They may rank among the lowest in numbers or percentages of any group admitted to Harvard, but they rank first in SAT scores, Attorneys for Students for Fair Admissions showed in court. “Over an 18-year period stretching from 1995 to 2013, Asian-American students admitted to Harvard scored higher on the SAT than did their peer admits from other racial groups, according to data released in the admissions trial last week,” Shera S. Avi-Yonah and Molly C. McCafferty reported in The Harvard Crimson on October 22, 2018. “A Crimson analysis of the previously confidential dataset — which spans admissions cycles starting with the Class of 2000 and ends with the cycle for the Class of 2017 — revealed that Asian-Americans admitted to Harvard earned an average SAT score of 767 across all sections. Every section of the SAT has a maximum score of 800.”
“By comparison, white admits earned an average score of 745 across all sections, Hispanic-American admits earned an average of 718, Native-American and Native-Hawaiian admits an average of 712, and African-American admits an average of 704.”
“The same general pattern held true for Harvard applicants belonging to these racial groups in this time period. Asian-American applicants on average scored highest on the SAT and African-American applicants scored lowest.”
McCafferty’s byline also appeared on a related story posted Monday, along with the bylines of Alexandra A. Chaidez and Aidan F. Ryan about Harvard’s embattled longtime director of admissions, William R. Fitzsimmons, who may be getting set up as a sacrificial lamb by his employer. “Dean of Admissions William R. Fitzsimmons ’67 had just hit his sixth hour testifying behind the wood-paneled witness stand in the Harvard admissions trial when things got personal,” they wrote. “The lawyer questioning Fitzsimmons — John M. Hughes, an attorney for Students for Fair Admissions, the anti-affirmative action advocacy group suing Harvard — pointed to comments College interviewers had scribbled on certain Asian-American students’ application files unearthed during the trial.”
“One interviewer described a female student as ‘reserved’ and ‘hard-working.’ ‘He’s quiet, and of course, wants to be a doctor,’ another interviewer wrote of an unnamed male student. Hughes argued the reviews constitute model-minority stereotyping and hint at widespread anti-Asian prejudice in Harvard’s admissions process.”
In fairness, “reserved” and “hard working” may be a bit of a reach in a search for stereotyping. If they are stereotypes, Scots and Germans have long been pigeonholed that way.
The irony is that Harvard and its staff are now being held to a standard it and its graduates have long held out for others.