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Asian Americans and Admissions at Brown University

Brown University Ivy League Discrimination against Asians Asian Americans JadeLuckClub http://JadeLuckClub.com

Brown University Ivy League Discrimination against Asians Asian Americans JadeLuckClub http://JadeLuckClub.comThis is from the horse’s mouth. Ivy League college Brown University and their admissions policies with regard to Asian Americans. If you want to read more on why you shouldn’t identify as Asian American when applying to elite private colleges or grad schools, please go here.

Here are some key quotes:

Only two groups of people believe discrimination is a nuanced issue: racists and college admissions officers. But this characterization is unfair to racists—admissions officers are far worse.To compare, one group openly believes Asian-Americans are inferior. The other, more sinister group, proclaims their allegiance to the highest American ideals while systematically depriving Asians of future avenues for success.

…athletes applying to elite colleges gain 200 points on the (old) SAT, Hispanics gain 185 points, legacy candidates gain 160 points, and blacks have a staggering 230 point advantage.

An important 2004 study by Princeton researchers, Thomas Espenshade and Chang Chung, found that applying to America’s best universities as an Asian-American is equivalent to taking off 50 points from your SAT score.

Because they can’t touch the whites, a “merit tax” is levied on qualified Asian-Americans in order to benefit other, less qualified, minorities. 

 …the study’s finding that affirmative action has little impact on white admission rates comes as a surprise.

 

Asian-Americans in Admissions

By Jason Carr on July 7, 2009

Only two groups of people believe discrimination is a nuanced issue: racists and college admissions officers. But this characterization is unfair to racists—admissions officers are far worse. To compare, one group openly believes Asian-Americans are inferior. The other, more sinister group, proclaims their allegiance to the highest American ideals while systematically depriving Asians of future avenues for success.

Asians are doing too well for their own good, at least in the view of the gatekeepers of the Ivory Tower. Hard working, family oriented students whose ancestors hail from the East have been snapping up coveted spots at the country’s most elite universities at an increasing rate for the past two decades. According to Daniel Golden, author of The Price of Admission, “Asian-Americans constitute only about 4.5% of the U.S. population, they typically account for anywhere from 10% to 30% of students at many of the nation’s elite colleges.” Yet even these impressive numbers represent a deliberate attempt by the colleges to buttress their ivy-covered walls against an Asian Invasion. An important 2004 study by Princeton researchers, Thomas Espenshade and Chang Chung, found that applying to America’s best universities as an Asian-American is equivalent to taking off 50 points from your SAT score.

Why punish success? The guaranteed answer to be heard from admissions directors when asked this difficult question is either a “no comment” or an ambiguous regurgitation of the institution’s supposed anti-discrimination policy. The truth, that Asian-Americans are being used as fodder in an admissions process dogmatically focused on achieving its racist campus image goals, is too embarrassing for these bleeding-heart colleges to admit. The study mentioned above proved that athletes applying to elite colleges gain 200 points on the (old) SAT, Hispanics gain 185 points, legacy candidates gain 160 points, and blacks have a staggering 230 point advantage. The main problem for universities (and especially the Ivies) is that legacies and athletes, both desired admits for their financial benefits, are disproportionately white. Yet, these same universities would also like to make sure that proportionate numbers of blacks, Hispanics, and American Indians are in their classrooms. Because they can’t touch the whites, a “merit tax” is levied on qualified Asian-Americans in order to benefit other, less qualified, minorities. In the most terrifying perversion of “racial justice” seen yet, one minority is being plundered for the sake of another, but the true historical discrimination culprits, whites, remain untouched. Until you realize these underlying motivations, the study’s finding that affirmative action has little impact on white admission rates comes as a surprise.

When admissions officers aren’t making empty statements about their concern for diversity, they have a few other explanations to provide for the lower Asian admit rate. According to one former Brown admission officer:

One of the traits of incoming Asian-American applicant pools is uniformity. There’s a striking similarity from applicant to applicant in terms of the choices they make for extra-curricular activities, for example, or course loads, but most importantly, for intended majors.

