Harvard Asian-American discrimination probe ends

Federal civil rights investigators have closed an investigation into whether Harvard and Princeton universities discriminate against Asian Americans in admissions, because the complaint has been withdrawn, a Harvard spokesman says.


Harvard University. (Photographer: Kelvin Ma/Bloomberg)

The short-lived probe began with a complaint from an Indian-American student in California who was rejected at both schools, despite sitting near the top of his high school class.

The story went modestly viral; Harvard and Princeton have admission rates below 10 percent, and research suggests Asian-Americans must produce even higher grades and test scores to get in.

Harvard’s Jeff Neal released this statement:

“We are pleased that the complaint against Harvard has been withdrawn and that OCR has closed the case. Harvard College welcomes talented students from all backgrounds, including Asian Americans. Our review of every applicant’s file is highly individualized and holistic, as we give serious consideration to all of the information we receive and all of the ways in which the candidate might contribute to our vibrant educational environment and community.”

Bloomberg, the source of the original story, was apparently unable to reach the California family to discern why the complaint was dropped.

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