Asian student filing complaint against Princeton for discrimination-WSJ article

<p>There is an article in today's Wall St. Journal entitled "Is Admissions Bar Higher for Asians at Elite Schools?" Unfortunately, I believe it's only available online if you subscribe. The gist is: Asian Americans are 4.5% of U.S. population, but 10-30% of students at top colleges. However, based on their grades and test schores, their enrollment should probably be more. Jian Li, a freshman at Yale, has filed a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights. He had 2400 SAT score and top 1% class rank and says that a white classmate with lower stats was admitted to Princeton. He wants federal financial assistance to Princeton suspended until they stop discrimination against Asians in all forms, including legacy and athletic preferences. Li was admitted to Yale, Cal Tech, Rutgers, Cooper Union. He was waitlisted then rejected at Harvard, Stanford, Penn. Princeton has only said that it is aware of the complaint, considers applicants as individuals, and doesn't discriminate against Asians.</p>

<p>If he was rejected so many places, obviouslly his application was lacking in some areas....perfect scores mean nothing if you don'[t fit what the school needs or if that is all you are</p>

<p>this will get dumped, and the arrogance of this kid is galling, who wants to be his recs weren't steller, with that attitude</p>

<p>why is people keep saying "perfect score mean nothing... if that is all you are"? I personally believe that it is the same kind of talent and effort needed there as in every other area. I am sure that kid is lacking something. But I am disappointed to see the first reaction people have is that it is all that kid's fault. Shouldn't we just think for a moment? Maybe that is what the kid is trying to do. </p>

<p>P.S: Hey, citygirlsmom, I am sorry if I misunderstand you. But do think words like "arrogance" is absolutely necessary? Asians I have seen usually don't have an attitude problem. That is just personal opionion.</p>

<p>Well, for all we know he could just be another guy who studies all day and has no life outside of spending countless hours on homework/SAT prep. Or possibly he is in math club and something to do with science as well.</p>

<p>The point is if 50% of asian applicants are almost exactly the same, admission standards will be seen as "tougher" for them. However, who's to say that getting a 2400 is harder than being a star athlete, or being ranked in the top 1% takes more effort than running a volunteer organization.</p>

<p>I see it less as asians being discriminated against and more as the people who happen to fit the "study nerd" profile tend to be asian more than any other ethnic group.</p>

<p>Besides, a complaint based solely on the fact that a classmate got in and you didn't won't hold up in court.</p>

<p>CGM, You're 100% correct. Arrogance, indeed. This student will get absolutely nowhere with his supposed "complaint." </p>

<p>One more time, for all you out there -- Asians or non-Asians -- who feel particularly put upon & rejected despite high scores. Let me tell it to you again:</p>

<p>Private institutions of higher ed., including those who accept federal funds, are under no obligation to set a particular numerical standard for acceptance (or rejection), be those standards grades, test scores, class rank, or anything else. Nor do they claim to require particular numerical standards. THERE IS NO 'ABSOLUTE' BAR FOR ADMISSION TO A PRIVATE UNIVERSITY, NOR AN 'ABSOLUTE' BAR FOR REJECTION. A private educational institution has every right to determine who will and will not make a better candidate for admission than someone else, and to use a variety of criteria to determine what the INSTITUTION considers "better." Get it? The institution decides, not you.</p>

<p>Get over it, or go to a college or U in this country or not in this country that states quantitative standards for admission. Whiners, all of you.</p>

<p>In Response to: "Asians I have seen usually don't have an attitude problem. That is just personal opionion," said xiuhyu.</p>

<p>Dear Xiuhyu,</p>

<p>Your thinking is illogical, based only on your own unreliable assumption. What do we call this? Ethnocentrism. Why? You are placing one culture on a pedistal and diverting the argument to fancy that culture, in this case its the Asian culture, and downplay ethnicities different from yours. </p>

<p>Furthermore, your line of thinking is illogical, as it is a stawman fallacy. It misses the point that though that applicant may be a brilliant Asian person, it's the attitude of this kid that turned off the admission committee, not his ethnicity. </p>

<p>Let us get real here people! Princeton does not have the time to sit down and say, 'Oh God, that's an Asian student, toss that app in the can stat!" No. Princeton does not do that--they do not have the time and furthermore patience to single out and destroy the lives of teenagers.</p>

