Is it true that it's harder for Asians to get in?

<p>I have heard several reports that many Asians have a much more difficult time getting into Ivy League schools that want their student body to be well racially and ethnically balanced. Therefore, since Asians account for only about 5% of the American population, I have heard that when comparing between a white student and Asian student, the white student has the same chances of acceptance with a 2100 SAT as an Asian with a 2400 SAT. Are these reports true? I am Asian, so will this affect my chances of getting into an Ivy in the future?</p>

<p>It does. But well, do some research. There are more Asian applying, and thus there are fewer compared to other groups accepted. Things like diversity kicks in, driving down the number.
But if you’re a high achieving Asian (meaning doing something beyond valedictorian and 2400 SAT score, although having them won’t hurt), you’d do fine.</p>



<p>Yale released SAT data as part of its NCAA report for the three entering classes of Sept 1999 to 2001. The difference in average SAT between whites and Asians, within the non-recruited-athlete population, ranged from 5 to 17 points in the three years. Not 200, or 140, or 50. In the 2001-2 academic year the average was all of 5 points higher for Asians, on the 1600 M+V scale of SAT scores. </p>

<p>If you look on UC Statfinder, you will see that UC Berkeley, a university legally prohibited from using race in admissions, has differences as large or larger than Yale between the average Asian and white SAT scores in its student population. There are many race-neutral reasons, such as a higher Asian SAT distribution in the applicant pool, that lead to some differences in qualification levels between groups after admission, whether or not race played any role in the process. If Yale’s admission procedure were as simple and race-blind as ranking applicants by SAT and taking the highest 2500 students, that would still cause an SAT difference in the admitted population, similar in size to the one seen in the NCAA data. There are also effects of legacy admission, clustering of Asians into more competitive majors and high schools and other group differences that would tend to raise the average SAT of admitted Asians (or, equivalently, reduce the admission probability for Asians at any fixed SAT score) relative to whites. An SAT difference is not per se an indicator of discrimination, contrary to what has been assumed in media accounts.</p>

<p>The 300 point figure from the rumor mill is an inflation of 140 points, a number used in the Espenshade-Radford-Chung admissions study (2009) as a knowingly false figure of speech to summarize their results. Because the number is high enough to have some shock value, it became popular in the media. </p>

<p>The earlier Espenshade-Chung (2005) study had a different and more meaningful calculation of 50 SAT points as way to quantify the statistical difference they detected between Asian and white admission patterns. The overall 50 point effect is some sort of virtual, average combination of many things. It can come partly from race-neutral factors related to the applicant, such as choice of harder majors; partly from the statistical methods in the study, such as using total SAT score as the academic ability measure instead of separate Math and Verbal components; partly from race-neutral admissions factors not controlled for in the study, such as Early Decision and unrecruited athletics; and partly from race-based consideration such as discrimination, a quota, or comparing Asians to Asians. It is an open question whether discrimination effects are part of that mixture, and in published data such as the Yale SAT figures, the UC Statfinder numbers, or the Duke CLL reports, the observed SAT differences can be accounted for by non-racial considerations.</p>

<p>There are also a quite a few statistical studies showing pro-Asian admission effects at some schools or sets of schools, and studies finding Asian academic underperformance after admission. Both types of finding are the opposite of what is expected if negative discrimination were predominant.</p>

<p>I don’t have time for a long explanation of the statistics but the words “Espenshade” and “Asian penalty” will locate many of my earlier posts with a more detailed explanation of some of the points above. Past CC discussions of these studies tend to be acrimonious.</p>

<p>^That. Better version of what I was going to say.</p>