by: Amanda Benbow
As a senior, college may well be the only thing on my mind at the moment. There’s no use in trying to do my AP Government homework, or studying for my AP Biology test, all that time is being spent thinking about my applications and how I made the biggest mistake of my life pushing that submit button a month before the deadline. What if I misspelled something in my essay? What if I put the wrong amount of hours on my activities section? There’s too many things to worry about. Piling on top of all that is a new headache, but not specifically for college applicants, rather for the colleges themselves.
Recently, Harvard University fell under fire after Asian-American students claimed that they were victims of illegal discrimination in the admissions process. They “assert that Harvard uses what amounts to an unlawful quota system, which results in qualified Asian-Americans being denied admission,” as said in the The New Yorker article, “The Underlying Attack in the Harvard Admissions Lawsuit.” This is in direct violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which outlaws discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Ultimately, Asian-Americans are being denied admission to the school, despite their more-than-stellar test scores and grade point averages. Harvard denies this, claiming that grades and scores are not the only factors it considers in their admission process, they instead conduct a “holistic” review of the applicant as a whole, taking into consideration extracurriculars, volunteer work, and more factors along those lines. Additionally, they strive for diversity on their campus, which may mean taking race into consideration. The class of 2022 was made up of 18% Asian-Americans, with only 10% Black or African-American, and 6.5% Hispanic or Latino. With this in mind, they are striving to admit a more diverse population of students.
While this is a big deal in the world of education, affecting students and professors alike, it has had an additional impact on the world of politics and our culture. In the end, this lawsuit doesn’t just determine whether or not you would get admitted to Harvard as an Asian-American, it sets a precedent for our ongoing battle in America with the legal and political inequalities present for people of color. The Trump Administration has gotten involved, saying that they support the lawsuit, but their past efforts to limit voting rights and demonize immigrants may say different. Ultimately, this lawsuit will be one that we remember for years to come, and will most likely affect the college admissions process forever.