Asian American Coalition for Education Welcomes DOJ’s Plan to Investigate Harvard

By | August 4, 2017

For Immediate Release

August 4, 2017

Asian American Coalition for Education (AACE) is very pleased to learn that the U.S. Department of Justice is considering a civil-rights-violation investigation into the admissions processes of Harvard and other Ivy League colleges for their alleged discrimination against Asian American students. This is a direct and very positive response to the complaint AACE filed in 2015, representing 64 Asian American organizations nationwide.

In our complaint, we have compiled overwhelming evidence that Harvard and other Ivy League colleges have been using de facto racial quotas, racial stereotypes and higher admissions standards to discriminate against Asian American applicants. After adjusting for extracurricular activities and other factors, Asian-Americans have to score on average 140 points higher than a White student, 270 points higher than a Hispanic student and 450 points higher than a Black student on the SAT, in order to get into America’s top universities.

These discrimination are a clear violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fourteenth Amendment of the U. S. Constitution, as well as relevant U.S. Supreme Court Rulings. It is one of the biggest civil rights issues that Asian Americans are facing today.

Since 2006, in the face of such severe discrimination, many Asian American students and organizations have filed complaints with the Department of Education and the Department of Justice. However, over the last ten years, the prior administrations have not conducted objective investigation into these complaints. Today, we are very encouraged that the Trump Administration will start looking into this issue, providing Asian American students with equal protection under the laws.

Mr. Yukong Zhao, the president of AACE said: “It is long overdue to the Asian American community, who follows the laws, works hard and has been making tremendous contribution to American economic prosperity and technology leadership in the world. We expect that the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education will take concrete actions to help restore the spirit of American Dream: reward individual efforts and merits, and treat all individuals equally.”

He also pointed out: “The purpose of our complaint is to eliminate all unlawful discrimination against our children. We believe the fundamental way to achieve diversity is to reduce achievement gap in K-12 education, not through illegal racial balancing during college admissions. We would also support a socioeconomic status based policy if it effectively helps low-income families.”

Finally, AACE wants to express our sincere appreciation to all participating Asian American organizations, volunteers and other supporters from all over the nation!

Asian American Coalition for Education


Swann Lee,, (617) 906-6682