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Discrimination Against Asians In College Admissions

Asian-Americans and college admissions. Is the bar set higher for Asian-Americans?

Jessica Peng, left, and Lauren Sit talk about proposed college admissions guidelines affecting Asian students at Lowell High School in San Francisco, Thursday, April 23, 2009. (AP)

Jessica Peng, left, and Lauren Sit talk about proposed college admissions guidelines affecting Asian students at Lowell High School in San Francisco, Thursday, April 23, 2009. (AP)

In just days now, spring college admissions letters will start to flow.  Here’s a wrinkle you may not have thought of.  A lot of Asian-Americans, with high scores and high grades, feel they’re not getting an even break.  Feel that top colleges are tapping the brakes on Asian-American admissions to hold down Asian-American enrollment.

Meaning an Asian-American kid, they say, has to clear an unfairly high bar to get in.  In the age of Tiger Mom talk and affirmative action angst, that’s a volatile charge.

This hour, On Point:  college admissions, and the Asian-American factor.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Carolyn Chen, director in Asian American Studies at Northwestern University, where she is also professor of sociology. In December she wrote an op-ed in the New York Times titled, “Asians: Too Smart for Their Own Good?

Rod Bugarin, has spent more than 15 years in admissions offices at selective schools, including Wesleyan, Brown and Columbia. In the New York Times’ Room for Debate pages, he wrote a response to Carolyn Chen’s op-ed: “Scores Aren’t the Only Qualification.”

David Hollinger, professor of history at the University of California, Berkeley, where he has taught since 1992.

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times (Carolyn Chen) “At the end of this month, high school seniors will submit their college applications and begin waiting to hear where they will spend the next four years of their lives. More than they might realize, the outcome will depend on race. If you are Asian, your chances of getting into the most selective colleges and universities will almost certainly be lower than if you are white.”

The New York Times (Rod Bugarin) “Asian and Asian-American students should embrace affirmative action because it allows you to present yourself as a complete person instead of reducing yourself to a test score. More important, a campus community composed only of students who have aced standardized tests cannot match the dynamic, diverse ethos that currently exists. I’m sure that many students, particularly Asian and Asian-Americans, would not find Ivy League schools as desirable if their campus communities only valued competitive, high-stakes testing where only a few are given the opportunity to succeed.”

The American Conservative “Even more surprising has been the sheer constancy of these percentages, with almost every year from 1995–2011 showing an Asian enrollment within a single point of the 16.5 percent average, despite huge fluctuations in the number of applications and the inevitable uncertainty surrounding which students will accept admission. By contrast, prior to 1993 Asian enrollment had often changed quite substantially from year to year. It is interesting to note that this exactly replicates the historical pattern observed by Karabel, in which Jewish enrollment rose very rapidly, leading to imposition of an informal quota system, after which the number of Jews fell substantially, and thereafter remained roughly constant for decades.”

 

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  • LinRP

    You must be joking. I am as liberal as they come, but I don’t buy this for a minute. My work takes me often to the campuses of MIT, Harvard, and Boston College.  If you want to talk about the underrepresented, then look to the African-American and Latino communities for sure. Asians discriminated against? I highly doubt it. Get me the statistics. That group makes up huge swaths of the population at those schools, especially MIT and Harvard with BC not far behind.

    • ToyYoda

      Maybe he (they) means that there should be even more Asians on these campuses, if test scores are the sole metric for representation?

    • http://stevemd.myopenid.com/ Steve

      Asians are significantly under represented with respect to achievement.  On average, they have higher grades, higher test scores, and comparable levels of leadership and extra curricular experience.  If acceptance were based on race-blind metrics alone like UCLA, the percentage of Asians at elite institutions would would be closer to 40%. You say over represented based on population. I say under represented based on merit.

  • Fiscally_Responsible

    I wonder if those who oppose discrimination oppose this example of discrimination?  Or is discrimination ok as long as it is directed toward the politically correct groups of people?

    • PaulfromHydeParkMA

      Hello FR – This is not discrimination. There are no regulations being violated here because private colleges and universities are not required to position the student body in any one way. There are so many things that Asians could do to vary the ways they are perceived on selective campuses. Like any other nationality, they find it hard to make quantum changes quickly…if they change the profile over time, it’s likely they’ll see changes they like in the allocation of places at selective colleges and universities.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Meritocracy is dying in corporations,
    it is dying in government,
    why should it be embraced in education?

    Apologies for my self-indulgent cynicism…
    This is a tough issue.

    I heard a very interesting analysis last fall regarding the long term success and accomplishment of students trained to the test versus those prepared with a less rigid, broader education affording them opportunity to develop in other ways including actually having a childhood.

  • Coastghost

    Correct my assumption, someone, please: but I assume one big reason Asian Americans find themselves being discriminated against in college/university admissions is because they do not as a cohort avail themselves of coll./univ. remediation programs in the numbers that other ethnic populations do. True or false?

    • PaulfromHydeParkMA

      I would guess, Coastghost, that your premise is false. Too many studies to list have documented the high value that Asian culture place on Education at the highest levels. Here in 2013, something like 57% of American Adults STILL do not have a BA. The similar statistic for Asians is ~7%. It’s absurdly dissimilar and is attributable ONLY to culture. American society simply does not value education the way other cultures do. When America as a nation is willing to invest the $$ needed to bring schools into alignment with the achievement levels in other nations, we might start seeing a balancing of the ratios of Whites to Asians in college populations. Asian kids are just as obsessed with pleasing their parents as American kids, but they make it a matter of personal pride way more than U.S. students do.  

  • Lamar Root

    An anecdote worth investigating:  I took my child three years ago for a campus visit at Duke University.  The day of our arrival, the student newspaper, The Chronicle, ran a headline and an editorial regarding the makeup of recent first year classes and the new incoming classes, questioning “What is Duke?” (or words to that effect).  My recollection is the figure for new Duke students of Asian ethnicity was in excess of 20% each year for the past five. 

    Some believe the student bodies of colleges (certainly public institutions) should reflect the demographics of society. (I do not.)  Since Asians are well below 10% of the total US population (I’ve seen 6% cited), >20% at an elite instution like Duke may not reflect descrimination — or if it does, it would be discrimination against non-Asians!

    Taking the Duke example, what may be the issue is the limited number of openings at elite institutions like Duke, and the liklihood Asians, as an applicant pool, might be the most qualified candidates.  My guess is there are many Asian parents in the same position I found myself – with a child possessing remarkable qualifications (e.g., 2250 SAT, All 5s in AP, three varsity sports (capitan in one and all-league in another), etc.) who didn’t even make the waiting list at Duke or other top shools.  It is very frustrating for both parent and student ” to do everything right”, only to find we are not good enough.  Asians might then assume discrimination, just as I had to resist the temptation to assume my child had been the victim of discrimination based on his demographic profile (male, white, straight, Boston suburb, etc.).

    I am not a fan of the admissions process, but, with two kids thriving at what were once considerred their respective “safety schools”, I think admissions officers largely “get it right”, despite leaving themselves open to questions.

    • PaulfromHydeParkMA

      Nicely balanced, Mr. Root! I’ve known an Admissions person from Wheaton (MA) College and she is invisible from September 1 – March 1 because her job is so all consuming. They devote themselves to matching the skills of applicants to the students who remain after the latest class of graduates. It’s fundamentally Art, not science, and parents who counsel their kids that certain activities, test results, etc will “guarantee” admission to any college are doing their children a disservice. It’s just as important to teach a child that being rejected isn’t a comment on them as people…and that they’re going to have to deal with being rejected frequently in their lives. The better-rounded a student is the better s/he is going to be able to handle the curve balls that life throws all of us.

    • tagubajones

       These are excellent comments and, in spite of being at their safety schools, there is little doubt that your children will thrive. College will quickly be behind them, they’ll be into grad schools and then get on with their lives.

  • MurielV

    I agree that meritocracy is not the rule for college admissions.  Athletes and legacy get a disproportionate amount of spots at top-ranking colleges and universities often with significantly lower accomplishments than their peers who will be denied access.  After 2 of my kids going to college (waiting for answers for the second one) I can emphatically say that college admission is impenetrable.  You may do everything of what is being asked of you–work really hard, take the hardest classes at your high school, perform really well in them, perform meaningful community service, enrich yourself in extracurricular activities, be on your HS teams for 4 years, have great recommendations from your teachers, work and do internships– and still you may not be accepted at the high-ranking college, let alone high-ranking college of your choice.  It is nerve-wracking to students and parents, because there is little sense to it.  For colleges to say that they look at kids in a hollistic way is a way for them to tell the public: we will not tell you how we decide on what kid we are accepting.  Test scores do test the learning that took place throughout your life, your ability to retain information, your critical thinking and the material you have mastered.  They could be better but they do have some value and are not just a measure of how well you take a test.
    When your kid goes to an excellent high school their chances of going to a high ranking college, counter-intuitively are lower to some extent because a higher number of students are qualified for these but the colleges will not accept more than a couple each.  A large number of students from these excellent high schools who have higher qualifications than other students at the top of their weaker high schools will not be picked by the elite/ivies/high-ranking colleges whereas the weaker students because they are at the top of their (weaker) high schools will be selected by the above mentioned colleges.  They may even need remedial classes when they reach college.  Unfair for those who are highly competent, more so than others, who do not reach their dream, high ranking school because their high school is too good and colleges want to have students from a variety of high schools and not let’s say 25 kids from a school such as Brookline High School.  So it may be that a lot of these Asian kids do come from very good high schools and their chances of going into their dream school are lower because there are so many excellent students at their high school and you do have to be a lot better than the really good students at your school.  I find this is true for my white, middle class boys who attend Brookline High School where they have learned a great deal in a meaningful way but are in competition with their similarly highly educated, intelligent, hard working, successful, involved, athletic white, Asian, African-American and hispanic kids at Brookline High School.  Not all these highly qualified kids will end up at the ivies, and not necessarily for the worse

    • tagubajones

       Good points but the fact is the top-ranked universities are overwhelmed with applicants who meet their requirements and who would thrive on their campuses. I would say that the problem is not the adcoms’ opaque or “holistic” admissions policies but, rather, the obsession of parents with getting their kids into the Ivies/Stanford/Berkeley/MIT.

      What’s the alternative? The dozens of small, outstanding liberal arts colleges around the country. In a nation of failing education, these small colleges are our national treasure. Heaven forbid a child graduate from Harvey Mudd rather than MIT…

      • PaulfromHydeParkMA

        Exactly Taguba! Last I checked, a BA from Oberlin, Grinnell, Swarthmore or Occidental was highly regarded in the workplace, though the current economy might have changed the assurance of preferred status by virtue of having worked very hard for all 4 years of one’s BA studies.

      • MurielV

        That is true.  However your example of Harvey Mudd might not be the best.  We have visited Harvey Mudd.  It is even more selective than the Ivy League colleges with even fewer spots offered the total school has about 800 students or about 200 freshmen) and it is mostly a math, science, engineering school.

        The problem I think for applicants and parents is that there does not seem to be a correlation between working hard, getting results, learning smartly, being a well-rounded student and being accepted to a college where they put a premium on exactly these qualities.  (not a rational, logical, predictable process is in my opinion what is unnerving).

        • tagubajones

           Haha! I knew someone was going to call me out on Harvey Mudd–I just love the name. Okay, how about Pomona or any of the other schools listed below by Paul?