There are countless reports of admission officers saying that Asians, due to their incredible academic dedication, are not able to contribute to university life in other ways. It appears that Asians are not trying hard enough to diversify their interests.” After all, according to Brown Dean of Admission James S. Miller, the University works to achieve, “selection by a personal estimate of character on the part of the Admission authorities, based on the probable value to the college and to the community of his admission.”

But the above quote is actually from 1926, and the speaker wasn’t James S. Miller. Rather, the individual who uttered these words was A. Lawrence Lowell, President of Harvard University, that rabidly anti-Semitic institution of yore. As Jerome Karabel, author of The Chosen reveals, Lowell limited the size of the freshman class and imposed new admission criteria of “leadership,” “public spirit,” and “fair play” in order to correct the “Jewish problem” to which Columbia had already succumbed. Jews, stereotyped as overly studious and socially uninterested, were thought not to exhibit any of these qualities (sound familiar?). Yale was even more up front in its battle against the Hebrews: they instituted legacy preferences in 1925 to favor the WASP students they were comfortable with. The Jews were limited so long as legacy preferences and the ambiguous admission criteria stayed, and other elite universities followed in lockstep.

It is a damnable irony that, after the eventual lifting of Jewish quotas, the same admissions preferences used to discriminate against them would be employed against the next most successful group, Asian-Americans. The new “Asian problem” is an especially tricky one for colleges, for they cannot be neatly filed into the “white” category. Colleges are being forced to employ their greatest skills in order to keep the Asians down: stereotyping, discrimination, and rejection.

While it appears that admissions directors believe Asians have a genetic predisposition to studiousness and unsociability, I have a more informed explanation. If Asian students know that they are already being discriminated against, at home and on their college applications, isn’t it rational for them to work that much harder to achieve success in a world biased against them? Asian parents drive their children to spend long hours studying because they know what they are up against. The results of this may be a small lack of social skills, but this is not a result of the student’s race, just his circumstances.

And what of this supposed uniformity in majors and extracurricular activities? Asian-Americans are often recent immigrants, and have a wide distribution of income. Immigrants seek the best ways to prove themselves in a new land; this naturally leads to intense interest in mathematics, physics, biology, and other sciences because these disciplines produce real, quantifiable results that members of an oppressed minority can point to as conclusive evidence of their success. Asian-Americans have excelled in more than just the sciences, however. They are over-represented (despite discrimination) at the nation’s top law and business schools — places that are often the destination of college liberal arts majors.

A case study in alleged uniformity across the Asian applicant pool is provided with UC Berkeley before and after racial preferences were lifted. Berkeley experienced a dramatic increase in the number of Asian-American students in its classrooms – at the moment they constitute 47 percent of the student body – soon after Proposition 209 outlawed affirmative action in California. As it is highly doubtful that Berkeley, the best public university in the United States, filled 47 percent of its class with (according to their racist stereotype) biology majors who play the piano, it can be inferred that many in this group have a passionate interest in history, classics, and other such disciplines, as well as wide extracurricular attainments. The Berkeley case illustrates that the only uniformity that can be seen in Asian-American applicants to colleges is academic excellence across all fields.

The great unspoken crime of Asian-American discrimination in college admissions is not just the obvious numerical limits on the group: American universities are joining a long line of individuals, companies, and governments who have deemed Asians subhuman for centuries. From the construction of the First Transcontinental Railroad to Japanese internment camps, America’s Asian relations have not been honorable. Curtailing racist attitudes and stereotypical labeling of Asian-American applicants to college can only be the first step in a long process of atonement. Let us hope that the officers in our esteemed universities do not allow their greed to interfere with their duty as human beings.

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6 Responses to “Asian Americans and Admissions at Brown University”

  1. On December 8, 2011 at 12:38 am

    Brenda J

    responded with... #

    I’m having a hard time feeling the pain of a group that compromises 4.8% of the population, yet accounts for 10 – 30% of college admission spots. At UC Berkeley Asians account for 47% of admissions when they compromise less than one ninth of the population of California.

    Blacks compromise 12.6% of the US population, Hispanics compromise 16.3% of the US population and Whites compromise 63.7% of the US population (http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/00000.html) but Asians (at 4.8%) as a group perform much better in the college admissions process than ANY of these groups (hardly inferior performance). Privileged Whites and children of Alumni also perform very well in the college admissions process but that benefit does NOT extend equally to poor White applicants.

