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Sunday, July 08, 2018

國會議員亞太小組要求和哈佛大學晤談入學許可過程

CAPAC Requests Meeting with Harvard University to Discuss Admissions Process

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) sent a letter to Harvard University President Lawrence Bacow requesting a meeting to discuss Harvard’s admissions process. The letter follows recent allegations that Asian American students are rated lower in certain admissions categories than other applicants. While CAPAC supports the lawful use of race as one of many factors that colleges and universities may consider in the higher education admissions process, the letter highlights the importance to ensure that racial quotas are not being factored into admissions criteria.

“As Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), we write to request a meeting with you to discuss Harvard University’s admissions process in light of reports of alleged discrimination against Asian American applicants that were brought to our attention through the Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College case,” the Members wrote.

We have long supported efforts to promote diversity in higher education, including the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, which upholds the use of race as one of many factors that colleges and universities may consider in their admissions process.  However, we strongly oppose the use of racial quotas to cap the educational opportunities of specific racial or ethnic groups in the higher education admissions process,” they continued.

In addition to requesting a meeting with President Bacow, the letter requests Harvard University to provide more information on how certain applicants – including the children of alumni and donors – are prioritized in the admissions process and to explain the findings of an internal Harvard review, which found potential evidence of bias against Asian American applicants.

The letter concluded by saying: “It is our goal to ensure that every American who works hard is able to achieve the American Dream through enrollment at a university or college of their choice.  The key to this is transparency and the commitment to expanded higher education access, opportunity, and success for all.”


TEXT OF LETTER

July 6, 2018

President Lawrence Bacow
Office of the President
Harvard University
Massachusetts Hall
Cambridge, MA 02138

Dear President Bacow:

As Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), we write to request a meeting with you to discuss Harvard University’s admissions process in light of reports of alleged discrimination against Asian American applicants that were brought to our attention through the Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College case.  We believe that access to higher education plays a pivotal role in building a strong middle class and providing the foundation for millions of young people to achieve the American Dream.  Our caucus supports transparency, diversity, and opportunity for all in the higher education admissions process.  We have long supported efforts to promote diversity in higher education, including the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, which upholds the use of race as one of many factors that colleges and universities may consider in their admissions process. 

Admissions policies that promote diversity help to level the playing field for underrepresented communities by encouraging institutions to consider a variety of admissions criteria, including the distinct barriers that student applicants have overcome.  In fact, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) students have directly benefited from efforts to increase diversity in higher education.  This is particularly evident within the Southeast Asian community, where 40% of Hmong, 38% of Laotian, and 35% of Cambodian Americans do not complete high school, let alone attain a college degree.  This is also true for many in the Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander community, where 47% of Guamanians, 50% of Native Hawaiians, 54% of Tongans, and 58% of Samoans who enter college leave without earning a degree.  These educational disparities highlight why it is important to expand opportunities to higher education and promote diverse learning environments that help AAPI students and other underrepresented communities succeed.

However, we strongly oppose the use of racial quotas to cap the educational opportunities of specific racial or ethnic groups in the higher education admissions process.  In August 2015, CAPAC wrote to the Department of Education and the Department of Justice that transparency in the admissions process is paramount to ensuring that upper-limit quotas are not being used to discriminate against any racial or ethnic group, including Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.  Not only is the use of racial quotas concerning, but it is also unlawful under established legal precedent.  We strongly believe that the public would benefit from more information regarding the distinction between upper-limit quotas, which are unconstitutional, and holistic race-sensitive admissions policies, which are constitutional.  Unfortunately, these distinctions are not always apparent. 

In order to ensure that we have a better understanding of Harvard’s current admissions process, we request a written response to the following questions:

  1. Media reports have highlighted that the children of Harvard graduates – or legacy students – are disproportionately Caucasian and wealthy.  What percentage of students admitted to Harvard University for the 2017-2018 academic year were classified as having legacy status?  For the same year, what is Harvard University’s admissions rate for legacy students versus non-legacy students?  Additionally, for the same year, what percentage of admitted students with legacy status were students of color?

  1. Does Harvard prioritize applicants with certain “tags” – such as whether the applicant is a recruited athlete, a legacy student, or the child of well-connected donors – over others?  If so, how does the use of such “tags” impact overall diversity in the admissions process?

  1. According to the motion for summary judgment filed by Students for Fair Admissions, Harvard’s alumni admissions interviewers gave Asian American applicants personal ratings comparable to those of white applicants, whereas your institution’s Office of Admissions and Financial Aid scored Asian American applicants lower than all other racial groups on the same measure.[1]  What accounts for this disparity?  Does Harvard find that a noticeable disparity exists between personal ratings given by alumni interviewers and the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid for any other racial group?

  1. In 2013, Harvard’s Office of Institutional Research (OIR) conducted an internal review of Harvard’s admissions policies that revealed bias against Asian American students.  A former OIR employee testified that these findings pointed to intentional discrimination. What steps, if any, has Harvard taken to address these claims of bias against Asian Americans in the admissions process?

It is our goal to ensure that every American who works hard is able to achieve the American Dream through enrollment at a university or college of their choice.  The key to this is transparency and the commitment to expanded higher education access, opportunity, and success for all.

We thank you for your attention to this important matter and look forward to hearing from you.


Sincerely,

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