          As for your second comment, I have to think the admissions offices of any well-run liberal arts college would disagree. Of course there is a connection between these points. Yes, some people are privileged but…what else is new? And universities are institutions that have their own “institutional priorities”. So a major donor gets his kid into Harvard — so what?

          As for not being rational or predictable, I have to disagree strongly: the process is predictably unpredictable. And with more qualified applicants than they  can possibly accept, admissions ultimately has to be something of an art, relying on the feel and judgement of the adcom.

          There is a reason why people use the term “accepted” in admissions rather than the more neutral term of “admitted”…

  • NrthOfTheBorder

    Reminds me of the quip a friend made about going to UCLA:  ”I’d look around on the first day of class and say, ‘Whoops! Too many Asians – there goes any chance of getting an “A”"”.  The irony? He was Japanese. 

  • Gregg Smith

    So we raise the bar for Asians and lower it for blacks. It’s amazing what some people can deduce from the color of skin.

  • J__o__h__n

    Lower the quotas and preferences for children of alumni. 

    • JGC

      Can that be required of private institutions like Yale, Harvard and that ilk, which I think is her main complaint: I wanna go to an Ivy school. 

      • J__o__h__n

        If they want federal money and privileged tax status. 

        • tagubajones

           Well, that is a good point.

    • PaulfromHydeParkMA

      Hi J O H N – There is nothing wrong with giving preference to alumni children as long as they can do the work and contribute to the community the same way any other student does. Having multi-generational ties builds a school’s history and continuity which, as long as it isn’t done very often (which it isn’t despite the popular notion) and distorts the balance and variety of the student body. Distinguishing between Asians and other students is fine in the interest of assuring students as varied an experience as an institution of higher ed can “guarantee.”

      • J__o__h__n

        No, establishing preferences like this impair social mobility, which is much more important for the country as a whole than multi-generational ties. 

        • PaulfromHydeParkMA

          That’s nonsense John, unless you’re thinking that the only access to social mobility comes from going to a selective liberal arts college or university. There are many, many ways to gain social mobility (for example earning a ton of money somehow) that are not linked at all to the school(s) one attends. The effort by Asians might need to be more diverse and directed, but if they take an “I can do this by working hard…” (“This” being gaining Social Mobility). they are likely to make it with well developed curiosity, broad thinking and the persistence that characterizes all efforts to be first tier.

          • J__o__h__n

            Schools are supposed to educate not be country clubs for the elite and their children.  Social mobility is essential for a vibrant society. 

          • PaulfromHydeParkMA

            Right, John. And nothing about the admissions process at selective colleges and universities retards social mobility. Anyone who claims it does is using an excuse for not being persistent, creative and open-minded about the number of options that exist in our society for people to move up if they choose to put in the effort.

          • J__o__h__n

            Of course it retards it.  Reserving spots for the privileged offspring creates an entitled class.  I’m not claiming that admission to elite schools is the only way to get ahead but it is a large part.  Establishing too related to fail preserves an undeserved birth status. 

          • tagubajones

            You now, John, ALL colleges and universities look favorably upon the children of alumni, not just the top-ranked schools. It’s not an entitled class that, as a group, they are creating…

          • PaulfromHydeParkMA

            Hello J_O_H_N,

            I’m not disagreeing with your premise about preferred admissions. Like you, I wish they did not exist. Unlike you and many others, I have just come to accept that these things happen because that’s how the big bad world works. We’re going to have to agree to disagree about whether that policy keeps anyone from having access to social mobility.
            For example, I just got cut off the online-site for a course in which I teach a module for BU because I had the gall to connect an comment of mine to Mittens Romney, which “violated” the policy of “no politics or posts about controversial topics.” It “confuses” the poor students if an instructor whose module is not currently open writes a comment on the public boards posts something….Gee, the poor, poor students. Having to wade through 1 comment from an instructor who isn’t as nebulous and non-committal as the rest of society is these days. Talk about Big Brother getting out of control! Just absurd.

            Be Well, J_O_H_N,
            Paul

            When You Lose What You Are,
            You Find Out Who You Are

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1191224433 Margaret Mcintyre-Farina

            As a former school board member in an Illinois district, I learned education is no longer about social mobility but about CHANGING SOCIETY.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/QMDZ3LH5U2B4GAT7J2HS4TCP6E Jim

    it did not just start recently. this discrimination started back in the 90s when i graduated from college. Todays, whites have better odds of making to the Ivies than Asian Americans, of course, unless the Asian candidate is 6’6-7’0 and can bring plenty of $$$ to the university in basketball revenue.

  • Wahoo_wa

    Minorities complaining that merit isn’t being considered for admission?  Really?  That’s rich!

  • tagubajones

    I’m sorry, did this lady just compare Jews to Asians?

    Jews come from a tiny area of the world while Asia is a vast continent….this is a surreal comment for her to make…

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/2N5IKCCSE64CIRE3ZNYO2OMWWI Monk

      They are talking about Asian Americans. 

    • Wahoo_wa

      That WAS her point.  Those who are Jewish make up a larger percentage of college populations when compared to their percentage of the general population.

      She race-baited the observation by presuming that there is no perceived problem with this disparity because Jews tend to be Caucasian.

      It’s the race-baiting hour on On Point…..again.

    • PaulfromHydeParkMA

      Excellent point Ms./Mr. Jones. Just listen to the Mom who thinks her adopted Korean daughter should have waltzed into the top schools in the nation. It’s just wrong…the admissions folks do everything they can diversify the student body.

  • geraldfnord

    An examination of the Ivies’ frantic (and successful) attempts to avoid being overwhelmed (as they saw it) by Jews, circa 1910 CE. For one thing, the stereotype of the excellent Jewish doctor largely was based on the fact that perhaps at most 1 in 5 qualified Jews would be allowed into medical school and so only the best of our best could make it. For another, it led to a sudden emphasis on athletics and ‘good breeding’, areas in which we were judged to be inherently and eternally deficient, to which (to use only very recent examples) Mlle Raisman and Mme Albright might speak.

  • MarkVII88

    Your guest stated that Asian Americans tend to have higher SAT scores and represent a significantly greater proportion of Ivy League students than their US population levels would suggest.  Does this only include Asian Americans with Asian parents?  What about Asians who are adopted in this country by non-Asian parents, a growing demographic?

  • J__o__h__n

    Affirmative action should be based on class.  All educational funding should go to public institutions and not subsidizing private institutions. 

  • CarlontheCape

    As a white male who honestly believed he got into a top flight university based on merit and hard work – clearly I am guilty of everything.

  • PaulfromHydeParkMA

    This idea that every demographic – Women, Asians, Gays, People who are left-handed and people who wear Calvin Klein jeans – must be represented in the ratio of the general population is nonsense. It has gone way beyond redressing an imbalance. You will hear properly that the private institutions have the right to populate their campuses however they choose. Your guest is simply wrong – rich donors cannot “guarantee” a spot anywhere. It just is not done. Sure, there are legacies, and the left hand takes care of the right hand’s needs. But one could easily argue that it is up to the members of the Asian demographic to differentiate themselves in the same way that white upper middle class folks have to distinguish themselves so the campus isn’t all white folks from private schools. Asians have succeeded to the degree that they are being denied admission for the same reasons other demographic groups get denied. They need to change their tunes and figure out ways to be unique again.

    • http://www.facebook.com/darie.mclaughlin Darie Mc Laughlin

      The fairness you gaudge value with is based on the majority/minority , bi-cameral, two party system you refer to as democrarcy or freedom or some such thing. Help yes?

      • PaulfromHydeParkMA

        Hi Darie – Not sure I understand your question? I’m not in any way claiming that admissions is a democratic function…it’s exactly the opposite. It’s heirarchical and is “ruled,” if you will, by a bunch of well-intentioned admissions officers who do whatever they can to make sure that everyone on campus is not the same – by genes, test scores, approach to life, etc.

  • http://www.facebook.com/darie.mclaughlin Darie Mc Laughlin

    Your guest has gone on about how the simple tool of opression, known as cultural diversity, is being used against the newest american born immigrant citiczens by the engrained patological underclass, or the “middle class” for short. Very old hat.
      The intelectual study at present is how the same tool of opression “cultural diversity’ wielded as shoveanuism makes young women more volnerable to institutional rape than male boys in the Colonies and California.

  • MurielV

    Legacy, athlete, big donor, public high school, all of these categories also play against my white middle-class boys.  I think the speaker needs to break it down by socio-economic categories.  From my experience I believe the Asian-American students she is talking about are the ones who are middle and upper middle class and who go to really good high schools where a large number of students are very good and all compete for very few spots at ivy league colleges (ex. Brookline High School, Newton, Lexington, Sudbury, etc in MA).  She is not talking of Asian-Americans from Vietnamese origin leaving in Lowell, MA, for example.  My experience as the mother of white boys in a good high school is that very few of them will end up in an ivy league because of the categories above and because their high school is full of highly qualified students that would all do well at these schools but are too numerous.

    • http://www.facebook.com/darie.mclaughlin Darie Mc Laughlin

      So the kids that were targeted for head start then? Yes but no. They sucseed ?We.

  • andreawilder

    I’ve had maybe 10 Asian graduate students living in my home, 
    all hard working graduate students, no different in work ethic
    from other graduate students who have lived here.  The last one just left for marriage to a white girl, also finishing up a graduate degree, and a good job.  Great guy, great couple, what’s not to like?

    Is the problem over blown?

  • geraldfnord

    Yes, but both are groups aren’t very numerous in the U.S., are or have been seen as inherently alien to it, and know or knew that at first the rest of the nation would value us only to the extent that we were _especially_ useful, at first as cheap labour but later (because being cheap labour gets old fast) as professionals. Having cultures in which education were valued as ensigns and determinants of in-group social status, regardless of the contempt with which book-learnin’ and ‘perfessor’s (to quote a one-time credible G.O.P. threat to wolves and the Nation) were and are held in some native quarters, certainly helped and helps….

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/QMDZ3LH5U2B4GAT7J2HS4TCP6E Jim

    if there is only an Asian American politician who can fight for our rights… sigh… i mean we don’t have someone like Dr King…

    most politicians worry about $$$ for themselves than fighting for people’s rights.

  • JGC

    If Asian students are double the representation of their current portion of the American population (12% vs. 5%, I think I heard), won’t they be part of the legacy of the next generation, and therefore their kids will eventually occupy an even greater proportion of university slots? 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1191224433 Margaret Mcintyre-Farina

      It will be interesting to see if the Asians give the money to keep the schools going…

      • zzowee

         Do you know how racist that sounds?

  • ThirdWayForward

    Why does anyone have the illusion that any social process of this sort is “fair”? Blow away the smokescreen.

    Universities are not meritocracies, they are not democracies, and their ulterior purpose, for which parents pay top dollar, is credentialing.

    “Life is like a high school popularity contest, except with money.”

  • ToyYoda

    Malcolm Gladwell in his book “Outliers” details a study showing that after a certain cutoff point, additional accolades to get you into college does not matter.  He suggests a lottery system after a minimal requirement is met. I would like to know your guests opinion on this suggestion.

    • zzowee

      Parents would never accept that. Oh the outrage!

