Harvard University’s dean of admissions has testified the Ivy League school applies different SAT score standards to prospective students based on factors such as race, but insisted the practice is not discriminatory.
Students for Fair Admissions, a group headed by legal strategist Edward Blum, sued Harvard in 2014 claiming Asian-Americans, who have the highest academic records, unfairly receive the lowest admission rate at the elite school.
Regardless of the outcome of the three-week, non-jury trial in Boston that began Monday, the lawsuit involving affirmative action and backed by the Trump administration is expected to reach the Supreme Court.
William Fitzsimmons, the 30-year dean of admissions, who oversees the screening process of about 40,000 applicants and narrows them down to 2,000 acceptance letters that are handed out each year, testified that African-Americans, Native Americans, and Hispanic high schoolers with mid-range SAT scores out of a possible 1600 combined math and verbal, are sent recruitment letters with a score as low as 1100, whereas Asian-Americans need to score at least 250 points higher – 1350 for women and 1380 for men.
“That’s race discrimination, plain and simple,” argued John Hughes, a lawyer for SFFA.
“It is not,” Fitzsimmons shot back, adding that the school targets certain groups to “break the cycle” and convince students who normally wouldn’t consider applying to the Ivy League school.
Chinese-American Harvard graduate Lee Cheng, a lawyer for the Asian-American Legal Foundation, supports the lawsuit as a simple and straightforward case for the right not to be discriminated against based on race.
“It’s about saying Harvard cannot set different and more difficult standards for admitting Asian students relative to students of any other ethnic group,” Cheng said. “It’s that simple – and it’s undeniable that Harvard has.”
Blum told Fox News he’s confident after four years of evidence gathering that Harvard’s race-conscious admissions policies are “unconstitutional.”….