicant pool to the university and the Asian as well as Asian American subgroup of applicants. We think that this says quite a bit. How can anyone be so sure that there isn’t discrimination against a minority group if they don’t analyze the data? It’s not that difficult to run a linear regression. Aggregate the SAT scores of every non-Asian and non-Asian American student. Aggregate the SAT scores of all Asian and Asian American applicants to Brown. Compare the data of the two subgroups. What’s the harm in looking at the data?
We don’t by any means intend to single out Brown University as Brown isn’t the only highly selective university to make it more difficult for Asian and Asian American students to gain admission. And we’re sure that Jim Miller has the best of intentions and what he is saying is admirable. All we’re saying is to look at the data. If it turns out that the data suggests Asian and Asian American students don’t face discrimination at Brown, we will write post after post about how this is the case. Our belief that Asian and Asian American students do face discrimination in the highly selective college admissions process is based on intuition, on years of experience with the admissions process. So it’s not like our claim is based on data either. We don’t have that subgroup data. Brown and other highly selective colleges do have it. All we’re saying is — let’s see it. Only then can we put this argument to bed. Or not!