Asian acceptance rate is below the overall average of the university
Court documents filed as part of a discrimination lawsuit against Harvard University indicate that, over nearly a twenty-year period starting in 1995, Asian-American applicants had the lowest admittance rate of “any racial group,” a rate that was even lower than the overall average of the university.
The filings show that, during the period 1995-2013, “Asian-American candidates on average saw an admission rate of 8.1 percent. By comparison, white applicants saw an average acceptance rate of 11.1 percent in that time period, African-American applicants saw an average acceptance rate of 13.2 percent, and Hispanic-American applicants saw an average acceptance rate of 10.6 percent,” The Harvard Crimson reports.
According to The Crimson: “The average acceptance rate overall during the time period covered by the dataset clocked in at 9.3 percent. Asian-Americans were the only racial group whose acceptance rate dips below that average.”
Those acceptance rates declined over the nearly-two-decade period, The Crimson reports, though not all equally:
African-American applicants saw the steepest decline — their acceptance rates fell by 12.4 percentage points over 18 years. In the 1995-1996 admissions cycle, 19.2 percent of African-American Harvard hopefuls earned a spot at the College; in the 2012-2013 cycle, just 6.8 percent of African-American applicants did so.
Hispanic-Americans saw the second-steepest decline of 8.9 percentage points, while white students saw a decline of 5.4 percentage points. Asian-American applicants saw the smallest decrease: their acceptance rate fell by just 3.6 percentage points in that time period.
“The relatively large decrease in acceptance rates for African-American and Hispanic-American applicants likely reflects the fact that Harvard has increased its outreach efforts to communities of color over the past few years,” the paper speculates. Those efforts appear to be reflected in the increased application rates from those demographics: From 1994 to 2014, African-American applicants increased by 257 percent, while Hispanic-American applicants increased by 208 percent.
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