The Ivy League university has partially conceded to these unfavourable findings.
Harvard University has conducted internal research involving their enrolment process after being sued by non-profit organization Students for Fair Admissions. The school's Office of Institutional Research recently completed three reports that began in 2013, revealing that Asian-Americans faced a penalty in the admissions process.
The research found that based on academics alone, Asian-Americans should comprise 43% of Harvard classrooms; when considering extracurricular and personal ratings, Asian-American admissions should comprise nearly 26% of the school's roster of aspiring scholars and professionals. However, they only make up 19% of admitted students.
Students for Fair Admissions and its leader, Edward Blum, argue that Harvard did nothing to address their internal probe. "Instead of taking even the most minor steps to address this problem, or conducting any further investigation, Harvard killed the investigation and buried the reports," the court filing states.
The university argues that their racial and ethnic diversity on campus is both fair and legal, admitting that their earlier reports remain preliminary and incomplete. As a result, Harvard filed new court documents indicating that they do not discriminate against Asian-American applicants. Officials have dually noted how admission rates for Asian-Americans have surged nearly 29 percent in the last decade.
"Mr. Blum and his organization’s incomplete and misleading data analysis paint a dangerously inaccurate picture of Harvard College’s whole-person admissions process by omitting critical data and information factors, such as personal essays and teacher recommendations that directly counter his arguments," admits Anna Cowenhoven, a spokeswoman for the educational institution.