Press Release: AACE Urges the U.S. Department of Education Investigate the Appalling Discrimination against Stanley Zhong

By | October 30, 2023

Press Release:

AACE Urges the U.S. Department of Education Investigate the Appalling Discrimination against Stanley Zhong

Livingston, New Jersey: On October 30, 2023, the Asian American Coalition for Education (AACE), a national organization that advocates for equal rights and opportunities in education, sent a letter to Ms. Catherine Lhamon, Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, urging the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) to take immediate action to address the appalling discrimination endured by Stanley Zhong.

Stanley Zhong has a remarkable academic, programming, and entrepreneurial record. He has an unweighted GPA of 3.97, has an SAT score of 1590, and is a National Merit Scholarship finalist. In addition, he was a finalist of major global programming competitions, such as the Google Code Jam Coding Contest and the MIT Battlecode. He also created an e-signature startup,, which has grown to tens of thousands of users organically and received much recognition, to include from Amazon Web Services. On the philanthropic side, Stanley also co-founded a non-profit that brought free coding lessons to more than 500 students in underserved communities in California, Washington, and Texas. With his extraordinary talent, Google hired him as an L4 software engineer, a position typically offered to candidates that are college graduates with multiple years of professional experience.

However, Stanley was unfairly rejected by sixteen American colleges, including California Polytechnic State University, University of Wisconsin, University of Washington, University of Illinois, University of Michigan, Georgia Institute of Technology, California Institute of Technology, Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University, Cornell University, and as well as the five University of California colleges listed in the complaint filed by Ms. Yun Luo, Stanley Zhong’s mother: UC Santa Barbara, UC Davis, UC San Diego, UCLA and UC Berkeley.

Using the holistic criteria advocated by American colleges, Stanley Zhong is obviously an exceptional applicant. He would have been admitted by most colleges he applied to if he were black or Hispanic. As an Asian, he was rejected by most colleges as result of their illegal racial diversity and equity programs.

Regarding the University of California System, which Ms. Yun Luo filed a complaint against, it faced a lawsuit in 2018 by UCLA professor Richard Sander for its alleged anti-Asian discrimination in college admissions. UCLA’s late distinguished sociologist, Robert D. Mare, also documented persistent anti-Asian bias in UCLA’s admissions process, in his report titled “Holistic Review in Freshman Admissions at the University of California—Los Angeles 2009-2011 Update.”

What Dr. Mare uncovered at UCLA may only be a glimpse of the bigger picture, since the University of California System uses the same admissions standards for all its campuses. In 2021, the University of California system even scrapped standardized testing to pursue “racial equity.” By removing this objective admissions factor, the University of California could intensify its hidden discrimination against Asian-American applicants, like Stanley Zhong, who are seen as an “over-represented” racial group in their view of racial equity.

Mr. Yukong Mike Zhao, the president of AACE said: “It is un-American for so many universities to deny Stanley Zhong’s enrollment simply because he was born with the ‘wrong race.’ Asian American communities are outraged by such appalling racial discrimination against Stanley. On January 26, 2021, in his Memorandum Condemning and Combating Racism, Xenophobia, and Intolerance Against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States, President Biden promised ‘to prevent discrimination, bullying, harassment, and hate crimes against AAPI individuals.’ It’s the time for OCR to fulfill President Biden’s promise by conducting a comprehensive investigation into Stanley Zhong’s case!”

Links:  1. AACE Letter to OCR 10302023;

  1. Holistic Review in Freshman Admissions at UCLA 2009-2011 Update.

Asian American Coalition for Education


 About the AACE:

Asian American Coalition for Education (AACE) is a non-political, nonprofit, grassroots national alliance with over 300 partnering organizations nationwide. Since 2015, AACE have been mobilizing Asian communities to stand firmly behind SFFA and exposed the Ivy League college’s anti-Asian discrimination on the national stage. Over the last eight years, AACE teamed up with over 360 Asian American organizations, organized the Boston Rally in 2018 and “Equal Education for All” rally in 2022, encouraged Asian American students to join SFFA’s lawsuits, and filed five amicus briefs. Besides supporting SFFA, we have advanced the cause of equal education rights for the Asian-American community in many other areas, including federal adoption of AACE policy recommendation on college admissions in July 2018, federal lawsuit against Yale University in 2020, support to Asian Americans’ fights for equal education rights in Maryland, New York, Washington, California, Massachusetts and other states. AACE is the proven leader in fighting for Asian-American children’s equal educational rights.