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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Asians: The New Jews

Do colleges redline Asian-Americans?

This is my primary reason for opposing affirmative action.
Is it fair to admit less qualified students, while turning away quality students simply because there are "too many" of them?

Do you really want to miss out on this guy?
Harvard's Jeremy Lin


"SAT SCORES aren’t everything. But they can tell some fascinating stories.


Take 1,623, for instance. That’s the average score of Asian-Americans, a group that Daniel Golden... has labeled "The New Jews." After all, much like Jews a century ago, Asian-Americans tend to earn good grades and high scores. And now they too face serious discrimination in the college admissions process.


"Notably, 1,623 - out of a possible 2,400 - not only separates Asians from other minorities (Hispanics and blacks average 1,364 and 1,276 on the SAT, respectively). The score also puts them ahead of Caucasians, who average 1,581. And the consequences of this are stark."

"Princeton sociologist Thomas Espenshade, who reviewed data from 10 elite colleges, writes in “No Longer Separate, Not Yet Equal’’ that Asian applicants typically need an extra 140 points to compete with white students. In fact, according to Princeton lecturer Russell Nieli, there may be an “Asian ceiling’’ at Princeton, a number above which the admissions office refuses to venture.


Emily Aronson, a Princeton spokeswoman, insists "the university does not admit students in categories. In the admission process, no particular factor is assigned a fixed weight and there is no formula for weighing the various aspects of the application."


A few years ago, however, when I worked as a reader for Yale’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions, it became immediately clear to me that Asians - who constitute 5 percent of the US population - faced an uphill slog. They tended to get excellent scores, take advantage of AP offerings, and shine in extracurricular activities. Frequently, they also had hard-knock stories: families that had immigrated to America under difficult circumstances, parents working as kitchen assistants and store clerks, and households in which no English was spoken."
(via Boston.com)

Kara Miller, the author of this article, also wrote an interesting piece called My Lazy American Students that I recommend taking a look at as well.

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