Harvard University admitted 3.41 of applicants to their next class, nearly as low as the 3.19 percent they accepted last year, according to The Harvard Crimson. However, the demographics of applicants show a record low for Black students and a record uptick for Asian students. The dean of admissions says this has been a long-time trend.
The Supreme Court has been deliberating on a lawsuit filed against the school by the right-wing organization Students for Fair Admissions. They alleged the university’s affirmative action admissions process is discriminatory against white and Asian applicants despite the groups being the majority in student admissions from the classes of 2023 to the latest class of 2027.
The report says the school admissions were 15.3 percent Black applicants, 11.3 percent of Latinx students and 2.7 Indigenous and Native Hawaiian students, with each group sharing a decrease in admissions compared to last year by 0.5-2 percent. Meanwhile, the university saw a record-high of Asian American admissions at 29.9 percent—and as you can guess the rest of the applicants were white.
“It’s been part of a long-term trend. The percentages have been going up steadily. It’s not a surprise,” said the Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid William R. Fitzsimmons on the admissions breakdown, via The Harvard Crimson.
Revisit the lawsuit from NBC News:
There are a couple of possible reasons for this, said Julie Park, an associate professor at the University of Maryland who studies racial equity in high education.
The Supreme Court is currently preparing a decision on Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard, a lawsuit that alleges the Ivy League university‘s race-conscious admissions process discriminates against Asian applicants.
Losing that battle could put lower-income Asian American and Pacific Islander applicants at a disadvantage, Park said, as well as stunting students’ diverse educational experience.
“While you have seen growth in the Asian American high school graduate population, it is nothing compared to the growth in the Latinx population,” she said. “So it’s really concerning and illuminating that you’re not seeing that similar uptick in admitted students among the Black and Latinx students. … That disparity points to some issues.”
Students of color from all over have been standing up against the Students for Fair Admissions lawsuit, protesting that a decision to end affirmative action could have severe consequences for the admissions process. After all, affirmative action or “race-conscious admissions” was put in place to give Black and brown students a chance to attend predominantly white institutions they were otherwise discriminated from.
It’s unclear if the Class of 2027 admissions will have an impact on the Supreme Court’s decision, but it certainly debunks the right-wing notion that the education system (that had to be desegregated) somehow discriminates against the class majority.