The Public Interest

Diversity or discrimination? - Asian Americans in college

Jeffrey K. D. Au & John H. Bunzel

Spring 1987

CONTROVERSY has been growing at many of our most selective universities regarding the admission of Asian Americans. Critics have leveled charges of bias, claiming that admissions policies have aimed specifically at slowing down the influx of Asian Americans into these colleges and have therefore discriminated against them. They point to Asian American admission rates (the number of Asian Americans offered admission divided by the number of Asian American applicants) that have been lower than those of Caucasians, despite Asian American performance as measured by test scores, high school grade point averages (GPAs), and subsequent college GPAs that appears to be equal to and at times superior to that of Caucasians. A downward turn in Asian American admission rates at some institutions has raised the additional concern that admissions officers have put numerical limits on the number of Asian Americans they admit.

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