“Asian American applicants to Harvard are just as ‘helpful’, ‘courageous’, and ‘kind’ as white applicants.’’

Harvard University is being sued by non-profit group Students for Fair Admissions for discriminating against Asian Americans.

A non-profit group is suing Harvard University for allegedly discriminating against Asian Americans in its admissions process.

As reported by the BBC, Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) claims that Harvard showed preference for white, black and Hispanic applicants who were less qualified than Asian American ones.

Although Harvard claims admission rates for Asian Americans has increased, SFFA says that the university consistently ranked Asian American applicants low on personal traits including like-ability.

Harvard’s website says 22.% of students admitted are Asian American whilst 14.6% are African American, 11.6% are Hispanic or Latino and 2.5% are Native American or Pacific Islanders. White students make up just under 50%.

According to SFFA, Harvard “engages in racial balancing, uses race as far more than a ‘plus’ factor, and has no interest in exploring race-neutral alternatives“.

“What Harvard will not admit is that race is not only an important factor, it is the dominant consideration in admitting Hispanics and African-Americans,” SFFA said.

“An Asian-American applicant with 25% chance of admission, for example, would have a 35% chance if he were white, 75% if he were Hispanic, and 95% chance if he were African-American.”

The Guardian reports that court documents filed on Friday by SFFA said showed analysis of over 160,000 applicants who applied for admission over six cycles from 2000 to 2015. Asian Americans scored higher on measures such as like tests but fared less well on personality tests.

“There is no excuse for this, and Harvard cannot offer a single exculpatory explanation that a rational factfinder could accept,’’ the plaintiffs said in court documents. “Asian American applicants to Harvard are just as ‘helpful’, ‘courageous’, and ‘kind’ as white applicants.’’

“It turns out that the suspicions of Asian American alumni, students and applicants were right all along. Harvard today engages in the same kind of discrimination and stereotyping that it used to justify quotas on Jewish applicants in the 1920s and 1930s.”

Harvard denied the allegations, claiming SFFA’s analysis was flawed and misleading.

“Thorough and comprehensive analysis of the data and evidence makes clear that Harvard College does not discriminate against applicants from any group, including Asian-Americans, whose rate of admission has grown 29% over the last decade,” Harvard said in a statement.

In December 2017, Harvard agreed to present confidential applicant and student records after being accused of limiting Asian American admissions by the US Justice Department.