    Is this post suggesting that Asians should get all the college spots they want and the remainder of the population (95.2%) should get to fight over whatever is left? If we took this to a natural conclusion Blacks and Hispanics would be pretty much excluded from all but low-income jobs. Wait, actually we’re not far from there right now so things could get so much worse.

    Unless Asians as a group regularly experience the desperate lives of most low income Blacks and Hispanics, experience the struggles in school systems that disproportionately punish Blacks at a higher rates than any race, experience the struggles of trying to succeed in poorly performing, underfunded schools when the whole world and your teachers EXPECT you to fail, experience the disproportionate incarceration that devastates Blacks and Hispanic families, and experience unemployment rates double the national average then you truly have no clue why small advantages DON’T even begin to level the playing field. That small SAT point advantage helps only a small percentage of low income Blacks and Hispanics who claw their way above their built in social disadvantages.

    Look around you at colleges and in the business world and see how many Blacks or Hispanics you see around you in proportion to other races including Asians. I’ve worked in companies that have had ZERO Blacks or Hispanics employed in Upper Management and Executive level jobs but Blacks and Hispanics were “well” represented in the lowest paid jobs so those companies were able to “DEMONSTRATE” a lack of discriminatory hiring practices. OPEN your eyes and REALLY look.

    This post really comes across as an effort to keep low income Blacks and Hispanics in their rightful place, under educated, under privileged and underpaid. This is where we are right now! Why would you resent small efforts to turn the tide? Why would you not try to see the bigger picture that we all deserve a shot and admissions based strictly on academic merit would effectively shut out low income students of all races who have already suffered through an unequally funded K-12 education system and a host of other social disadvantages.

    • On December 8, 2011 at 8:54 am

      admin

      responded with... #

      To Brenda J,
      I understand your point of view and I am not saying that Asian Americans should take spots away from those who need the assistance — African-American, Latino-American (though they are catching up to Asians in terms of test scores and won’t need the assist in a few decades), and Native Americans. The Affirmative Action program now does not distinguish by socio -economics. For example, Affirmative Action would give the same consideration to say … Barack Obama’s children, an inner city African-American whose parents never went to college, and a 2nd generation immigrant from Africa. In fact, Admissions at top colleges have a preference for new immigrants from Africa and middle class African Americans. In the same vein, middle class/upper middle class Asian Americans get the same consideration as inner city Asian Americans.

      Poverty is the big hurdle here; not race. I am advocating for an Affirmative Action program that gives special consideration by socio-economics. In terms of Asian Americans, I also don’t think that it is fair that we are put into a “quota” bucket that makes our admission criteria higher than any other race including Caucasian. In terms of college admissions, we prefer to compete against the majority. It’s a travesty that we are included in Affirmative Action that suggests that Asian Americans are going to get special consideration to HELP them get into college when it’s actually the opposite. But again, the strong get stronger and weak get weaker. The Asian Americans that live in poverty are being shut out by middle and upper middle class Asian Americans since we are all in the same bucket, fighting the most intensely out of any group for a spot.

      The UC Admissions policy has already changed from a score/grade system to accepting the top ranked student from every California high school in order to reduce the Asian American population. This was done in direct response to the high percentage of Asian Americans.

      Your point that C-Level positions are not held by Blacks or Hispanics but by those who get the coveted top college spots which you assume Asian Americans get and hold. Your argument does not hold up. Here are the stats:
      In 1995, not one Fortune 500 CEO was a person of color. Today, 19 Fortune 500 companies are run by people of color. Despite the 10-30% of college admission spots for Asian Americans, we are not getting many C-level jobs at Fortune 500 companies. Of the 7 spots that Asian Americans hold, one of the companies is founded by the Asian American CEO. And, I am not sure why, but the Asian American Fortune 500 CEO group skews heavily towards East Asian Americans. This is not a bad thing, but it’s just an interesting anomoly. 5/7 are East Asian. 1/7 had to start the company to become CEO.