<p>Your argument is unprincipled and lacks substantive evidence that must be present, as without proof that all Asians were rejected, that kid (kid is representative of his immaturity) does not have a peg to stand on. </p>

<p>Princeton is a very selective institution and it is unacceptable that anyone would use their minority status as a crutch to stand on, rather than being mature enough to admit that maybe it was not meant to be--maybe there were better things for him or her. </p>

<p>If I were Asian, I would be offended by the fact that not only did this kid embarrass himself, but also he knowingly, willingly, and intentionally, acted solely to defame and indemnify the name and ethics of a well-respected top-ranked college in the United States of America, Princeton University. If that does not say attitude problem, I do not know what does. </p>

<p>Nevertheless, we are forgetting other things. </p>

<p>Yale is a great school, why not be happy with that? No. This kid wants revenge. He maliciously prosecutes the institution that rejected him to make waves, to bring attention from media, and attempt to 'shock' us into dispair--so much, that we would avoid the very institution that many other successful Asian people have attended. No. This kid is immature and arrogant because he did not have the moral boundary or maturity to handle rejection. Get over it--that is what I have to say. If he is so bright, he should have no problem with that. </p>

<p>By the way, I concur with the previous post; this kid obviously has an "attitude." I have the same to say about the kids who send in the ten-page resume or "brag sheet," hoping it will cover up for a few wrong turns in their life. A bit of college advice: You are far more appealing to a potential college when you are less self-serving and more caring for others. Volunteer abroad, work at a Nursing Home, or work at a political even--do something other than whine. </p>

<p>Embarrassing yourself, not to mention knowingly, willingly, and intentionally, acting solely to defame and indemnify the name and ethics of a well-respected top-ranked college in the United States of America, Princeton, is not only immature, its firsthand evidence that the kid did not belong there and probably would not have done well with an attitude and immaturity.</p>

<p>That is My Perspective--well argued and supported, unlike your post.</p>

<p>Frankly Yours,

<p>" its firsthand evidence that the kid did not belong there and probably would not have done well with an attitude and immaturity."</p>

<p>Ditto. </p>

<p>Besides which, Yale, as you mentioned, is considered a Peer University, & thus he will also have no leg to stand on legally in this regard as well.</p>

<p>{You meant "it's," I'm sure.:)}</p>

<p>The student felt he deserved to get in everyone he applied, that to me is arrogant, regardless of race...any person who feel entitled to get in everywhere ( especially schools like the ones he applied to) has to take a deep look at themselves, their parents need to look at the person they raised who feels they are better than everyone else, who thinks that #s mean everything, and who doesn't appreciate the great places they got into</p>

<p>I would bet you the kids arrogance came through loud and clear on his apps, or maybe he jsut thought his scores would be enough</p>

<p>yeah, I call the kid arrogant</p>

<p>ps- no where in my post did I mention race...</p>

<p>does anyone really thing that just because you have perfect scores and grades you are an automatic in anywhere? please</p>

<p>Admissions should be race blind. That would solve the problem.</p>

<p>This is the same bs that Harvard used to reject qualified Jewish applicants.</p>

<p>FYI, Princeton is under the federal investigation for discrimination...</p>

<p>Would this problem be solved if admission commitee were not allowed to look for applicants name and ethnicity?</p>

<p>I think race-blind admissions would be the best way to go. Period.</p>

<p>BUT - The mere fact that the guy sued Princeton for not letting him in shows what kind of immature guy he is. Would you want someone like that at your school? That arrogance is going to show in the application, and maybe that's what got him rejected.</p>

<p>I still think admissions should be race-blind. But in this particular situation, the guy got what he deserved.</p>

<p>Earth to all CC'ers (including Asians, of course):</p>

<p>Racial "discrimination" is defined as a systematic pattern of denial (of privileges, of membership, of admission, etc.) which is clearly peculiar to a race or ethnicity and does not involve the <em>lack</em> of qualification to the status or entity being sought. Thus, discrimination in housing can be objectively determined, since the qualifications tend to be objective (money for rent/mortgage, acceptable credit if credit is examined, etc.). Same for the kind of employment or promotion for which objective qualifications are published & used: promotions from within, for example, or employment from without when specific qualifications are published.</p>

<p>In the case of U admissions, (1) there is no evidence of systematic denial of admission to top-flight U's for an entire race, or a majority of a race. Rather, it can be objectively demonstrated that the race whining most annoyingly is the race already "overly" represented at those same U's, proportionally to their representation in the population. The concept of discrimination, in legal terms, does not include admitting applicants proportional to the number of applications from their ethnic group. (2) University admissions do not fall into the "objective" qualifications category.</p>