  • J__o__h__n

    NPR had a story a while ago which showed what a joke the whole process is: 

    http://www.npr.org/2011/03/28/134916924/Amherst-Admissions-Process

  • http://www.facebook.com/emily.h.lacroix Emily Harvey Lacroix

    When I was applying to colleges, I would have loved to have not been white. I always thought I would have done better as a minority. But race, geography, and “class-balancing” disadvantages everyone. The grass is always greener, so we think, for someone else.

  • WBC_in_MA

    I’ve heard about this discrimination for years.  And the same could be said for Jewish Americans.  It’s time for all schools to go to a blind admissions system … no questions about race or ethnicity allowed, and even the name of the applicant should be hidden from those who are deciding who should be accepted. 

    • jhklap

      It seems she is perpetuating unfair stereotypes about Jews.
      When my kids applied to college I don’t recall “Jewish” on the list.
      I thought it was a faith rather than a race?
      Correct me if I am wrong.
      I agree about going blind.
      My son is white and he was also valedictorian on and on.
      But he also got rejected from four top schools and then got on the waiting list at columbia and was accepted.
      The numbers are out of control and it is simply about luck.

      Then I called just now to make my comments about unfair stereotypes concerning Jews, he quickly cut me off.
      .

      • anon

        The Common App has an optional question about religion.

  • Diane Juster

    Did this guest begin her research only 10 years ago?  Her comments about Jews are bizarre.  For decades, there were actual quotas at Harvard, Princeton, and Yale ,etc.,  limiting the number of Jews.  When this became unethical in the 1960′s, when I was applying to college, they instituted something called ”geographical distribution” to limit the number of Jews from the New York area.  Does the guest not know that Brandeis University was founded as a  world- class institution  to accept the large number of Jews who could not get into the Ivy League? Yes, Jews are “white”, but when I first interviewed at Tufts in 1965, the college was quite aware of names, recommendations from rabbis, etc.; I was asked some questions that were not so subtly anti-semitic.  In that year,  female Jewish students were assigned other Jews as roommates, too.  Two years later, when the school began accepting promising African-American students, they were uniformly assigned Jewish roommates because “Jews are so liberal.”  Talk about stereotypes… Don’t cry for me……

    • shaaromayo

      But this is exactly Chen’s point.  You might like to listen to her without your biases.  Her research work, if you read it, talks about everything you have pointed out.  Even in her NYT article, she says that when Jews were scoring well in terms of their “merit,” admissions counselors started using artificially constructed criteria such as “character,” “solidity” etc.  You might also like to read John Larew’s “Why are droves of unqualified white kids getting into our top colleges.”

      • Diane Juster

        Yes, you are correct that she later brought up some of my points.  But I started writing my reply early on and was afraid she had erased some history here.  I shall listen again tonight.

        • DJLex

          Just listened again. Yes, I may be biased , but she repeated several times about the quotas against Jews *in the 1920′s*, as if it was  the succeeding decades were so much better.  And even in the early 1970s, Time Magazine even ran a story that Columbia U. was recruiting in Catholic and military prep schools because they were trying to avoid the Jewish rabble rousers who led the protests in that era.

  • Wahoo_wa

    Wait Asians and Jews have higher populations in higher education than in the general population and white people in admissions offices are discriminating AGAINST them?!  Someone needs to get her money back from the International Correspondence School!  How quickly we forget this conversation: http://onpoint.wbur.org/2012/10/09/affirmative-action-2

  • MurielV

    The speaker needs to break it down into socio-economic terms. It seems like she wants for upper-class Asian-Americans what upper-class whites or as she says Jews are getting.
    What about working-class Asians?

  • OnPointFan

    Sorry, I don’t buy this AT ALL. I hear this argument as a lot of whining and complaining and wanting special treatment BECAUSE OF being Asian!  Many Asian kids excel and beat out the rest academically and DO get in –in droves! look at the population percentages–to the elite schools, and there’s nothing new under the sun about elite schools’ admission preferences. Talk to a white, blue collar kid about special treatment that demographic–there is none.  How many times has Carolyn responded to Tom’s and others’ challenging questions with “That’s a really good question, Tom.”  You’re trying to make a political/racial issue here where there is none, and your argument is thin.

    • PaulfromHydeParkMA

      Thank you, OPF. Absolutely. Admissions is Opaque for a reason…and it is going to stay that way for exactly the reason people are reacting negatively to this discussion. There’s another “that’s a really good question, Tom…” about checking the self-reporting race box on the application. She clearly has not put on the shoes of White Upper Middle Class folks to try to understand what issues come up for people as they decide how and where to apply.
       

  • turtledoggy

    I believe Ms. Chen is WAY off base, and is having  a problem with the “We Want It All” syndrome.  I also find it outrageous for her to compare the Asian American situation with Jews.  Jews were deliberately targeted, not merely a part of the larger pool of applicants.  She said herself these are highly selective and Competitive arenas.  Stop fighting for special treatment, under the guise of “discrimination”…it’s simply doesn’t pan out.

  • andreawilder

    The problem Ms. Chen sees will vanish through intermarriage.

    • tagubajones

       Thank you for this excellent point.

  • http://www.facebook.com/npicart1 Neil Picart

    This does not only affect Asian Americans.  We are Jamaican American and our daughter is in MSE (Math, Science and Engineering) in one of the top 5 schools in the entire country.  She is captain of the flag football team, president of the National Honors Society at her school and still was not accepted to any of her top choices. Affirmative action does not benefit black academically superior student because of the societal prejudice about blacks and acedemics

  • suzyf921

    Viewpoint from a local university professor: Asian-American students are often very passive in class, rarely volunteering to answer questions, and generally hard to draw out. A discussion seminar with several Asian-American students often falls flat – too much of the “burden” of discussion falls on the other students.  I have a couple of such students in both grad and undergrad classes right now – it makes it hard to get the class going.
    The ability to step forward, to express and argue an opinion, and demonstrate some leadership is something which Tiger parents would do well to foster in their kids. My impression is that they often stifle these tendencies instead. 

    • Mommy

      Impressions are often wrong.

      Speaking as someone who is quiet and not Asian-American, maybe our expectations of what a college classroom should look like are the problem?????  Just because it is hard doesn’t mean a student cannot be engaged.  They are probably engaged in a way that you do not understand.What is wrong with being who you are????  Maybe I and others don’t want to be the typical extroverted American.And I would drop the use of the term ‘Tiger parent’ it sounds racist when people use it.   

      • suzyf921

        A seminar course is a DISCUSSION course. No discussion = no course.  Universities work hard (and it costs a lot!) to offer these small courses with a student to prof ratio of 1:10 or so, and when it doesn’t go well because some of the students won’t speak up, everyone loses out. That was my point. 

        If a student is “engaged”, I expect them to be able to ask and answer critical questions – that is the basis of critical inquiry. Sitting quietly doesn’t do it, sorry.

        And I didn’t coin the “Tiger mom” terminology – see  ”Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” by Amy Chua. Don’t label me as racist for quoting that term.

        • Mommy

          I guess I hit a sore spot!  Sorry! 

          I do know where the term “Tiger Mom”  came from.  It still doesn’t excuse it, although you might still think it is OK.  I am sure your students appreciate your use of the term.  And to clarify, I did not call you a racist.  I said the term was racist.  

  • tagubajones

    I think this Ms. Chen is way off base. She is clearly uncomfortable with ambiguity and the fact that you can’t always get what you want.

    Admissions officers at top schools are overworked, underpaid and have an enormously difficult job.

    Also, when she refers to the “special interest groups” on campus and who a university is “accountable to” I think she should realize that a university is, largely, accountable to itself. If you don’t like Harvard’s lack of accountability or regard for society, why would you want your child to go their?

    • JGC

      There is the answer in your statement: more Asian Americans need to gravitate towards careers as university admissions officers. 

      • J__o__h__n

        At the risk of engaging in a stereotype, perhaps they are too smart for that job. 

        • tagubajones

           Ha! Yes–it sounds like awful work. But wouldn’t it be ironic if they were rejected by such schools since so many top schools have their own grads in the admissions office!

          I appreciate your comment about engaging a stereotype, though. I wonder how many Asian-American parents would be excited to learn that upon graduation from Ivy School X, their child had decided to work in the admissions office…at what point to the obsessive parents (not limited to Asian Americans, mind you…) back off?

  • Markus6

    The admissions officer is both scary and, I think, representative. Having gone through this process with two bright kids, I’ve found these people to be idealogues. They’re forced into admitting a large number of kids who are great students. But, in my opinion, they want to right the wrongs of society as they see it. 

    Something this important shouldn’t be in the hands of these low level bureaucrats with their biased views. 

  • MurielV

    There is no fairness to college admission, period!

    There is discrimination in favor of legacy, athletes, big donors, children of faculty, first time college applicant in family, minority, etc who are often not as qualified as people who come on their own merit.  (Of course some in these categories are also highly qualified).  If you are neither of those good luck to you.  You are competing with 20 to 30,000 high school students for a number of spots that has already been reduced very significantly.

  • Wahoo_wa

    It’s shows like this that keep me from donating to my local NPR station.

    • http://www.facebook.com/janet.rathbun.77 Janet Rathbun

       It’s shows like this that CAUSE me to donate to my local NPR station AND WBUR!

      • Wahoo_wa

        If you’re into illogical bigotry…more power to you I guess!

    • JGC

      Ira Glass is going to give you a call during the next pledge drive…  

      • Wahoo_wa

        I would love that!  For the most part I love NPR.  There are just a couple of programs that repeatedly do things like race-bait a topic, or present topics in a way that is so blatantly distorted that it makes me question the integrity of NPR.  This is one of those shows.

  • Mary Everett

    Aren’t Asian-American students competing against foreign
    Asian students for admission? News reports indicate that applications from foreign Asian students, especially from the
    expanding wealthy class in China, are way up.  

    • JGC

      I think I’ve heard that more universities are creating/reserving slots for international students, partly for diversity but also because they pay a much higher tuition. 

      • zzowee

        This has always been the case with international students. They pay full tuition as well as room and board, making them veritable cash cows.

        I think Mary brings up a very good point tho, in that Asian nationals are coming from a very different culture compared to Asian Americans (without any intention to disparage Asian Americans.) I was just in grad school, over 15 years after leaving college, and not only were there lots (more) Chinese students, but they were vocal, opinionated and highly engaged. I would say some of the most valuable to the class discussion in many of the classes I was in.

        I’m sure that admissions officers recognize this about international students.

      • anon

        I think this is an important point. Foreign students pay full price and don’t normally get financial aid. Many countries (like the Arab Gulf countries) pay for their students to study overseas (and give them salaries for expenses). They also make donations to prestigious universities, so even if the student isn’t a ‘legacy’ student, I have to assume that knowing that his or her government just donated so many millions to the institution has to make a difference. There are many, many factors involved…

        For example, the University of Virginia is a very selective school, and they have a lot of applicants from all over. Those who are from outside Virginia pay higher tuition, but the legislature mandated that 2/3 of the students be from Virginia. The admissions officers there will tell you that a student from Virginia can get in with much lower qualifications than an out-of-state student; i think they said that 2/3 of their applicants are out-of-state, but they make up only 1/3 of the sudents that are accepted (because the other 2/3 have to be from Virginia).

        I’m not saying that either of these things is right or wrong – they just are facts; again, there are many factors that go into it.

        • JGC

          That makes sense. I live in the Montreal area, and with the restrictions on tuition here (we’ve just come off a season of student strikes because the previous government wanted to increase the tuition by $325 after a 20 year freeze) foreign full tuition payments are very important for the bottom line.   