      Five Fortune 500 CEOs are Black. They are:
      Kenneth Chenault, American Express
      Ronald Williams, Aetna
      Clarence Otis, Darden Restaurants
      John Thompson, Symantec
      Rodney O’Neal, Delphi

      Seven Fortune 500 CEOs are Latino. They are:
      Antonio Perez, Eastman Kodak Co.
      Alain J.P. Belda, Alcoa
      Cristóbal I. Conde, SunGard Data Systems
      José Maria Alapont, Federal-Mogul
      Fernando Aquirre, Chiquita Brands
      Alvaro G. de Molina, GMAC
      William Perez, Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co.

      Seven Fortune 500 CEOs are Asian, including two women of color. They are:
      Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo
      Vikram S. Pandit, Citigroup
      Ramani Ayer, Hartford Financial Services
      Andrea Jung, Avon Products
      Rajiv L. Gupta, Rohm and Haas
      Surya N. Mohapatra, Quest Diagnostics
      Jerry Yang, Yahoo!

      The question that African Americans should be asking themselves is if Latino Americans and Asian Americans can claw their way out of poverty in the same inner city school systems shared by African Americans by raising their test scores, what can African Americans learn from them and apply to themselves? It’s easy to say that the school system is failing and that the teachers are to blame, but if others can overcome the same circumstances, what is the takeaway? For Asian Americans, I suspect that there is a high degree of emphasis on education that comes from home. In addition, parents supply and support academic achievement (over sports as well as anything else).

      If you read this article by a 2-time college president, Affirmative Inaction: The History and Consequences of Affirmative Action, the stats show that:
      The dwindling population of African-American males on college campuses over the last four decades marks the most stunning failure in sustaining the model commonwealth. It also illuminates how limited universities and colleges are in what they can do, even if unconstrained by courts and public opinion.
      While the proportion of black students on American college and university campuses, both public and private, rose from 9 percent in 1976 to 13 percent in 2004 (with blacks continuing to represent about 12 percent of the national population), the proportion who were men was the same in 2002—4.3 percent—as it was in 1976.

      The Affirmative Action program is failing African American males … I agree that something needs to be done, but doing the same thing over and over again doesn’t make a dent. Something DIFFERENT needs to be done in order to break the cycle for African American males. Do I support this? Absolutely. But it’s not about carving out spots at Top Colleges. This should be done, YES, but it’s not enough and it frankly doesn’t work. The issue of why African American males (because females are succeeding) are failing goes deeper and the problem starts way before college applications. Find the root cause and address that. I think it has to do with male parent role models and two parent family units but I am only guessing (mostly because I suspect this is where the big differences lie between Asian Americans in Inner City schools versus African Americans in same).

      From my own parenting experience (PragmaticMom.com), it takes two parents on deck to give children the support they need to succeed both academically and outside of school, particularly when there is more than one child. I have 3, and there are times that unless we have a car pool, we can’t get our kids to the activities they do since they are in 3 difference places at the same time. And I’m the first to say that if you pit my kids against inner city Asian Americans, this is really unfair because middle class Asian Americans have all the advantages yet the inner city Asian American kids are the ones that need the boost.
      And yet, the current system of Affirmative Action makes no distinction.

      It costs more to incarcerate someone than to send them to Brown University. That’s kind of a stunning factoid.

      • On December 8, 2011 at 8:56 am

        admin

        responded with... #

        p.s. Your census numbers are off too:

        The estimated number of U.S. residents of Asian descent, according to the 2010 Census. This group comprised 5.6 percent of the total population. This count includes those who said they were both Asian alone (14.7 million) and Asian in combination with one or more additional races (2.6 million). according to the latest Census numbers.

  2. On December 8, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    admin

    responded with... #

    Thanks, Mia, for all of these posts. It is very eye-opening. As the parent of two high school age half-Asian children, this is very timely and thought-provoking.

    Posted by Harriet (Chris)

    From my LinkedIn Group Asian American Leadership Network

    • On December 8, 2011 at 8:46 pm

      admin

      responded with... #

      To Chris,
      I think the more your kids realize what it means to check a box for race, the better off they are in making an informed decision. If there is still a “tax” for checking the Asian box, then they are lucky to have other options. Mixed race is one. Caucasian is another. And everyone single person always has the option to check Undisclosed.

  3. On February 22, 2012 at 10:50 am Pa Ul responded with... #

    I actually read this and its really informative though I never attended school at Brown University.

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