<p>pretention goes nowhere. the fact that he'd raise a complaint reinforces his personality. </p>

<p>while race-blind admissions is a great idea, it's idealistic. what if a university was racially homogenous after the admissions process? it'd be a coincidence, of course -- but people who didn't get in (like jian li, whose name sounds more like a girl's... are you sure it was a he, prefect?) would start bringing in the lawsuits. part of it is our mistrust for people, politics, and power in general. rejectees would find every excuse they can, like "the admissions team was clearly peeking at the records," or "i smell something illegal."</p>

<p>most of america is still politically correct (even though political /incorrectness/ gets the most attention & media.) a good majority believes that democracy implies equal results, not just equal opportunity.</p>

<p>I wonder why this person chose to sue Princeton but not Harvard, Stanford, or Penn (the other schools at which he was rejected).</p>

<p>One issue to keep in mind is that even if you institute "race-blind" admissions, it's still fairly obvious who's Asian and who's not based on last name. To remedy this, you'd probably have to start referring to applicants by some assigned number. But then that brings up the issue of colleges "treating their applicants like numbers and not people", which I guess might be okay if you can get over the initial disgust towards such an idea.</p>

<p>snowfinite: I dunno, Jian Li sounds like it could very well be male to me...assuming he's Chinese, "Jian" could be the character for "sword" or something. =P</p>

<p>Jian Li is mentioned in this video </p>

<p><a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>I think it explains a lot</p>

<p>From the WSJ:</p>

<p>Is Admissions Bar Higher for Asians At Elite Schools?
School Standards Are Probed Even as Enrollment Increases;
A Bias Claim at Princeton
November 11, 2006; Page A1</p>

<p>Though Asian-Americans constitute only about 4.5% of the U.S. population, they typically account for anywhere from 10% to 30% of students at many of the nation's elite colleges.</p>

<p>Even so, based on their outstanding grades and test scores, Asian-Americans increasingly say their enrollment should be much higher …
Whether elite colleges give Asian-American students a fair shake is becoming a big concern in college-admissions offices. …</p>

<p>Roger Clegg, president and general counsel of the Center for Equal Opportunity, said universities are "legally vulnerable" to challenges from rejected Asian-American applicants.</p>

<p>Princeton, where Asian-Americans constitute about 13% of the student body, faces such a challenge. A spokesman for the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights said it is investigating a complaint filed by Jian Li, now a 17-year-old freshman at Yale University. Despite racking up the maximum 2400 score on the SAT and 2390 -- 10 points below the ceiling -- on SAT2 subject tests in physics, chemistry and calculus, Mr. Li was spurned by three Ivy League universities, Stanford University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.</p>

<p>The Office for Civil Rights initially rejected Mr. Li's complaint due to "insufficient" evidence. Mr. Li appealed, citing a white high-school classmate admitted to Princeton despite lower test scores and grades. …</p>

<p>"As an Asian-American and a native of China, my chances of admission were drastically reduced," Mr. Li claims in his complaint."</p>

<p>Thanks for posting the article fuzzylogic!
I'm not sure if his permanent residence status vs US citizen affected his admission also.</p>

<p>I, for one, am glad that a student like Jian, though he may seem arrogant to some posters here on CC, had the bravado to challenge the system.
Perhaps, this may be a seminal moment in college admission history where that 'wall" may start coming down much like the Berlin Wall.
Somehow I am reminded of that photo in Tianemen Square many years ago with a lone figure of a student holding what looks like grocery bags standing his ground against a tank. I never knew what happened to that student but we all now what happened in that Square on that day.
Some posters here have been quick to villify this student, but isn't this his right as well to question the establishment through proper legal means?</p>

<p>He doesn't seem arrogant, just misinformed.
Virtually all of the top colleges look at more than scores, grades and coursework when selecting students (An exception is Cal Tech, which chooses students mainly on scores, grades, coursework). They also choose students based on factors that will allow the colleges to have diverse classes -- in all meanings of the word "diverse." </p>

<p>This means that the colleges want students from a variety of ethnicities, races, religions, regions of the country and world, socioeconomic backgrounds, extracurriculars and probable majors. The top colleges have every right to do this.</p>