DOJ accuses Yale of illegally discriminating against white, Asian-American students

"Yale rejects scores of Asian American and white applicants each year based on their race, whom it otherwise would admit," the DOJ said.

Updated: August 13, 2020 - 10:23pm

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The U.S. Justice Department on Thursday accused Yale University of illegally discriminating against white and Asian-American students in violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

The federal agency found that most white and Asian-Americans hoping to gain admission to the prestigious institution had a significantly smaller chance of getting in compared to African-Americans.

"For the great majority of applicants, Asian-Americans and whites have only one-tenth to one-fourth of the likelihood of admission as African-American applicants with comparable academic credentials. Yale rejects scores of Asian-American and white applicants each year based on their race, whom it otherwise would admit," the DOJ declared in a press release.

The DOJ determined that race plays a pivotal role in Yale's admissions decisions, going beyond what the Supreme Court has deemed permissible.

"Although the Supreme Court has held that colleges receiving federal funds may consider applicants' race in certain limited circumstances as one of a number of factors, the Department of Justice found Yale's use of race is anything but limited," according to the press release. "Yale uses race at multiple steps of its admissions process resulting in a multiplied effect of race on an applicant's likelihood of admission, and Yale racially balances its classes."

The DOJ notes that as "a condition of receiving millions of dollars in taxpayer funding," Yale must comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which "prohibits discrimination on the basis race, color, or national origin in programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance."

According to its press release, the Department is seeking an immediate end to Yale's racial preferences: "The Department of Justice has demanded Yale agree not to use race or national origin in its upcoming 2020-2021 undergraduate admissions cycle, and, if Yale proposes to consider race or national origin in future admissions cycles, it must first submit to the Department of Justice a plan demonstrating its proposal is narrowly tailored as required by law, including by identifying a date for the end of race discrimination."

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