          I am a graduate of a U.S. state land grant school, and I know that it is important that the residents who pay the taxes  supporting the universities and colleges get primary consideration for acceptance. There is still room for out-of-state and foreign national acceptance – at a price.

  • notes2john

    Rather … Should we hold these institutions as respectable as they claim to be? Do you really want to say that you went to a school that has this standard?

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    “At the end of this month, high school seniors will submit their college
    applications and begin waiting to hear where they will spend the next
    four years of their lives.”

    In what country does Carolyn Chen live? My daughter had to have all her applications in by Jan 15th. She heard from two and is waiting on the other 4.

    I have no idea what the “average Asian student” experience is but my older daughter’s best friend is Asian (first gen Chinese) and was accepted at prestigious schools like Case Western and MIT 2 years ago. One of my younger daughter’s best friends (born in China) has already been accepted at Rochester Institute of Technology for the coming year.

    • anon

      Her article was published last December. As Tom said, it took them a while to get around to it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/janet.rathbun.77 Janet Rathbun

    With such strong applicant pools, and the most selective colleges admitting 6 or 7 applicants out of 100, how can the process be anything but capricious?

  • J__o__h__n

    Notice he pitted the privileged Exeter student against someone rural instead of just someone from the middle class. 

  • sharon9999

    Why are you comparing Asian Americans only to “white” people? Is college admissions about Asian or “white”?  What about all Americans?  All other 1st generation immigrants?
    Are you talking about only North Asian immigrants (I assume), or all Asian Americans?  This is bigotry.

  • TrueAdventure

    Perhaps more effort should be put into public institutions so people would be knocking down their doors to get into them, too.

  • scottmartin49

    In all these anecdotal stories of biased admission, I am not hearing about two crucial pieces of the admissions procedure;

    Interview. Visitation.

    My daughter (pinky white euro kid) and her best friend (asian-american)- both from a pathetic rural school district and low income troubled homes but with impeccable curriculum vitae- were admitted into their first choice, top 100 US schools/programs with almost full grant aid before Christmas. 

    Both are tremendously engaging, mature, outgoingly confident and responsible young women who personally interview like, well…way better than Chuck Hagel for instance.

    Their friend (and intellectual equal), with +2200 SAT’s and 800 subject tests is still sweating admissions from Brown. She had a very basic, phoned interview with an alum.

    U. Chicago wait-listed my daughter on ED1, even with a glowing response from the  Hamilton Prof. (UC alum.) who interviewed her personally. His sense was that when the very top schools get into the -10% acceptance rate they start to miss the students who might best represent the ethos of ‘University Learning’, gaining instead a formulaic student body of ostensibly exceptional experience and ability.

    She didn’t even apply to Ivies. Cornell was a weird little conformity kingdom, rumor has it that Reagan’s corpse is on display at Dartmouth like Lenin’s, and Yale worked sooooo hard to show their students as ‘unique’ as to be genuinely off-putting.

    Forget about ‘The Best’, find the best for you. 

  • JamesVermonter59

    THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM

    The elephant in the room that no one is discussing in regard to Asian-American admissions is China and its newfound wealth.

    I work in an independent boarding high school.  If we chose to, we could fill every bed with smart, driven Chinese students who would be FULL PAY, that is, require no financial aid.  There is a seemingly endless tide of newly wealthy Chinese students clamoring to get into American educational institutions at every level.

    We Americans have a terrible history with race discrimination.  To this day, most non-Asian Americans think, “an Asian is an Asian is an Asian”.  Most don’t distinguish a Chinese person from a Japanese or Vietnamese person.  In college admissions, the enormous diversity of Asia is reduced to a little check-box.

    I don’t see some discriminatory plot here, however, I feel for Asian-American kids.  Universities want to create a balanced and diverse racial mix in their student bodies.  Asian-American kids must compete not only against other Americans in this regard, but against the multitude of Chinese nationals who bring their “Asian-ness” to the constitution of the student body.

    In this regard, the comparisons to Jews in the 20th century are invalid: There was no corresponding country of a billion Jewish people whose children were clamoring to get into American schools and competing with American Jews.

    • http://twitter.com/blasterman1 blaster man

      You’re wrong.  Asian people discriminate and are racist against one another. 

      • JamesVermonter59

        That may be true, but it has no bearing on the discussion at hand…

  • Veronica Guimaraes

    This was the craziest argument I have heard in a very long time! It is a shame that I did not have the opportunity to call since I was driving during the entire show because I would like to ask that lady if she ever entered a bus in those Ivy League schools she was mentioning. I have found myself looking around and seeing 80% of the occupancy on the bus (sometimes more) being Asian. She apparently did not have an answer for crucial questions and that says it all. What is meritocratic about asians students, who apply from Asia, having their GRE or STA questions in advance and performing the tests in a very different way as the others do?! The argument of the upper middle class is just disgusting. I have friends at Ivy League schools who came from poor families in Europe and were admitted with full scholarship. I myself  come from a European poor family and I am studying with full tuition. Yes, there are politics and economics involved in university admissions but, believe me, “whites” (as she so shamefully put it) feel that there is a positive descrimination towards asians. And no, they are not all geeks and “geniuses” (with the normal exceptions). Most of them cannot even communicate effectively and have a pedantic knowledge of the area they want to specialize in (sometimes not even that!!). Nothing more. They play the piano but cannot name the composer they are playing; they work 16 hours a day but mechanically, without the ability of crossing information and reaching a fruitful conclusion. Nothing against that but please, do not make the argument that they are so much better than everybody else and still they suffer discrimination. Give us a break! 

    • anon

      “What is meritocratic about asians students, who apply from Asia, having their GRE or STA questions in advance and performing the tests in a very different way as the others do?!”
      Do you mean SAT? My sons took their SATs in Asia (the Middle East – not what people normally think of as Asia, I know), and no one gave them any questions in advance. They took SATs the same way American students do, and they had to show passports as IDs. Can you elaborate on what you’ve said?

  • TomGallagherPenn

    Thanks to all the guests.

    I particularly resent the suggestion by Ms. Chen that White Anglo Saxon Male Legacies at Ivy League Schools are less qualified compared with Asian Americans. When she states that elite universities are dominated by white Anglo Saxon males, she could not have visited any of the elite universities that I have attended, visited or taught at.

    I am a legacy graduate of an Ivy League university, the son an Ivy League graduate and the grandson of an immigrant with a six-grade education who sent two sons to Ivy League Universities during the great depression.

    I graduated magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from that same Ivy League school and its graduate business school, working my way through both degrees without financial aid in the 1970′s.

    My wife is a graduate of that same Ivy League university cum laude and holds an MBA from another Ivy League university.

    My oldest son is a graduate of that same Ivy League university, a speaker of four languages not his own and a US Marine Corps officer. He was also a varsity athlete.

    My middle son graduated from that same Ivy, summa cum laude, a varsity athlete, and works on Wall Street. He earned high 700′s on his SAT’s. He participates in a program to assist enlisted marines applying to college.

    My youngest son currently attends that same Ivy League university. He earned high 700′s on his SAT’s plus an 800 Math SAT score. He’s a three-varsity letter athlete, active with his fraternity and tutors children English as a foreign language.

    All three boys graduated, as their father did, from prestigious private preparatory schools. All three believe that attending an elite university as a legacy is a privilege, not an entitlement. With that privilege comes a responsibility to meet the highest admissions standards, perform to the best of their abilities as scholars, athletes, and school leaders–to give back to their country, their community and their school when they leave. My wife was no Tiger mom: she and I merely explained to each of them what the responsibilities of privilege entail.

    Each of these boys wrote their won essays, attended no SAT prep courses, or otherwise gamed the system.

    Please show me 10 Asian American students which you have admitted who can meet these standards. Or stop whining about
    WASPs on campus.

    Respectfully, Tom Gallagher

     

    • JGC

      George W. Bush went to Andover, Yale and Harvard Business School. Affirmative Action for legacy applicants. (I bet Barbara was a Tiger Mom – gggGGGRRRrr!)

      • TomGallagherPenn

         Yeah, but his grandfather wasn’t a 6th-grade educated immigrant. 

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1191224433 Margaret Mcintyre-Farina

          You’re right Tom, his great grandfather was a wet back from Ireland. Ronald Reagan’s gramps was a farmer in downstate IL. It was likely farmer Reagan had little more than a sixth grade education as my grandfather also was a (French) farmer in IL and had only a sixth grade education. I imagine 6th grade then was like High School today!!

        • JGC

          Enough already! You are giving the 0.1% a bad name… 

      • scottmartin49

        Barbara Bush attended Smith College but did not graduate. Nancy Reagan was a graduate. When George I was elected, the students donned t-shirts stating, “There has to be a better way to get a Smithie into the White House.” 

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1191224433 Margaret Mcintyre-Farina

          Ronald Reagan graduated from Eureka college in rural Illinois…. one of our greatest presidents… besides Abraham Lincoln who was also shunned by the east coast liberals of his time… hopefully we will continue to elect great men and women who don’t necessarily need the prop of an Ivy school… 

    • Mommy

      No, you are right.  I do not believe any Asian-American could compete with your Ivy League Family.  But not for the reasons you are thinking.

      To think you have not gamed the system is a mistake.  I believe you have ‘gamed’ it quite well keeping all your children at private and Ivy League schools.  Hopefully your family really will give back to the world, but I seriously doubt they will be taking the low paying DA jobs or becoming public school teachers, or social workers.  Maybe your children will prove me wrong?  Hopefully.

      • TomGallagherPenn

         No madam, my children already have proven you wrong.

        My oldest son left a six figure job in venture capital to place himself in the line fire as a Marine Corps officer for the princely sum of 35,000 per year salary. The defense of his country is more important to him than a nice cushy Wall Street job. It pays what an ADA gets paid: but people are shooting at you.

        My middle son works 80 hours each week still finds time to care about helping enlisted marines (not college grads) get admitted to the best college they are qualified for.

        My youngest son spent his four high school summers working at an orphanage for abused children in Honduras.

        As for myself, I left an eight-figure job on Wall Street to teach at a competitive university for less than my marine corps son earns. To serve on the board of a Florida charter school, to serve on the board of a non-profit educational organization and two NPR affiliate boards. I learned this from my father: I try to pass it along to my sons: “From those to whom much has been given, much is expected in return.”

        Tell me how your children serve their country, community and school.

        • scottmartin49

          The Ivy league, Wall St., and the US military. Wow.

          You, sir, ARE our nations problem personified. Your pride is not only your own failing, it is our failure.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1191224433 Margaret Mcintyre-Farina

            scottmarting49, how have you served your country, volunteered to raise up less privileged, or invested well my self-funded pension comprised of stocks (so I can retire without being a drag on society?)  Have you taken any risks as the men in the Gallagher family?  I am proud of Mr. Gallagher and his family–is my pride allowed?  Our country would be stronger if there were more Gallagher progeny!!

          • scottmartin49

            Ahh, the proud suffering justly from the parasitism of the needily syncophantic. Just like scripture and the social sciences describe!

            Do they teach that at U. Penn? I know that the finance text used for my MBA (authored by a U. Penn. prof.) was so lacking in basic reason and knowledge as to completely describe the collapse of the western economies in retrospect.

            Bravo ruling elite! The results of your actions will surely ensure your destruction. Pity about the proles…  

          • TomGallagherPenn

            Oh my, now I understand.

