Harvard, fresh off of its victory (so far) in the racial discrimination case brought against it, has granted early admission to 747 applicants for its next undergraduate class. African Americans constitute 16.6 percent of those admitted early this year. That’s a significant increase from last year, when they were 12.7 percent last year of admittees. (I can’t tell from this report in the Harvard Gazette whether the 12.7 figure is for all of last year’s admittees or just those admitted early.)
The percentages for Asian-Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans are essentially unchanged from last year. Thus, it is White applicants for early admission who are taking the hit. No surprise there.
It would be fascinating to compare the SAT scores (or grades) of the 124 Blacks admitted early to the top 124 SAT scores (or grades) of Whites and/or Asian-Americans who were not admitted. We all know what such a comparison would show, but it would be nice to learn the exact magnitude of the disparity.
Harvard is free, of course, to admit applicants with comparatively inferior test scores and grades. If it wants to lower the quality of its undergraduate population, it can do so as much as it desires.
However, Harvard cannot discriminate on the basis of race. Yet, that’s what I believe it has been doing and is doing again this year, perhaps to an even greater degree than in the past. (It’s possible that when Harvard completes the admission process this Spring, the percentage of admitted Blacks will decline to something closer to the historical level.)
That’s all the more reason why I hope the Supreme Court will agree to review the First Circuit’s decision when the plaintiff files a cert petition.