Harvard sued by non-profit group over alleged racial profiling in admission policies

NEW YORK (AFP) - A non-profit group filed a lawsuit on Monday against Harvard University, accusing the world-famous Ivy League institution of racial profiling in its admissions policies.

Students for Fair Admissions says Harvard limits the number of Asian Americans it admits while giving preference to other races, according to the Project on Fair Representation (PFR), a legal defence fund supporting the lawsuit.

"The university is engaging in a campaign of invidious discrimination," PFR said in a statement.

"White, African American and Hispanic applicants are given racial preferences over better qualified Asian Americans," it added, accusing Harvard of breaching civil rights laws and undermining the Fourteenth Amendment to the US constitution.

Plaintiff the SFFA alleges that Harvard and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill violated the Supreme Court's 2013 ruling on "strict scrutiny" standards which says admissions should be conducted on "race-neutral" grounds to end "race-based affirmative action policies," according to the PFR statement.

The director of PFR vowed further action on race-based admissions policies at other universities in the United States.

"These two lawsuits are the first of what are expected to be several similar challenges to other competitive colleges that continue to unconstitutionally use racial preferences in admission decisions," said Edward Blum.

SFFA said its members include "highly qualified" students that have been rejected from Harvard and Chapel Hill, and their parents.