            Dude, sorry things haven’t worked out for you.

            But you’re probably young and there’s plenty of time.

            This thread began with an expression of resentment–resenting the label Chen applied to “legacies at elite schools.” My argument: not every legacy is a privileged slacker. Evidence.

            My annoyance was directed at labels, not people.

            But you’ve managed to personalize it.

            My argument leaves you unmoved: you disparage elite schools, my school, the military and those who serve, Wall Street, the writers of textbooks. What do you embrace?

            yes, I know the book; I taught from it at Georgetown and I have to tell you that the several math and equation errors in a eighth edition should have been caught. Also, it cost 180 bucks and that’s probably too much for young people  to pay for shoddy editorial. Standards again.

            Dude, I’m sorry things haven’t worked out for you. But there’s still time.

          • scottmartin49

            Wow. Your mockery is the final evidence of your invalidity for the title of educationally ‘elite’. Start looking for a new job; tenure will certainly be a no go- unless you can legacy or ‘buy it’.

          • TomGallagherPenn

             Don’t worry Scott, when they come across the wire at you, fly a plane into buildings, or blow up an embassy, he’ll be there to defend you even though he may not agree with your politics. However, you might find his political views closer to yours than you could imagine. Just like the beat cop or the fireman carrying a kid from a burning building…..

          • scottmartin49

            Goodness is its own reward, and is undemanding of praise. 

            BTW, Fireman here are volunteer, Police largely (and thankfully) absent, and if the Canadian army comes ‘over the wire’ they’ll be welcomed as liberators.

            Oh, and if you figure out a way to save the World Trade Center or Benghazi embassy retroactively feel free to take the credit; until then you merely justify the position that our military is the largest and least useful parasite currently attached to a dying host economy.

        • bananajamm1

          You sound very impressed with yourself and your children: generations of young white men, all going to Ivy League schools (all got by your inborn grace and intelligence, of course). What you fail to realize is that your children have prospered off of a system of privilege – it’s skewed strongly in your favor.
          That’s okay, though. If Ivy League education means you feel compelled to spend the rest of your life blathering about your accomplishments, I don’t need Harvard. Why don’t you remind us again how much money you’ve made? Was it 700K? 800K?……….ugh.

          • JGC

            Ummm…700K and 800K is only a six-figure salary ($700,000 or $800,000). TomGallagherPenn left an “eight-figure job on Wall Street”, which is would fall in the range of $10,000,000 to $99,000,000 per year. 

          • TomGallagherPenn

             Actually, I’m not really impressed with myself: in fact, I am embarrassed by the generous spirit of my children who understand even better than I what it means to earn, pay-back and pay forward.

        • JGC

          We actually have more in common than one might think.  My grandfather was also an immigrant; I don’t know his education level but I suspect it wasn’t much. And I am going to guess you are a graduate of Penn, from your name – Guess what! I am a graduate of Penn, too! (Pennsylvania State University)  And I am a Sustaining Member of my local NPR station (By the way, thank you for your service on two boards of NPR stations – guess there is no shortage of gift mugs in your cupboard,eh!)  And I left my low-five-figure job to raise my kids, and do volunteer work for Meals on Wheels while they are at school. They are a little too young yet for me to know how they’ll ultimately turn out – contributing members of society or bums? – but I’ll be sure to let you know.

          • TomGallagherPenn

             you are doing what my parents did for me: setting an example. Do the right things because they are the right things, not because they look good on an application or resume. That’s all you can do.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1191224433 Margaret Mcintyre-Farina

        Dear Mommy: I live in Norfolk, the largest joint military base in the world– I lived most of my life in Professor Chen’s neighborhood, the affluent and liberal north shore of Chicago.  Please allow me to point out the difference between Mr. Gallagher’s family’s ‘gaming’ the system and the typical (unfortunately) liberal and middle class majority of system gaming families…. is Mr. Gallagher’s and his child’s military service, particularly the Marines.  Marines who ‘game” the system don’t survive–they die or get other’s killed.  Marines do the work and take the risks many social workers or public school teachers or DA’s cannot or would not do…. unless of course they are former Marines and I know some former Marines who are police officers, public school teachers, social workers, and nurses. What I find astounding is Mr. Gallagher’s work ethic and values have managed to survive the (for me) unbearable liberal even left leaning atmosphere of the Ivy League today.  Their ability to withstand the brain washing and toxic politics must be due to the family pure intelligence and strength of character. No doubt some combination of good genes and amazing upbringing have survived the generations.

        • scottmartin49

          The wrong job done well is worse, reminding me of the phrase; “Bad work left behind, demanding to be redone.”
           

        • TomGallagherPenn

           Thank you, Ma’am. I encouraged my children to leave the comfortable managed competition of the South and venture into the liberal northern schools where they could compete against the smartest, most aggressive and ambitious of their contemporaries. They might have found Virginia or Chapel Hill more familiar but at the Ivies they were exposed to very different world views than they encountered in their childhood. Today they appreciate the broader context. It’s like me and NPR: I find little agreeable but deeply value the view point and the excellent trade craft displayed by the network’s reporters and writers.

          Oh, good grief, now ScottMartin’s going to say “and he’s from the South…that’s what’s really wrong with America…a perfect storm.”

          • scottmartin49

            It’s heartening to see that you at least know what ‘the question’ is. Keep working out those answers, remember- the brain works better in cool weather!
            ;)

    • twenty_niner

      “My middle son graduated from that same Ivy, summa cum laude, a varsity athlete, and works on Wall Street.”
      Sounds like a fine young man. Too bad he was seduced by the vampire squid.

      • TomGallagherPenn

         He wasn’t seduced, exactly, and not by the vampire squid but by a quality company with a very low profile and old school standards of conduct.

    • Alvin Lam

      But for every kid like yours, there’s a George W. Bush in there.  I guarantee there’s no Asian Ivy Leaguers who got C average in HS and can’t pronounce the word nuclear.  

    • Expanded_Consciousness

      Legacy admits are less qualified than non-legacy admits. 7% get into Harvard College. 30% of legacy applicants get into Harvard College. Most of them are less qualified and would have been rejected without listing the alumni relative on their application. You don’t deserve your privilege.

      • TomGallagherPenn

         I can’t speak of Harvard. Whether I deserve my privilege, I will let others decide. I do, however, recognize the enormous debt I owe in exchange for that privilege. It is an obligation I shall never be able to fully discharge.

        • Expanded_Consciousness

          So you agree, we should get rid of your kind of unearned, undeserved, accident of birth privilege. It is immoral.

        • tom_yom_soup

          Hey f@ckhead, you realize UPen is not a real Ivy school, right?  What a sad old man.

    • Expanded_Consciousness

      “Please show me 10 Asian American students which you have admitted who can meet these standards.”

      You are so racist.

      • TomGallagherPenn

         I am not. I began this thread calling out Ms Chen for her racist comments (Elite universities are dominated by white Anglo Saxon males–which is demonstrably not true since 1967) and her racist comment that elite university legacies are less qualified than Asian-Americans. That’s not true either. I don’t believe Ms. Chen is a racist: I believe that she, like you, is a little too free with labels including the fatuous assumptions that underlie them, especially when the facts prove inconvenient.

        Elite universities try very hard to evaluate applicants as individuals. Many applicants–white, Asian and others–have perfect test scores, very good transcripts from competitive secondary schools. Elite universities seek robust candidates with multifaceted backgrounds which demonstrate originality, genuineness and authenticity. These attributes reinforce and validate their grades and test scores. Applicants of whichever background who have devoted most of their waking hours to test calisthenics not only miss the point, they miss their childhoods and appear to colleges and later to employers as cardboard cut outs, lacking originality and authenticity.

        The tragedy of all of this is that the young people have been sold a false promise by their misdirected elders. Tick the box: pass the gate. Not so, unfortunately. These elders have been enabled by a host of greedy, incompetent “consultants”.

        Remember too, that most elite universities are PRIVATE. The last bastions against the pernicious interference of government. Even today, they can set their own standards as they see fit. If you seek “democracy” in education, don’t look to private. Go to public grade schools (what a mess they are; but then democracy is messy); or state universities which are not much better (read Academically Adrift).

        I put the question again to Ms. Chen: show me 10 Asian-Americans she has admitted to Northeastern who have perfect test scores, perfect grades, top performance in college (summa or Phi Bet), multi letter varsity athletes or popular student leaders who went on to serve their country, their community and their schools after graduation.

        Hopefully, in a decade or more, she’ll be able to provide a list of hundreds. But for now, I grieve at the loss of a million childhoods and a thousand bitter disappointments.

        • scottmartin49

          Ugghhh…..
          Just stop, you’re only proving the case against yourself. Here’s cite; the person who wrote,

          “Applicants of whichever background who have devoted most of their waking hours to test calisthenics not only miss the point, they miss their childhoods and appear to colleges and later to employers as cardboard cut outs, lacking originality and authenticity.”
          “The tragedy of all of this is that the young people have been sold a false promise by their misdirected elders. Tick the box: pass the gate. Not so, unfortunately. These elders have been enabled by a host of greedy, incompetent ‘consultants’.”

          …is also the person who prefaced those remarks with decrying someone else who they believe;
          “..is a little too free with labels including the fatuous assumptions that underlie them, especially when the facts prove inconvenient.”

          If you would justify yourself and your own experience in the light of others claims, I would ask you (in a paraphrase of your own words) to; 

          ‘show me 10 (legacy Ivies) who have perfect test scores, perfect grades, top performance in college (summa or Phi Bet), multi letter varsity athletes or popular student leaders who went on to serve their country, their community and their schools after graduation’

          ….whom also are intelligent enough to realize how meaningless those things are in the absence of the wisdom to judge right from wrong, act morally and justly, and behave with the sort of humility that an educationally elite class should ideally possess.

          Self serving and self justifying actions (conveniently) carrying the stamp of approval from ones own cohort do not constitute a moral basis for authority.

          Pity that you did not teach THAT to your sons.

        • tom_yom_soup

          Are too.

    • LinRP

       My goodness…what a sad day if people here feel you cannot be proud and vocal about your good and worthy accomplishments. I’ve read your entire thread of comments and you, rightfully, should be proud of yourself, your wife, and your children. If THAT can’t get a “bravo, job well done,” then what in the world will?

      I hear what you are saying, and have lived it. It’s not racist, but fact. I live in a MA town now nearly 40% Asian because of our top-notch public schools. My children have had MANY high-achieving Asian acquaintances. They spend their young lives in Kumon math, practicing instruments, then, as you say, onto the world of SAT prep. Every one of them has a tutor and a college adviser. I would argue none are writing their colelge essays without help. Participating in sports is to gild the resume–none of the Asian contingent would go out for pizza after meets or socialize with the team. NONE. And we had four children go through the system, and saw this lack of socializing outside of their community year in and year out.

      It’s a culture in and of itself in my town. The ENTIRE goal is the Ivy League–and when that doesn’t happen, it’s really, really hard to see the devastation heaped upon the children who “fail” and “only” get into Georgetown.

      • JGC

        I guess you can feel good about your “accomplishments”, although TGP is careful to say it is not his own accomplishment, but his sons’.  For me, to read this, (and also the Margaret McIntyre-Farina thread), it gives me that same dispiriting feeling when I read the attachment of an annual family Christmas newsletter, where the person only highlights the positive points of the year, and not an honest assessment of the totality, in order to elevate the perfection of their lives and their decisions. And maybe that is the point of these one-sided communications.

