Harvard lawsuit shows a crooked path to equality

December 29, 2018

The lawsuit against Harvard has proven that a big problem with affirmative action has been its continued use by institutions to justify prioritizing some minority rights over others. We think that policies which promote diversity are universally good, but when they transcend putting the successes of some minorities over others, there is clearly a flaw in the path towards equality.

Many Asian-Americans excel and overachieve all over the nation, and it often doesn’t go unnoticed by their peers and postsecondary institutions. However, the level of achievement many Asian-American students strive towards might not be enough for these students to gain admission into competitive schools, as shown in Harvard’s own admissions.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the trial revealed that Harvard considers a “personal factor” in their admissions, in which applicants are rated in a way that is almost completely up to the admissions officer. This, however, serves to deeply hurt Asian-American students’ admissions. Harvard’s own study of admissions shows that while Asian-applicants’ academic and extracurricular ratings in admissions far surpass those of other groups, their personal ratings are much lower.

The stereotype of an Asian-American student, as a child who only studies and does nothing else, and their “tiger” parents who get extremely upset when they come home with something less than an “A” grade, is put into a new light. Considering affirmative action, this type of trend among Asian families is not only reasonable: it’s required. An Asian student has to excel far past their white, black and Hispanic peers in order to have the same chance of admission to an elite school and their parents have to go above and beyond to give them that chance.

Every student should be more than a race they fill in on a Scantron. They are more than the stereotypes and labels society has created. College admissions should not be a question of one minority above another—that only props up the flaws of affirmative action that perpetuate the stereotypes Asian-Americans and other minorities already suffer. As this country goes to war with itself to come to terms with a history of racism and gender inequality in higher education, Asian families across the nation have already become a casualty.

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