AACE Welcomes Justice Department’s Lawsuit against Yale for Its Racial Discrimination in College Admissions

By | October 9, 2020

For Immediate Release 

October 9, 2020 

Livingston, New Jersey: On October 8, 2020, the U.S. Justice Department filed a lawsuit against Yale University for unlawful admissions practices that unduly hurt Asian-American applicants. The Asian American Coalition for Education (AACE) applauds the U.S. Government’s legal and administrative actions to safeguard equal education rights for all American students, regardless of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin.

According to the investigation and the subsequent lawsuit by the US Department of Justice , Yale University violated Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act by discriminating against Asian-American and white applicants. Furthermore, the Justice Department pursued legal actions after Yale failed to voluntarily comply with CRD’s request for refraining from using race or national origin in its current admissions cycle. In the legal filing, a civil rights compliant launched by (AACE) in May 2016 on behalf of 132 Asian-American organizations is referenced as what prompted DOJ to take legal actions against Yale.

In AACE’s May 2016 civil-rights complaint, we have shown compelling evidence that Yale and other selective U.S. colleges have applied de facto racial quotas, racial stereotypes and higher admissions standards to discriminate against Asian American applicants. On September 26th, 2018, the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) notified AACE that it launched an investigation into Yale University’s discriminatory admissions practices against Asian-American applicants, along with DOJ. This recent lawsuit further confirms that Yale University, while benefiting from federal funds, illegally applies the race factor in multiple steps of its admissions process. It alleges that “(f)or Black and Asian applicants, and possibly others, Yale uses race to keep the percentage of the admitted applicants within a very narrow range in order to ensure a racially-balanced student body.”

Since it receives over $600 million in federal taxpayer funding annually, Yale was demanded by the Justice Department to refrain from using race or national origin in its 2020-2021 admissions cycle and submit a plan that demonstrates it strictly observes all federal laws and the principle of narrow tailoring in its admissions program. In the face of Yale’s longstanding history of racial discrimination and refusal to redress the issue, the Justice Department has stepped up to strictly enforce Title VI and protect our nation’s highest ideal that we are all equal under the law. This timely development solidifies a major milestone in the Asian-American community’s courageous fight to defend the American creed of equality and merit.

AACE President Mr. Yukong Zhao said: “All American children should be judged by their merits and the content of their character, not the color of their skin! We are grateful that the Federal Government has taken additional actions to enforce the Civil Rights Act clause for equal protection of the law, especially the equal rights of Asian-American children who have been long scapegoated by racial preferences in education. Politicians who have instituted failing policies in too many black and Hispanic communities, not hardworking Asian-American children, should be blamed for the persistent racial achievement gaps. We will continue to monitor Yale University, other selective U.S. colleges and school districts across the country against blatant discrimination against Asian-American children!”


Dr. Wenyuan Wu, telephone: (786) 393-8028, email: admin@asianamericanforeducation.org.

Ms. Swann Lee, telephone: (617) 651-1328, email: swanleeca@gmail.com.

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. In May 2015, the founders of AACE united 64 Asian-American organizations and jointly filed a civil rights complaint with the Department of Education (DOE) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to request that they conduct investigations into Harvard University’s discriminatory admissions practices against Asian-American applicants. In 2016, AACE united more than 130 organizations and filed another civil-rights complaint against Yale University, which triggered DOJ’s investigation and current lawsuit. Over the years, we have advanced the cause of equal education rights for the Asian-American community.