Harvard denies discrimination against Asian-American applicants

Harvard consistently rated Asian-American applicants lower than any other race on personal traits, according to an analysis of more than 160,000 student records filed as part of a lawsuit against the university.
Harvard consistently rated Asian-American applicants lower than any other race on personal traits, according to an analysis of more than 160,000 student records filed as part of a lawsuit against the university.PHOTO: NYTIMES

BOSTON (BLOOMBERG) - Harvard University challenged a claim that it intentionally discriminates against Asian-American applicants, saying in a court filing that a group making the accusations offered a "misleading narrative" based on "cherry-picked" documents.

The Ivy League school on Friday (July 27) offered a rebuttal to arguments made by Students for Fair Admissions last month in a run-up to an October trial.

The group claimed that Harvard ignored statistical evidence from its own researchers showing bias in admissions.

"The evidence fails to show - let alone beyond dispute - that Harvard intentionally discriminates against Asian-American applicants," the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based school said in a brief.

Students for Fair Admissions, which sued in 2014, has asked a judge to rule in its favour in advance of trial.

The school last month told a federal judge in Boston that it has "incontrovertible" evidence that the university has "engineered the admissions process to achieve" illegal goals.

The organisation says that Asian-Americans are subject to the same kind of quotas that kept many Jews out of Ivy League colleges in the first half of the 20th century - and the Trump administration has indicated it is sympathetic to their argument.