An Asian student has filed a civil rights complaint against Princeton for rejecting him. His scores were such that, on merit alone, he’d have gotten in.
It’s really no secret that affirmative action hurts Asian students. With above-average IQs and particularly math scores, they are over-represented in colleges nationwide. Rather than kick out white students (though that happens as well), admissions offices often throw “extra” Asians overboard to make room for blacks and Hispanics.
The best documentation for this I’m aware of is a graph in The Bell Curve. Using data they somehow managed to squeeze out of an institution with access to it, Murray and Herrnstein demonstrated that blacks have considerably low SAT scores relative to whites at top colleges — and Asians have relatively high SAT scores. This shows that Asians with scores higher than admitted whites’ did not get in, and that blacks with scores lower than admitted whites’ did.
Affirmative action is not a tie-breaker, then; it’s a system of discrimination against Asians and to a lesser degree whites. You can argue whether or not it’s beneficial, but you have to admit that fact.
Jonah Goldberg has more:
“A study [link added] conducted by two Princeton academics last year…concluded that if you got rid of racial preferences in higher education, the number of whites admitted to schools would remain fairly constant. However, without racial preferences, Asians would take roughly 80 percent of the positions now allotted to Hispanic and black students.
“Peter Kirsanow, a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, notes [link Goldberg's] that there is now ample empirical data showing that the supposed benefits of diversity in education are fleeting when real and often are simply nonexistent. Black students admitted to universities above their skill level often do poorly and fail to graduate in high numbers. UCLA law professor Richard Sander found that nearly half of black law students reside in the bottom ten percent of their law-school classes. If they went to schools one notch down, they might do far better.”
Robert VerBruggen blogs at http://robertsrationale.blogspot.com.