For Immediate Release
September 26, 2018
Livingston, New Jersey: This morning, the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) notified Asian American Coalition for Education (AACE) that it is launching an investigation into Yale University’s discriminatory admissions practices against Asian-American applicants in response to the AACE-initiated complaint filed on May 23, 2016. The OCR is conducting this investigation jointly with the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division (CRD).
As the organization that united 132 Asian American organizations nationwide in filing the 2016 civil rights complaint against Yale University, AACE issues the following statement applauding the OCR and CRD’s joint investigation and urging all American colleges to treat Asian American applicants fairly and lawfully.
The Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees that all American citizens are under the equal protection of the laws. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits racial discrimination by federally funded programs and institutions. Relevant U.S. Supreme Court rulings have specifically banned uses of racial quotas, racial stereotypes and higher standards to unduly harm applicants of any racial groups during college admissions.
However, compelling evidence indicates that Yale University and many other selective colleges in the U.S. fail to comply with these laws. On the contrary, they have applied de facto racial quotas, racial stereotypes and higher admissions standards to discriminate against Asian American applicants. After extracurricular activities and other factors are adjusted, an Asian-American applicant has to score on average 140, 270 and 450 points higher than a white student, a Hispanic student and a black student on the SAT, respectively, in order to enjoy the same chances of admissions. Such blatant and widespread discrimination against Asian American children needs to be stopped.
Unfortunately, after mounting evidence of Harvard’s anti-Asian racial discrimination was revealed by Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) during its lawsuit against Harvard University, Yale University and a few other elite American universities still refused to abandon their discriminatory admissions practices modeled after Harvard. Instead, they jointly filed an Amicus Brief on July 30, 2018 supporting Harvard’s anti-Asian discrimination under a convenient pretense of diversity. Yale’s action indicates that only vigorous enforcement of laws by the federal government can deter Yale and other selective colleges from infringing upon Asian American children’s civil rights.
Asian American communities are pleased to see that the Trump Administration has taken several concrete steps to provide Asian-American children with the equal protection of the laws. Last November, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) started to investigate Harvard’s admissions practices as a direct result of the AACE-led civil rights complaint against Harvard in May 2015. On July 3, 2018, the Trump Administration adopted AACE policy recommendations on college admissions by rescinding seven policy documents that promoted racial balancing in postsecondary education. In August 2018, DOJ issued United States’ Statement of Interests in support of Students for Fair Admissions’ lawsuit against Harvard University. Today, we are very heartened to learn that the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice are launching a joint investigation into Yale University’s discriminatory practices against Asian American students.
Mr. Yukong Zhao, the president of AACE said: “As one of the smallest racial groups who has marginal political power, Asian American communities are truly grateful to the Trump Administration for protecting our children’s constitutional rights. OCR’s investigation of Yale University sends a strong message to many other American colleges: Please stop your unlawful admission practices and treat Asian American students fairly and lawfully. Asian Americans follow the laws, work hard, and make tremendous contributions to American economic prosperity and technological leadership in the world. Our children deserve to have equal rights to pursue their American dreams!”
Asian American Coalition for Education
About the AACE: www.asianamericanforeducation.org
Asian American Coalition for Education (AACE) is a non-political, nonprofit, grassroots national organization, the proven leader in fighting for Asian-American children’s equal educational rights.
On May 23, 2016, the founders of AACE united 132 Asian-American organizations and jointly filed a civil rights violation complaint with the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice against Yale University’s discriminatory admissions practices against Asian Americans. This complaint is now being investigated by the Justice Department. Over the years, we have advanced the cause of educational equality for the Asian American community. In July 2018, the federal government adopted our policy recommendations by rescinding Obama era guidance that promoted racial balancing and acquiesced to racial discrimination in college admissions.