A Chinese-American student with perfect SAT scores has filed a civil rights complaint against Princeton, saying he was rejected because of his race. Jian Li, now a Yale freshman, complains that Princeton’s admission procedures are “biased because they advantage other minority groups, namely African-Americans and Hispanics, legacy applicants and athletes at the expense of Asian-American applicants,” reports the Daily Princetonian.
Li cites a recent study conducted by two Princeton professors as evidence for his case. The study, published in June 2005, concluded that removing consideration of race would have little effect on white students, but that Asian students would fill nearly four out of every five places in admitted classes that are currently taken by African-American or Hispanic students.
Li says he’s not arguing that SAT scores should be the only basis for admission.
“Lots of things should be considered beyond that, but I don’t think race should be one of them.”
Li, who has a perfect 2400 SAT score and near-perfect SAT II scores, was rejected this past year from five of the nine universities he applied to ï¿½ Princeton, Harvard, Stanford, MIT and the University of Pennsylvania ï¿½ and accepted to four: CalTech, Rutgers, Cooper Union and Yale.
Li’s happy at Yale, but says it’s a question of principle.
He came to the U.S. at the age of four, so we can assume he speaks English as a second language. He did not inherit centuries of white privilege. And he resembles many other very hard-working, very successful Asian-American students.
Volokh conspirator David Bernstein believes private universities have a “right to engage in affirmative action preferences, so long as they defend such preferences as a part of an attempt to educate students in a pro-“diversity” message.”