Harvard: Race can only help, never harm, applicants' chances

Harvard: Race can only help, never harm, applicants' chances

In its hour-long opening, lawyers for Students for Fair Admissions accused Harvard of intentionally discriminating against Asian-Americans through a personal rating score that measures character traits such as "courage" and "likeability".

A trial began on Monday in a lawsuit alleging Harvard University discriminates against Asian-American applicants, a closely watched case that could influence how USA colleges may use race as a factor in their admissions decisions. They allege the admissions process unfairly limits Asian-American applicants to allow other minority groups into the Ivy League institution.

UCLA spokesman Ricardo Vazquez said admission rates among Latinos, in particular, have since risenas the state's demographics have shifted. He also contended that Harvard knew of the problem since "red warning flags" were raised internally in 2013 but the university did nothing about it.

The Supreme Court ruled that colleges could consider race as one of many factors in an admissions decision, but they couldn't set quotas for racial groups. There will be no jury.

Activist groups have lined up behind both sides of the legal battle.

Expected to last at least three weeks, the trial puts a new twist on an old controversy.

The case follows a series of previous lawsuits challenging whether colleges can consider the race of applicants, a practice that generally has been upheld. This time Asian Americans are at the center of the fight.

The lawsuit was filed in 2014 and carries implications for many other US colleges that say they consider race to admit a diverse mix of students.

But most applicants don't quite know what that means.

"Northwestern prefers not to speculate on the case, as it involves another university".

Some could be unflattering. Harvard maintains there is no bias.

Adam Mortara, who gave the opening statement for the SFFA, launched into Harvard's "holistic" process. More is expected to be disclosed during the trial through evidence collected from Harvard officials in pretrial depositions that so far has been kept under seal.

Cheng is Chinese-American and graduated from Harvard in 1993. The U.S. Justice Department is also investigating Harvard over alleged discrimination against Asian-Americans, and Yale was recently announced as the subject of a similar investigation by the Justice and Education departments.

CARAPEZZA: Civil rights leaders certainly worry about that. And yet, he said, there is only one Asian student on campus for every two whites. Harvard's dean of admissions, William Fitzsimmons, and former president, Drew Faust, will also take the stand. Plaintiff's attorney John M. Hughes asked him to explain an internal document that showed the university treats white and Asian American high school students differently when it sends recruiting letters.

LEE CHENG: Harvard is systematically saying that Asian candidates are not likable and don't have good personalities by orders of magnitudes less than candidates of any other ethnic group, which is really nothing but racist.

According to a leaked email, Kavanaugh said the University of MI policy was "unconstitutional because race-neutral programs should be employed, where possible, to achieve the goal of ensuring diversity and ensuring that minorities have access to and are represented in universities".

Not so, Fitzsimmons replied. "We are trying to combat past inequalities with, ironically, additional inequality".

Speakers included Edward Blum, president of Students for Fair Admissions, the Virginia organization behind the lawsuit.

While the case focuses on Harvard, it could have big consequences for higher education, especially if it moves on to the U.S. Supreme Court.

MARTIN: The Trump administration has come out and weighed in on this.

He said a relative of his was denied admission to an East Coast university he wouldn't name, even though he adds she had higher test scores than non-Asian peers who were admitted.

And, he said repeatedly, Harvard never considers an applicant's race as a negative. But the pivotal vote in that ruling, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, has since retired.

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