Harvard University’s admissions policies are increasingly under scrutiny, and the Ivy League school is not alone.
“Higher education is now in a litigation frenzy,” said Peter Lake, a law professor at Stetson University, in an EducationDive article. “We’re facing legal accountability that’s almost unprecedented.”
Less than 16 percent of African American Harvard admissions are recruited athletes, legacies, dean’s list, and children of faculty and staff compared to 43 percent of white admissions, according to a new paper by three economics professors.
The same is true for Asian American and Hispanic admits to Harvard — less than 16 percent each.
Three economics professors used publicly released reports to examine the preferences Harvard gives for recruited athletes, legacies, those on the dean’s list, and children of faculty and staff.
They published their findings in a report dated Sept. 11, 2019, entitled “Legacy and Athlete Preferences at Harvard.”
In their abstract, the authors credited the lawsuit, Students For Fair Admissions v. Harvard University, with providing an unprecedented look at how an elite school makes admissions decisions.
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The authors are Peter Arcidiacono, professor of Economics at Duke University; Josh Kinsler, associate economics professor at University of Georgia; and Tyler Ransom, assistant professor of economics at University of Oklahoma.
Arcidiacono was the expert witness in a lawsuit, Students for Fair Admissions vs. Harvard University, according to College Confidential.
“Our model of admissions shows that roughly three-quarters of white ALDC admits would have been rejected if they had been treated as white non-ALDCs,” the authors wrote in their abstract. “Removing preferences for athletes and legacies would significantly alter the racial distribution of admitted students, with the share of white admits falling and all other groups rising or remaining unchanged.”
Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) is an anti-affirmative action group that sued Harvard University for race-conscious admissions policies in 2014, EducationDive reported. SFFA alleges that Harvard’s admissions officers hold Asian American applicants to a higher standard than other students. The case is awaiting a federal judge’s decision and could go to the Supreme Court.
There are growing calls to end university legacy admissions, which have been called “affirmative action for the rich” and “affirmative action for whites.”
In the comments section at Marginal Revolution University, Bill wrote, “As a lawyer, I would advise that in order to get your kid into Harvard, you should publicly disavow, disclaim and disinherit your child. And, have that child then be adopted by a Harvard alum who is also on the faculty.”
“Sounds like affirmative action for privileged white kids,”@BarbBanfieldRN tweeted. “The other students should all be giving THEM the side eye, like they didn’t really earn their spot and don’t really belong because they got preferential treatment.”