Quotas: Harvard

Harvard systematically discriminates against Asian students, claims a new lawsuit, according to a New York Times article by Anemona Hartocollis.  The discovery process has revealed some long secret details of the school's admissions process.  It seems that while Asian students systematically score better than others on such traditional qualifications as academic performance, test scores, and extracurriculars, they systematically score worse in personality.  As a white person, I suppose I ought to be grateful that we as a group are so damn personable, but it might be nice if it were in some less subjective (and easily manipulable trait).  One of the most damning revelations:
Alumni interviewers give Asian-Americans personal ratings comparable to those of whites. But the admissions office gives them the worst scores of any racial group, often without even meeting them, according to Prof. Arcidiacono. 
Whites apparently would be the main losers if the personality evaluations were discounted.  Non Asian minorities are apparently protected by other means. 

Harvard's problem, and similar problems for other elite schools, is that they are trying to be racially balanced without being racially discriminatory.  I can think of two possible easy fixes: admit each racial group separately in proportion to its percentage of the population, or, alternatively, race blind admissions.  The problems with each approach are pretty obvious, but I would pick the second alternative.


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