US Admissions Data – According to a Georgetown University study, if acceptances were purely based on standardised test results, Asian American candidates to elite US colleges would see only minor increases in overall admissions rates.
The assessment, which covered the nation’s 91 most selective schools, was done by Georgetown’s Center on Education and the Workforce to test a key claim in a high-profile legal fight involving Harvard University.
If the SAT exam were the only criterion, Asian Americans would earn an additional 2% of spots at those schools, according to the study.
According to the study’s authors, there is “no compelling evidence” that Asian Americans as a whole are harmed by Harvard and other institutions’ efforts to prioritize ethnic diversity in admissions choices.
“This is a storm in a teapot,” said Anthony Carnevale, a Georgetown research professor of public policy and director of the Center on Education and the Workforce. “It’s not there,” he stated of holistic admissions policies’ alleged anti-Asian prejudice.
However, the discovery was received with considerable skepticism from the outside world. “There is something extremely strange going on” with the Georgetown statistics, according to Peter Arcidiacono, a Duke University economics professor who has assisted in the judicial battle against Harvard.
Professor Arcidiacono referenced College Board data from 2019 that showed 25% of Asian American kids taking the SAT scored in the top range of 1400 or above – more than three times the rate of any other racial or ethnic group.
He claims that if admissions were just based on academics, Harvard and Yale would be over 50% Asian American.
Harvard successfully defended its admissions process in federal court, claiming that it adhered to criteria supported by the US Supreme Court. Those rules allow for race to be considered in admissions choices as long as race is not a deciding factor.
The lawsuit was initiated by an organization called Students for Fair Admissions, which has previously lost battles against the University of North Carolina and the University of Texas at Austin and is still pursuing claims against both institutions.
The organization has petitioned the Supreme Court to reverse the Harvard ruling, and the nation’s highest court recently sought advice from the Biden administration before deciding whether to hear an appeal.
Professor Arcidiacono is one of the expert witnesses called before the court by Students for Fair Admissions to support its claim that Harvard’s practices deprive Asian American students of their right to an education.
Professor Carnevale has long echoed popular criticism of the SAT’s wealth-based favoritism and failure to predict college achievement, claiming that he only utilized it for his research because it was referenced by Harvard’s trial opponents.
According to the Georgetown research, if admissions were solely based on SAT scores, 91 colleges would admit an additional 20% of Asian-American candidates. However, it was shown that roughly as many Asian Americans who were accepted would have been rejected if the criteria had been based only on the SAT.
Professor Carnevale speculated that the apparent difference with the College Board statistics reported by Professor Arcidiacono may be attributable to variables such as the College Board’s probable inclusion of overseas students who aren’t included in the government database utilized for the Georgetown research.
Given the considerable variance in SAT scores linked with particular countries of origin, there might potentially be definitional variations among Asian Americans, he added.
Genevieve Bonadies Torres of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, who testified in favor of Harvard in its legal struggle, endorsed this theory. According to Ms Torres, SAT scores are closely correlated with family income, and Asian Americans of Chinese ancestry are known to do significantly better than those of Hmong and Filipino descent.
Ms Torres cited several examples of accepted Asian American students who benefit from Harvard’s comprehensive admissions assessment process and the chance it gives “to promote the importance of their particular history, heritage, and viewpoint,” according to Ms Torres.