    • tom_yom_soup

      I’ll show you 20 for every one of your sons.  Do you or they have a Nobel Prize?  Fields Medal? Are you a billionaire? Centimillionaire? No?  You are nothing. NOTHING.

  • DHALM

    I found the following disturbingly telling:  I called in to ask the guest, Ms. Chen, two questions; what percentage of those Asian-Americans who apply are accepted into the ivies, and how do THEIR SAT scores compare to other accepted applicants.  Both questions are pertinent and cogent to the discussion.  Also, if, as Ms. Chen alluded to, many Asian Americans are not wealthy, how many who ARE accepted turn down the invitation b/c they cannot/ will not pay what these schools cost?

    What I find troubling, and I am a member, is that my questions were deemed unworthy b/c the gentleman who answered didn’t think Ms. Chen would know the answers to either of these questions.  Why not ask and find out.  IF she’s uninformed, that too speaks volumes about the credibility of her claims, doesn’t it?

    This report was exceptionally slanted, and I’m disappointed in the host and the program’s producer.  You can do a better job that what was delivered to listeners today.

    DHALM

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1191224433 Margaret Mcintyre-Farina

    First, I recognize the resentment of Asian Americans because
    they feel they work harder (on the job) and achieve more (GPA and SAT scores)
    and yet are not recognized on the job or not admitted at the same rate as
    ‘whites” into highly selective or ‘elite” schools.  I have hosted Asian high school exchange students,
    substitute taught at private high-school, and coached engineers seeking
    management positions in American corporations, and I have a different
    conclusion from that of  Professor Carolyn
    Chen, Dept. of Sociology Northwestern University, Evanston IL.  The problem is, Asians are not getting
    the benefit or ‘boost” in the identity politics that set up affirmative action
    and ‘categorical admissions and promotion” that black Americans have—and the
    Asians resent it, perhaps justifiably. So yes, Tom Ashcroft has correctly
    identified Ms. Chen’s unspoken issue of place in American society and political
    power. I am convinced that the Asian’s current identification as a ‘minority”
    was also validated by their overwhelming support of Barack Obama.  Asians are getting onto the aggrieved
    minority bandwagon.  I also
    recognize past legal and social discrimination against the Chinese particularly
    during the 1900’s—but I also quote my own (or Marco Rubio’s) immigrant past and
    discrimination overcome.  Until the
    1980’s, Asians were considered ‘the good minority”—over achieving and underpaid
    or under-recognized.  Today, Asians
    are gaining the ‘stereotypical” reputation as an aggrieved advantaged group.

     

    Why? The liberal establishment has inflamed the Asian sense
    of ‘injustice” by the relentless categorization of all students including Asians
    especially in college admissions, especially the elite—Gateway institutions.  Ethnic studies further entrench past
    resentments and create new resentments. Schools like Northwestern commit the
    same offense that the Ivy League commits—categorical admissions, not strictly
    ‘merit based” admissions.  Many
    hardworking, high achieving ‘white” students from modest means are also
    excluded from ‘legacy” categorical admissions.  Ditto for admissions to elite schools for students with
    parents who have not made BIG financial contributions.  That’s what great land grant
    universities are (were once) for–meritocracy.  When I earned two degrees from the once Great University of
    Illinois in Champaign, all students were admitted based on GPA and SAT.
    Period.  Today, colleges –even the
    University of Illinois considers ‘other factors” in admission. Worse, today,
    selective and highly selective public universities are admitting wealthy
    (non-citizen) Asian students who pay double or triple the in-state tuition
    rate, thereby crowding out the in-state students that previously would have
    qualified for admission.  Schools
    like Northwestern University as well as the University of Virginia accept
    wealthy foreign students, many Asian from the upper classes of China, Korea and
    India, and thereby disadvantage the child of tax paying American citizens.  This is a travesty for our country and
    a mockery of ‘meritocracy”.  Higher
    education promotes what they claim to abhor.

     

    Not until I hosted Korean foreign exchange students did I
    really understand the religious commitment to higher education, to accumulating
    degrees as a path to elite status and power.  While a consultant to Motorola, I tried to coach Asian men with
    Master’s degrees in engineering to be ‘team players” in the American male
    sense—shoot baskets at lunch with the guys instead of eating lunch at their
    desk doing more tasks and ‘working harder”.  Most of my advice fell on deaf ears—many of the engineers
    just seethed and considered the American men with bachelor’s degrees in
    engineering simply ‘lazy”.  Fast
    forward to my hosting Korean high school students including meeting their
    parents and I find that getting the master’s in engineering ‘entitles” them to
    ‘be the boss’.  The degree doesn’t not
    confer more creative problem solving ability or entrepreneurial genius—nope,
    just power to be the boss.  At this
    point I no longer ‘feel sorry” for the aggrieved Asian employee. 

     

    The Asian students experience immense pressure from their
    parents as well.  Imagine sending
    your fourteen year old to China to study and then at sixteen to the US to
    attend high-school—all in the pursuit of more education to get more power to attain
    ‘elite” status–and then they find out that in the United States we truly value
    teamwork, service and even military service! 

     

    So the high school student loads up their resume with
    half-hearted service, my

    Korean student says, “I volunteered for extra curricular activities
    that did not use up much of my time because I had to study.”  Their lack of athleticism isn’t a
    natural deficit but comes from rarely playing as a child (need to go to KUMON
    or weekend school.)   When my exchange student returns from
    summer vacation I find he attended ‘SAT Academy” all summer and has more SAT
    practice books in his room than the school library!  Finally, my Asian student, in a fit of anger and
    disappointment for not being awarded the ‘Chemistry honors” at graduation,
    tells me ‘the Korean students shared old chemistry tests” just among
    themselves.

     

    My advice to Asian students applying to American
    Universities—don’t check the box. 
    Make a few real sacrifices for the good of others; even it cuts into
    your study time.  Skip the Ivy League
    school even—you can do without the live sex acts at Northwestern or the ‘Sex
    Week” at Yale (your parents wouldn’t approve if they knew.) University of
    Illinois still has an amazing and highly ranked engineering school—much better
    than the Yale “women in engineering program”.  Use your true talents and learn leadership skills by being
    an egoless leader—after all, the small ego was once your ‘stereotype.”  And God forbid, perhaps apply for an
    ROTC scholarship and serve your (American) country.  

    • tom_yom_soup

      Again, no one cares about your stupid retarded diarrheal, pseudo analytical, blabber.  Lose a few pounds why don’t you.  You look a lot obese.  Too many canolis?  Can’t say no to corned beef and cabbage?   Try some self discipline for Christ sakes.

  • Amberzon7

    I don’t think this is a racial issue as much as an elitist issue.  I see it happening more and more with middle-class family students not getting into schools either.  Without an amazing sports profile, or a rich family with connections it’s next to impossible for many students, even with excellent scholastic profiles, to get into the top schools. We’ve heard about it with African-american students, now Asian-americans, but it’s also with a large portion of middle-class white students. To fix the issue, the system needs to be overhauled to not play favorites. Claiming this is only happening to ethnic minorities is false and misleading as to what the real issues are.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1191224433 Margaret Mcintyre-Farina

    I agree that education is not valued the way education is valued in Asian and even Europe–and I’ve come to feel ‘that’s ok” because Americans accept education as ONE means of social mobility where Asia and Europe use Education as THE means of social mobility.  As a former public school board member in ‘one of the best” districts in Illinois, I believe the problem is not that Americans’s don’t value education enough, it’s the fact that education is dominated by the NEA and too many of our public schools are dedicated to CHANGING SOCIETY, not enabling SOCIAL MOBILITY as they once were.

    • tom_yom_soup

      No one cares about your stupid insular blathering.  Go back to where you came from you genocidal mofo.

  • BDSpin

    My fervent wish: an end to show upon show about kids competing with one another in education, sports, the job market, technology, etc.  Every minute of the lives of our children and adolescents is now about competition–from getting top grades to making an “elite” sports team for second graders to selling the most candy bars for the PTO. What happened to spending childhood doing things you love and mastering them for the sheer joy of it? Gone, it seems, along with happiness and peace of mind.
        Even more annoying is that these shows seem to talk only to the ever smaller percentage of our population that can live, along with their offspring, in privileged communities “gated” by both walls and attitudes. 
        Sick of it. This show is the last straw–I’m unplugging to save my sanity.

  • loiks

    I find Professor Chen’s comparison of Asian-Americans to Jews highly problematic AND her calling an extremely diverse group under the immigrant moniker. Her understanding makes me think that she thinks that children of two educated professionals who moved to the US for professional reasons is different from one who came to the US for political or religious freedom.

    I’m pleased that admissions officers at highly selective schools exercise the wise judgement to understand these variables and choose candidates who are not only great students, but people. College is a 24 hour experience, not just something you experience in the classroom. Who you go to school with is just as important as what one studies. Thus, among students of comparable skills, I’m glad admissions officers are choosing students who are funny, have integrity and are great people to be with. 

    • zzowee

      I don’t disagree that everyone’s college experience is improved when the student body is culturally diverse, but I have to take issue with your opening complaint.

      What makes you think Asian-American students categorically have two well educated professionals and that Jewish-American students categorically do not?

      It sounds like your biases are showing.

    • JS_Lehn

       First of all, the precondition of your argument is false — “among students of comparable skills” — they are not comparable — Asian students have to have much higher scores to be admitted compared to their White counterparts, not to mention black students.
      Second, people who have been using this so-called “holistic” measurement to cover the fact that Asian students have to be much better academically prepared to be admitted have been saying what you said here. Translation: although Asian students are academically superior, they are less funny, don’t have integrity and are not great people to be with.

  • twenty_niner

    I think my engineering school, UIUC, had the best policy for admissions – admit more freshmen than you have the capacity to handle in the upper-level courses, and then weed out non hackers over the course of the first two years. Chem, physics, math, and some engineering 101s were the weed-out courses, and were challenging enough to fail about 2/3s of the student body. MIT, for example, took the opposite approach where freshmen were carefully selected, but once you’re in, you’re in. At the time, freshmen there didn’t even receive grades; not sure if that’s still the case.

    • Expanded_Consciousness

      Still the case.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1191224433 Margaret Mcintyre-Farina

      I graduated from UIUC and I totally agree with you.  Getting in is just the beginning! U of I was VERY meritocratic when I attended and some of the most distinguished scientists, engineers, physicians and many other “contributors”–even if they weren’t ‘elite” and entitled to cling to the prestige of the ‘elite” college status….

      • tom_yom_soup

        That explains a lot about you, a wheat-fed midwestern cow.

  • jaket1

    Blacks should not get Affirmative Action over Whites.

    However, it light of a new onslaught by highly competitive Asians,  Whites should get Affirmative Action or risk losing the game.

    Can’t win =>  change the rules.  OR switch the roles.

    Whites are the New Affirmative Action minority previously known as blacks.
    Don’t look at Our scores, and GPA …..but judge us on our soft characteristics such as personality, outgoingness, ‘leadership’ athletic prowess, and ethnic pride.

    There is a smell of hypocrisy in Ivy League admissions.

  • Expanded_Consciousness

    Harvard College will never, ever, be 50% Asian (it is now 20%). Forget about it. 

