Department of Justice (DOJ) has accused Yale University of illegally discriminating against White and Asian American students during undergraduate admissions and violating federal civil rights law.
“If Yale does not change its admissions policy, the Department will be prepared to file a lawsuit,” said Eric Dreiband, Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights in the letter.
Drieband also stated in the letter, “Yale’s race discrimination imposes undue and unlawful penalties on racially-disfavored applicants, including in particular Asian American and White applicants.”
Following a complaint by Asian American students, DOJ has launched an investigation into Yale’s admission process. The investigation concluded that Asian American and white applicants are only one-tenth to one-fourth as likely to be admitted as African American applications with comparable academic records.
“Yale’s race discrimination imposes undue and unlawful penalties on racially-disfavored applicants, including in particular Asian American and White applicants,” said the letter.
Drieband said in a separate statement, “There is no such thing as a nice form of race discrimination. All people should be treated with decency and respect and without regard to the color of their skin.”
He said that the University receives million dollars in fund and therefore it is bind to the provision of civil rights law which bans discrimination on the basis of race, color, nationality, and other factors.
While Yale has denied all the allegations and said that DOJ has not allowed the university to submit all the data and information that government has requested.
“Had the department fully received and fairly weighed this information, it would have concluded that Yale’s practices absolutely comply with decades of Supreme Court precedent,” stated the school.
The school has also mentioned that while reviewing the applications, they used to consider students’ academic achievement, interests, demonstrated leadership, background, success in taking maximum advantage of their secondary school and community resources, and the likelihood that they will contribute to the Yale community and the world.
Yale investigation was initiated two years back in 2018 following a civil rights activist Yukong Zhao’s 2016 complaint against the Ivy League schools (Yale University, Brown University, and Dartmouth College) accusing “unfairly denied undergraduate admission to Asian-American applicants by treating them differently based on their race during the admission process”.
DOJ, in the absence of sufficient evidence supporting Zhao’s complaint, the department had dismissed the allegations against Dartmouth and Brown and continued with the Yale investigation.