The US government just found Princeton actually doesn't discriminate against Asians


Princeton University Students Graduation Campus

AP Photo/Mel Evans

Some of the members of Princeton University's class of 2011 listen to speakers Monday, May 30, 2011, in Princeton, N.J. , during the school's Class Day celebration.

There is insufficient evidence to find that Princeton University discriminated against Asian or Asian-American student applicants, the Department of Education announced in a letter released Wednesday.


The Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights, the letter states, "found no evidence of the University giving an automatic 'plus' for identifying as a particular race or national origin; nor did OCR find evidence of applicants given an automatic 'minus' for belonging to a particular race or national origin."

Rather, the investigation found, race was used as one part of a holistic review of student applicants.

Princeton had been under investigation by OCR for years, stemming from two federal complaints that the Ivy League university was discriminating on the basis of race.

"One claim came from a student originally from China who was waitlisted in 2006 and said students from other backgrounds with similar credentials got in," the Associated Press reports. "The other came from the parents of a student of Indian descent who was rejected in 2010; that claim asserted the university discriminated generally against Asian and Indian applicants."


Potential discimination against Asians and Asian-Americans has emerged as a major concern in the past year. Currently, both Harvard University and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill are the subject of lawsuits accusing the schools of discriminating against Asian-American students in their undergraduate admissions policies.

Asian-American students may be at a distinct disadvantage when applying to highly competitive colleges, according to Sara Harberson, a former Ivy League admissions dean.

"For example, there's an expectation that Asian-Americans will be the highest test scorers and at the top of their class; anything less can become an easy reason for a denial," Harberson wrote in an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times in June. "In the end, holistic admissions can allow for a gray zone of bias at elite institutions, working against a group such as Asian Americans that excels in the black-and-white world of academic achievement."