The quiet bias in US college admissions

The preference for extroverts may account for Asian Americans' lower 'personality' scores

The writer argues that Asian American applicants to elite US universities are at a disadvantage due to the schools' preference for applicants who are outgoing, gregarious and comfortable in the spotlight, as evidence shows that Asians are less likely
The writer argues that Asian American applicants to elite US universities are at a disadvantage due to the schools' preference for applicants who are outgoing, gregarious and comfortable in the spotlight, as evidence shows that Asians are less likely to display these traits than Westerners are.PHOTO: NYTIMES

Do Harvard and other elite universities illegally discriminate against Asian American applicants? I'm not sure. But there's another group of people who definitely face routine prejudice in college admissions. They're the quiet types who keep to themselves, often preferring a relaxed evening at home to a rowdy night out. They like to study alone, not in groups. And they're often the last ones to speak up in class.

I'm talking about introverts, of course.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 10, 2018, with the headline 'The quiet bias in US college admissions'. Subscribe