    • JS_Lehn

       That’s so true. Just stop telling us that it’s because of the whole-person admission. Just say what it actually is, a quota for Asian students.

      • Expanded_Consciousness

        It is a quota for Asian students.

      • http://twitter.com/blasterman1 blaster man

         American culture values things besides studying all the time.  Asians may think their culture is somehow superior to American culture but it is not.  Asian culture is not going to replace American culture.  SAT scores is not the most important thing in life.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1191224433 Margaret Mcintyre-Farina

      So Cal Berkeley is 37% Asian, 30% white, 12% Hispanic, 9% non (US) resident, 3% black, 3% mixed race–the rest did not check a box.  It seems like the pre-occupation with getting into Harvard is more of an Asian desire than an American desire.  Isn’t a great public university good enough?  Then just get on with life and making huge contributions to American society!

      • Expanded_Consciousness

        The Ivy League holds a lot of power, Harvard especially. Denying it, doesn’t change it.

        • tom_yom_soup

          Denial is a very powerful tool.  Just go ask your German ancestors!

    • tom_yom_soup

      Is that before or after the U.S. become 50% Asian?

      Just you wait, mr. psychedelic.

  • jaket1

    The problem with different standards for different races:
    The admissions committee gives a student a 350 point boost in the SATs compared to more competitive minorities.

    Getting in to an elite university is just the beginning.
    You have to compete EVERYDAY with your peers.
    You have to perform every moment in your studies, discussions and tests.
    And it is very rigorous.
    However once in, all professors grade on a curve.  
    There is no race correction adjusted score.

    And now weaker black students are competing with other students who are qualitatively far more accomplished, achieving and academically gifted.

    And the black students drop out of the desirable competitive majors and become segregated to weaker fields such as Black Studies.  They become academically isolated and marginalized though they may still graduate.

    Affirmative action  leads to inequality within a university.
    Resentment, mismatched students-universities, segregation of races and underachievement.

    A weaker student is better served by enrolling in a less demanding university.  Instead of being outclassed everyday  by far more advanced peers.

    Affirmative Action for any race is a perversion of normal competition.  And it creates far more problems than it solves.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1016400192 Mufassa Longfellow

      ^By all definitions of the term, you are a racist.

      The amount of race based generalizations in this comment is staggering. Did you bother to talk a single black student at a selective school to educate your opinion? 
       As a black student at Berkeley I need to point out:1. Not every black student is an Af. Am. major. 2. Anyone majoring in any of the Ethnic Studies (Celtic Studies, Native American Studies, Near Eastern Studies etc.) is likely to be VERY passionate about the topic and probably taking an activist role in their community. Therefore isn’t more likely that they picked their major due to this passion and not because they failed at doing something else?3. By your own reasoning the same could be said for Asian American studies majors, Celtic Studies majors etc.

  • Expanded_Consciousness

    Your guest is the quintessential example of the too-quiet Asian. It sounded like she whispered the whole hour to the person on the pillow next to her.

    • http://stevemd.myopenid.com/ Steve

       Your point being?

      • Expanded_Consciousness

        Few jobs don’t have social components. The Ivies are picking the leaders of tomorrow. Well-rounded personalities win out.

        • http://stevemd.myopenid.com/ Steve

          And Asians can’t be well rounded? In 2006, 27% of Presidential Scholars (which is based on leadership, creativity, and service among others) were of Asian heritage and that number has only grown.  What disturbs me is your willingness to stereotype all Asians into a box and discount their superior achievement AND equivalently unique life experience, leadership, etc.

          • Expanded_Consciousness

            What disturbs me is your denial of the existence of culturally-predominate types, and your denial that that may be a huge factor in why Asians do not take over all the Ivies and all the leadership roles in America.

          • http://stevemd.myopenid.com/ Steve

            So what are these “culturally-predominate types” you speak of?  I mean, if you’re going to be a bigot, you might as well come clean.

          • http://stevemd.myopenid.com/ Steve

             And look, I’m not denying that culture can influence personality to an extent. Of course it does.  What I’m saying is that differences in personality can’t possibly account for the disparities in achievement vs admissions outcome. The argument that I’m making is that there is a level of implicit bias and discrimination SOLELY on physical appearance that should have no place in education.  You can say whatever you want about the legality of such practices but what I and others are arguing is that this is a patently unfair way to approach the admissions process and is at odds with American values like meritocracy and hard work as means for upward mobility.

          • Expanded_Consciousness

            So, you don’t believe in affirmative action? There is no value in keeping society balanced?

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1191224433 Margaret Mcintyre-Farina

          To the contrary.  Most colleges want forceful personalities, somewhat ‘specialized” which when added together in the ‘elite” community represent diversity.  ”Well rounded” is a thing of the past.  The Ivies want ‘leaders” who will bring honors and wealth to the schools to further the school’s elite and sought after ‘club” admissions.  Note, ‘money” inventions (patents) in addition to power, networking and ‘sheer elitism” is also sought because unlike elite European and Asian Universities, the Ivies are not funded by the government–well, at least not directly. Note endowments.

  • DonnellyFenn

    I speak as a recently retired high school college admissions counselor. As your guest has said, the disparity is much greater at the elite private institutions. Each of these schools engages in an admissions process which basically comes down to social engineering: developing a freshman class from a variety of backgrounds and special abilities which hopefully reflect the composite make-up of our society’s upper 25% of individuals. High school college counselors can help the Asian-American students by advocating for other outstanding schools not on the ubiquitous, relatively small list of “elite” schools which most Asian-American families adhere to with single-minded devotion.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/43S4U2XRGQWJL2ERKA7JMGMWSU Rod

    Thousands of smart Asians pay native English speakers to take their standardized tests for meeting English admissions requirements. The result: many smart Asians in Universities who can’t speak English but have the work ethic to teach themselves.

    • Expanded_Consciousness

      Thousands of wealthy whites pay ghost writers to write their college admissions essay. So what? Pointing to the few cheats in each group is meaningless.

    • Wotan

      The SAT sting that was broken up in Long Island not too long ago…how many were Asian American students? IOW, tens of thousand smart, native English speaking Asian Americans who also happen to ace their AP English tests as well, just take the tests themselves, get perfect scores and are not admitted into their first choices.

  • http://twitter.com/blasterman1 blaster man

    The American culture values things besides SAT scores.  What I heard the guest saying was that Asian Americans are getting higher scores than represented by the admission to the colleges/universities.  This implies that she believes that test scores are the most important thing to consider for college admission.  Maybe that’s a value in Asian culture but if you try to force your culture on the rest of America then you’re going to have a tough life because this isn’t China and almost no one here agrees that test scores should be the determining factor for admittance.

    If you take a poor kid from the mountains of Kentucky who’s father is a coal miner and mother doesn’t work and and they live in a town of 10,000 people then you tell tell him/her they can’t go to a university because his/her SAT score was lower than an Asian American’s that lives in lets say, New York then YOU are being discriminatory.  Many people in rural America do not have the educational opportunities of people in larger cities.  I have family that live in a county that has ONE HIGH SCHOOL.  That’s right, there’s one high school in the entire county (and it’s a huge county).  Forget the city population, the entire county population is less than 10k.  It makes me angry to hear that you think test scores should be THE determining factor.  Just take the stack of applicants, and pull out the top 10,000 SAT scores and you have your class!

    • Expanded_Consciousness

      So it is also OK if a white, middle-class student is rejected and his/her slot is given to a poor village student from an Asian country who happens to have a LOWER SAT score. Right? It works both ways? You are for affirmative action for poor white students. You are for affirmative action for non-white students, as well?

      • http://twitter.com/blasterman1 blaster man

         If that “poor village student” represents a part of America that is not represented in the school then yes.  You’re acting like there’s something wrong with affirmative action. 

        I’m sure people in China would absolutely allow 90% of their universities to be full of people from India with higher test scores than them.  /sarcasm

        • Expanded_Consciousness

          America is the great melting pot.

          America was for the American Indians, then white Europeans took over. Now with the growing Latin population and with Asians studying hard, someone else may take over. Nothing lasts forever.

          • http://twitter.com/blasterman1 blaster man

            So what I’m reading here is that you ignored my sarcastic reply to your sarcastic reply.  Then you throw in a completely unrelated comment and imply that Asians should be running the country.  Interesting logic.

            edit:
            I should throw this in, you have to be born in this country to be president. It’s part of the culture that was put into the Constitution.

          • Expanded_Consciousness

            China is not the land of the free. America is not for white people only.

          • http://twitter.com/blasterman1 blaster man

            White people aren’t the only ones in college/university.  So I agree with you. 
            What you fail to understand is that Chinese culture is not American culture.  If Chinese people immigrate to America then they must accept that they are in a different country with a different culture and that the value of education, while important, is not the only thing that matters in the country they chose to move to.

          • Expanded_Consciousness

            What you fail to understand is that Chinese-Americans are Americans. Since whites value other things besides education, then you won’t mind if smarter, non-whites take over.

    • JS_Lehn

      First of all, define American Culture.
      Secondly, no one disagrees that test scores shouldn’t be the only factor for admission. The problem is, when other less quantifiable factors are considered in the admission process (which is a black box indeed), somehow one particular group of people magically lost the edge that they worked very hard to get. Try to explain that.
      Lastly, you probably don’t understand what they are saying in the debate that Asian Americans are less likely to be admitted compared to students from other race/ethnicity, controlling for socio-economic background. That means, your poor kid from the mountains of Kentucky (probably White?) is still more likely than a poor Asian kid from the mountains of Kentucky to get into an elite university.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1191224433 Margaret Mcintyre-Farina

        “edge that they worked very hard to get.” What all of these posts are trying to say is that ‘working so hard to get a top score” (cram school, SAT academy, thousands of dollars on SAT tutors, even more years of school at the time of SAT test as many Asians students are older than ‘average white” student taking the SAT)… that the SAT NO LONGER convey’s any ‘superiority” if you have to spend so much time preparing for it to the EXCLUSION of other talent or personality development, especially ‘team  character and service”.

        • Wotan

          You’re arguing stereotypes here. I lettered in three sports in high school in addition to finishing fourth in my class. I also played four years of soccer at Amherst and during the summer, we had a Korean American team that competed in tournaments sponsored by the Korea Times in NYC. My teammates played for Harvard, Cornell (three players actually), MIT, Hamilton, BU and so on annually. 

          We also had intercollegiate Asian American tournaments in volleyball and basketball. Jeremy Lin isn’t the only smart, Asian American who can ball. Some of these tournaments were often organized by the great women from Smith or Wellesley, both of whom managed to field formidable volleyball teams. The women’s colleges also organized killer student conferences and parties afterwards. Heck, you can go to the main gym at MIT at most hours and see for yourself the number of Asians over six feet tall who are playing pick up ball there.

