Harvard Admissions Decision

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A federal judge has decided that Harvard did not discriminate against Asian students during the admissions process. The Crimson, Harvard’s student newspaper, provides an analysis of the case.

In its defense, Harvard revealed its admissions process, which included personality ratings. The plaintiff group, Students for Fair Admissions, criticized the system as disadvantaging Asian students. However, in her decision, the judge cited testimony from admissions counselors, shown here.

The judge explained the role of diversity in her decision:

Ensuring diversity at Harvard relies, in part, on race-conscious admissions. The use of race benefits certain racial and ethnic groups that would otherwise be underrepresented at Harvard and is therefore neither an illegitimate use of race or reflective of racial prejudice.

Although she decided in Harvard’s favor, the judge did provide recommendations to Harvard:

 She recommended that admissions officers participate in implicit bias trainings, maintain clear guidelines on the use of race, and monitor any race-related statistical disparities.

She said the task of considering race in admissions is a “a particularly delicate job” to execute lawfully.

Image source.


  • What’s your view of this case? Read more about the case in the judge’s decision.

  • What’s your own experience during the college admissions process? How might this affect how you view the case?

  • Analyze the Harvard Crimson article. What business communication principles do the author follow?