US President Donald Trump's administration is preparing to probe a complaint by four Indian-American organisations and other Asian groups that Harvard University discriminates against students from the communities in its admission process. Justice Department Spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said last week that it wants to investigate the "administrative complaint filed by a coalition of 64 Asian-American associations in May 2015 that the prior administration left unresolved".
The complaint said: "Many Asian-American students who have almost perfect SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) scores, top one per cent GPAs (Grade Point Average), plus significant awards or leadership positions in various extracurricular activities have been rejected by Harvard University and other Ivy League Colleges while similarly situated applicants of other races have been admitted."
Though officially the affirmative action programmes are meant to aid African American and Latino students, in reality the quota system – similar to reservations in India – has expanded to also help white students at the expense of other Asian students.
To ensure diversity, elite universities set academic standards for Asian students that are higher than that for even whites to prevent high-scoring Asians dominating the universities if admissions were based solely on merit. A study by a Princeton University academic found that Asian-American students had to score 140 points more than whites in the SAT to gain admission to elite universities.
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