A two-year investigation conducted by the Department of Justice finds Yale University’s undergraduate admissions process has been “illegally discriminating” against Asian and white applicants, AP reports.
“Yale grants substantial, and often determinative, preferences based on race to certain racially-favored applicants and relatively and significantly disfavors other applicants because of their race,” Civil Rights Division official Eric Dreiband wrote in the letter to the school. “Yale’s race discrimination imposes undue and unlawful penalties on racially-disfavored applicants, including in particular Asian American and White applicants.”
The DOJ states that white and Asian applicants are one-tenth to one-fourth as likely to be admitted as Black students with similar academic accomplishments.
The investigation stems from a 2016 complaint filed by a coalition of 132 Asian-American organizations, accusing Yale, Dartmouth, and Brown of discrimination in their admission process. The complaint, penned by the Asian American Coalition for Education, argues that the percentage of Asian American students accepted by the three universities has remained the same the last two decades due to their enforcement of racial quotas and caps.
The Justice Department’s investigation into Yale continues the Trump administration’s efforts to look into how Ivy League schools are conducting their admission process. The DOJ publicly supported a 2018 lawsuit brought forth by Asian-American students and their families alleging that Harvard University was in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which “requires that public funds, to which all taxpayers of all races [colors, and national origins] contribute, not be spent in any fashion which encourages, entrenches, subsidizes or results in racial [color or national origin] discrimination.”
The Justice Department demands that Yale no longer consider race in their admissions process, but if they continue to do so, the DOJ is requesting the school submit a plan “demonstrating its proposal is narrowly tailored as required by law, including by identifying a date for the end of race discrimination.” Yale, however, stands by their current admission standards, saying, “We are proud of Yale's admissions practices, and we will not change them on the basis of such a meritless, hasty accusation.”