Harvard Spared by the Feds – But Look Behind the Crimson Curtain

Harvard Admissions Lawsuit

Despite accepting Asian American candidates at a lower rate than other applicants*, Harvard was spared this afternoon as a federal judge ruled the university does not discriminate against Asian Americans in admissions decisions. The litigation provided a glimpse behind the Crimson Curtain: admissions officers begrudgingly had to reveal that you have a better shot of getting accepted if you

  1. wear a helmet – 83% of identified student-athletes received offers of admissions
  2. bleed crimson – legacies still have a big edge
  3. donate a building– bidding often started at $1,000,000.

That said, the landscape may be changing: healthy public skepticism and scrutiny following the Varsity Blues scandal may even out the playing field somewhat. Additionally, the lawsuit revealed that contemporary candidates received a “tip” in admissions for being introverts (to temper all the extroverts) or classicists (to balance out all the engineers).

*Admit rates from 1995-2013: White 11.1%, African-American 13.2%, Hispanic-American 10.6&, ASIAN-AMERICAN 8.1%

About The Author

Don McMillan, M.A., M.F.A.