DOJ investigating Harvard affirmative action policies against Asian-Americans

Nov 21, 2017

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People walk around the Harvard University”s main campus December 19, 2000 in Cambridge, MA.; Credit: Darren McCollester/Getty Images


The Department of Justice is officially investigating Harvard’s admission practices after multiple complaints filed against the university alleging discrimination against Asian-American applicants.

The complaints were filed in 2014 and alleged that Harvard disadvantages Asian students by putting a cap on how many they admit, which they say violates civil rights laws.

Affirmative action proponents have pushed back, arguing that the policies actually benefit Asian students and that Asian-Americans should ally themselves with minority groups that support affirmative action to ensure diversity.  

In the past Harvard has stated that its admissions protocols are in line with legal precedent.  

Are Harvard’s admissions policies disadvantaging Asian students? What does the investigation mean for the future of affirmative action?


Melissa Korn, higher education reporter for The Wall Street Journal; she tweets @melissakorn  

Ilya Shapiro, senior fellow in constitutional studies at the libertarian Cato Institute and editor-in-chief of the Cato Supreme Court Review; he tweets @ishapiro 

Paul Watanabe, Ph.D., professor of political science and director at the Institute for Asian American Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston

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