6 months ago
Admissions Advice

Does affirmative action hurt Asians admissions to college?

What is your understanding and does it hurt Asians?


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3 answers

Accepted Answer
6 months ago[edited]

There is no definitive and conclusive study that proves that affirmative action hurts Asians across the board.

What is known is that AA does give a boost to BIPOC applicants and depending on how the school's individual policies are, as an Asian you might get a boost or might not be included in that applicant pool. I even read that in California for example, the UC schools were considering labeling Asians as White Caucasians for admissions since so many apply to UCLA, Berkeley, etc.

BIPOC essentially means anyone who is not White.


In the case of Ivy league or top elite schools, Asians admit still account for a disproportionate amount of matriculated students compared to the percentage of the population they represent. At Harvard and Columbia, Asians account for nearly 25% of the class or about 4.5 times the 5.6% of the US population. Nevertheless, some Asian groups think that 25% is an unfair number and that there should be no limit to how many Asians are accepted at these private colleges. Both Harvard and Yale have been sued but I think the court did not find and obvious discriminatory practices. There was a lot of focus on Asian personality or character traits which are subjective in these lawsuits whereby those who bring forth the lawsuits were stating that some Asian applicants were superior in their stats and ECS yet got rejected so it must be because of their heritage as Asians or personality traits during the interview process. But after sifting through tens of thousands of admission records and scorecards, the court decided that there was no obvious policy to limit Asians' access to the best Ivies. In my guesstimation, I think that Ivys being private institutions have the right to decide if they want to admit someone based on both academics and non-quantitative measures that they can make up for themselves. However, State colleges or Community colleges should make it as level as a playing field for everyone since they serve the community.

Attending an Ivy is like applying to a private golf club. If you know someone and pay a lot of money to gain access, you can cut the line. But there is really no recourse to the family that wants to attend who gets denied because the membership committee just didn't think they were a good fit for them. This is a reality we all have to deal with in life whether we are hoping to date someone, get an internship, be hired for a job, or be elected for a political position.


6 months ago

It really depends on the college, and this doesn't have to do with affirmative action itself, but a lot of colleges will have higher standards for Asian students when it comes to GPA and test scores.

6 months ago[edited]

So warning this doesn’t focus on AA but does focus on why Asians and Caucasians to a lesser extent have a lower admit rate.

So I do agree with affirmative action not purposely lowing admit rates. The huge thing to note is all people have inherent bias (this is found everywhere) so the same AO may just like one applicant better than the other but the reasons Asians have lower admit rates is very broadly institutional priorities.

These can be broken down to what a organization wants to focus on. This may be diversity in race, geographic residence, diversity in activities. I’ll focus on the first one it very broadly and kinda inaccurately boils down to Id want a POC admired over an Asian student or something like that.

Then there is the realitivr fact that very broadly Asians as an ethnic group have higher stats so thus a higher bar to entry. That doesn’t affect others as you largely are weighed against those of a similar background. Collegevine chancing engine does this approach.

Really hope this helps and feel free to comment if you’s like clarification as I’d be more than happy to help!

POC=Person of Color which refers to African Americans and Hispanics and natives to a lesser extent.


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