Harvard, University of North Carolina sued over admission policies

Harvard, University of North Carolina sued over admission policies

Tue Nov 18, 2014 2:40AM GMT

Two prestigious universities in the United States have been sued for racial discrimination against Asian-Americans in their admission policies.

The Project on Fair Representation, a nonprofit legal defense group, filed a lawsuit on Monday against Harvard University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for violating the constitutional rights of highly qualified Asian applicants.

The lawsuits were filed in federal courts in Boston and Greensboro, North Carolina, in an attempt to block Harvard and UNC from considering race in their admissions.

“These two lawsuits are the first of what are expected to be several similar challenges to other competitive colleges that continue to unconstitutionally use racial preferences in admission decisions,” said Edward Blum, director of the Project on Fair Representation.

“Statistical evidence reveals that Harvard uses ‘holistic’ admissions to disguise the fact that it holds Asian Americans to a far higher standard than other students and essentially forces them to compete against each other for admission,” the lawsuit argues.

The court challenges were filed on behalf of the Students for Fair Admissions, a group which said it represents unidentified college applicants rejected by both schools.

Both universities have rejected the claims and say their admissions process meets all legal requirements.

“Then and now, the College considers each applicant through an individualized, holistic review having the goal of creating a vibrant academic community,” Harvard’s general counsel, Robert Iuliano, said in a statement.

“The University continues to affirm the educational benefits diversity brings to students,” said UNC spokesman Rick White.

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