          Personal, anecdotal evidence aside, the diversity of the Asian American applicants and their well-rounded, leadership geared and socially progressive extra curricular involvement were well noted in many studies that examined the admissions policies of many elite and Ivy universities who chose to participate in such studies. It’s not helpful to perpetuate disproven stereotypes.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1191224433 Margaret Mcintyre-Farina

            I know many times more non-Asian athletes than Asian Athletes.  Which sports did you ‘letter” in and were you a starter or all conference or all state athlete in any of the three?  Did you or did you not spend many hours and much money in SAT tutoring?  (that is NOT a stereotype).  I do know one Asian American (half Asian half Irish) student who was on the crew team with my son who ‘lettered” in crew and lettered in soccer and lettered in swimming…but did not reach a conference or regional standard in any of them.  He was a nice young man and ‘learned” to give credit to others, including to my son who was all conference in football and had top erg scores in rowing and was honored with the academic–sportsman award for his ‘team” character.  My son also won a full four year ROTC scholarship.  The Asian student has slightly higher SAT scores than my son, but in the final analysis, grew more by acknowledging my son’s ability, work ethic and character. Sometimes it’s this simple, at least in the work force–who do you want on your team?  Who gets along well in problem solving or critical situations?  Sometimes you just need to be ‘smart” enough and creativity, character and work ethic prevail.  

          • Wotan

            Margaret, I’m pretty sure I know more Asians than you, so I’ll reiterate that it’s really not helpful to perpetrate disproven stereotypes. The point isn’t how many more Asians versus whites there are in terms of quality athletes who are seeking to enroll in elite and Ivy institutions. If that were the case, and if heavy emphasis were to be placed disproportionately onto athletics, then we would see far more African American athletes in the Ivies and the small elites. That’s really neither here or there. But since you asked, I started two years of high school baseball, ran winter track as a senior in the 100 relay and 300 hurdle (I earned my letter after my fourth race) and started all three years in soccer. My high school only had three years or else I would have started four years. Soccer, as I said, is what I played at Amherst for four years.

            Further, my dad was a two star before coming to the US and a Vietnam vet. I really didn’t need additional leadership and community service skills teaching. I lived it on a daily basis. We also come from a country that has a mandatory military commitment and this has a profound effect on how a culture is developed and formed. I’m not sure as to the origin of the Asian countries of your acquaintances, but we need to keep in mind that insofar as Confucian annals still influence Asian thoughts, education in science and nature, arts and culture, social education and physical sciences are the four pillars of pedagogical principles.

            I will say though, there are many Asians who’ve until recently dismissed the importance of physical education because athletes were considered stupid. But that’s a very old sentiment. Asian mothers have a network they can tap into and through word of mouth, they know all too well that elite colleges aren’t just looking for test takers. They know all about the importance of extracurriculars.

            I mean no offense by this but your and the comments of others who’ve opined in accord strike me as the same argument that is often recited by the high arts culture with respect to Asian phenoms. They’re often criticized and dismissed as technical virtuosi without any heart, spirit, depth of emotion, ingenuity and so on…Arts, creativity and the humanities are nothing new to Asians or Asian Americans.

            Lastly, no I never took one SAT prep class but I did buy two prep test books and studied them.

        • JS_Lehn

          OK. Now you’re trying to argue that SAT is not a fair measurement for intelligence. Then, do you know Asian American applicants also have higher high school GPA and higher high school ranking and better extra-curriculum records than any other race/ethnicity group? If those are also no good for college admission in your opinion, then what should count? — Personalities? That’s basically what it’s happening. If you look at only academic ranking and extra-curriculum ranking, Asians are way above other race/ethnicity groups, to balance that out, the admission process has to introduce “personal rating”, which surely brings every Asian American applicant down. Interesting phenomena. White people have their white rights, Black people have their AA, and Asians have nothing but our values for education and strong work ethic, and often get criticized for that.

  • http://twitter.com/blasterman1 blaster man

     Agreed.  Last time I checked Jews haven’t been a “race” for thousands of years.  Jews come in all kinds of colors and most people consider a “Jew” as someone that’s Jewish.  Even Israel isn’t 100% Jewish.

  • Wotan

    I’ve listen to about 15 minutes of this show and I’m frankly struck by Tom’s used of words like “complain” in referring to an issue that has been a part of Asian American discourse for 25 years. Yes, we’ve always known Affirmative Action hurts Asian Americans in college admission. We’ve not been “complaining” more because despite heavily being disadvantaged and despite the public rhetoric being so obtuse and false-headed to label all minorities including Asian American under the umbrella term “minorities” when suggest all groups including the Asian Americans somehow benefit unfairly at the expense of white students. The last notable example of this were the republican student who held that mock bake sale where disparate ethnic groups were charged different sums for the same item. To them, for a cookie, a white student had to pay the most; indeed, more than what the Asian American student has to pay. They pulled this stunt off, gained national attention without the masses questioning their honesty and the veracity of these claims despite UC Berkeley, where race based considerations are not permitted, being nearly half Asian American. Same disproportional outcomes have also resulted in UC Irving and UCLA. 

    Also, I’m reading and hearing comments that Asian Americans are somehow not athletes and suffer in the quality of their extracurricular activities. Again, this is simply false and one needs to read the Brown University Study done in the mid 90s that found that not only were the Asian Americans applicants the most qualified academically, their extracurricular credentials surpassed all groups.

  • anonymeister1

    As someone who works at an Ivy League school, I can attest that the cards are stacked against Asians in college admissions and it is an issue that is brushed under the rug. In my opinion, there is not nearly enough scrutiny or openness around the admissions process or willingness to change practices. Discrimination is something people would never admit to and may be implicit. 

    Yes, it is true — Asians are admitted at much lower rates than other races/ethnicities of equal merit — yet they have  higher ratings across the board, not just on SAT scores — but extracurriculars and other areas. So why aren’t they admitted? They receive poor  ”personal ratings.” What goes into personal ratings? No one really knows – it’s subjective and is where you can give an extra boost to legacies. This is the rating where Jews were discriminated against in the past. Who’s evaluating whether or not students gain admissions at elite universities? That’s also unclear – but take a look around most college and university senior leadership, and it’s typically White individuals who have also attended elite universities. There has been a substantive body of research in this area supporting this trend against Asians in admissions, but in my opinion, not enough change as a result despite such findings. The bottom line is that there needs to be greater pressure on the heads of admissions at these elite schools and the public needs to demand full disclosure and change.

    • Expanded_Consciousness

      Do you deny that there are culturally-determined personality types?

      • http://stevemd.myopenid.com/ Steve

         So are you implying that personality should supersede merit?

        • Expanded_Consciousness

          So you are excluding personality from merit?

          • http://stevemd.myopenid.com/ Steve

            No, differences in personality can be one dimension of merit.  But it shouldn’t be THE overriding factor with regards to admission.  

          • Expanded_Consciousness

            So, you are approving of colleges looking beyond SAT scores. If an Asian student with a perfect SAT score doesn’t get admitted everywhere, then it might not be racism.

          • http://stevemd.myopenid.com/ Steve

            On an individual basis, yes, you can’t make that claim. But when you look at aggregate numbers, there is a painfully obvious bias against Asian Americans that differences in personality or other subjective factors simply can’t account for. 

            So what percentage of Asians have the exact same qualities? Why can’t these admissions officers admit that despite Asians making up a ridiculously heterogeneous group with widely varying perspectives that it all boils down to WHAT THEY LOOK LIKE.

          • Expanded_Consciousness

            Admissions officers don’t deny it, they just say it is their right.

          • http://stevemd.myopenid.com/ Steve

            No, even this Bugarin guy denies it or at the very least misdirects his answers.  So, you essentially agree that admissi ons should factor race and appearance?

          • Expanded_Consciousness

            You edited yourlast post.Admissionofficers donot denythat theylookbeyondscoresand lookat personality.

          • http://twitter.com/jiao_tu Winston

            Cheers on both of your point of views each have their merits. *pushes comments right*

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1191224433 Margaret Mcintyre-Farina

            Steve visual discrimination is simply NOT the truth you want to believe.  Admissions to elite universities are imbued with the ‘categorical” treatment ‘disease” and thus Asians are considered ‘test taking virtuoso’s by virtue of the time and money their parents spend on test prep.  THIS is what is believed and generally is the reality of Chinese, Korean and to some extent, Japanese students as well as wealthy Indian students–all of which check the box ‘Asian” on the college application. If you want to be treated as ‘white’ which in my opinion you are–check the white box or don’t check a box at all!

          • http://stevemd.myopenid.com/ Steve

            I was not actually saying the admissions com physically saw the applicant was asian.  They could have easily deduced that from the surname on the application. As to the point as to if I want to be treated white, No, I DON’T want to be treated white. I want to be treated as I am and not have be discriminated b/c of my ethnic background.

      • tom_yom_soup

        No, me no deny asian people are weak and effeminate and no dynamism in their leaders. Me want to ecspand tom yom soups consiousness.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1191224433 Margaret Mcintyre-Farina

      “work at an Ivy league school” could mean many things, including incomplete knowledge of what is going on in the admissions office.  Unlike in Europe or Asia, there are other paths to ‘elite” status than an ‘elite” university diploma. I don’t agree that ‘the public” has a right to know private school inner workings or confidential admissions data.  More CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies graduate from Big Ten Universities than Ivy League schools.http://bus.wisc.edu/~/media/bus/mba/why%20wisconsin/statistical_snapshot_of_leading_ceos_relb3.ashx

  • Miss_Lilianna

    I go to a private, world-class university which is pretty much all white. Any Asians I have met are not even American-Asian, they are new arrivals from China or Japan and keep to themselves. Forget about Hispanics and Blacks, maybe one or two will be on the football team and take all their classes at night. My university feels like a J.Crew/Brooks Brothers magazine and I think that is part of it’s “appeal” to a lot of the people that study here. Everyone has the exact same background and life path.

    I can’t wait to get out of this university and Boston as a whole and experience some real ethnic and life experience diversity which I used to experience before I buckled down here.

    • Expanded_Consciousness

      Asians at BU: 15%, Harvard: 20%, MIT: 28%. I don’t know where you go to school in Boston, but the city is very cosmopolitan and hardly a J. Crew ad.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1191224433 Margaret Mcintyre-Farina

        Probably College of Holy Cross …

        • Wotan

          Holy Cross is not in Boston. ANd EC is right. There is NO “private, world-class” university in Boston that is overwhelmingly white.

        • tom_yom_soup

          And it’s not world class … don’t make tom yom soup laugh.

      • Miss_Lilianna

         For privacy reasons and out of respect for the institution, I prefer not to name names but it is ranked higher than BU (therefor it is a world-class institution) and about half the campus is in Boston.

        Maybe the city streets are hardly a J.crew ad but the academic and professional scenes are lacking in diversity.

      • anon

        Boston College? (I don’t really know – just a suggestion.)

        • Wotan

          I live less than a mile from BC’s law school where some Freshmen under also live in dorms. While it’s more white than schools like Harvard, MIT, Wellesley and BU, BC still has a large non-white population. Don’t forget their football program and I personally know two Asian Americans who teach there. One’s an instructor of Asian literature and the other is a tenured professor of Psychology who mainly teach grad students.

    • david_duke_k3

      Congratulations, Miss Lilianna.  My name is David Duke, high priest emeritus of the Federation of The Ku Klux Klan. You seem like the kind of woman that our organization could use. I believe you will find our organization quite fitting to your views on life and the White Man’s place in the world. I’d like to invite you to become a senior member of the Oligarchy in the Boston Chapter of the Federation of the Ku Klux Klan.  We also have several highly pedigreed KKK studs that we would like to introduce you to.  For the purposes of efficacious procreation of caucassian babies, I’d like to invite you to participate in the annual Gang Bang Extravaganza.  I think it’ll fit your disposition rather well.  

      I trust that you are the paragon of Aryan pulchritude? 

      Love,

      David

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1191224433 Margaret Mcintyre-Farina

    One fact no one has mentioned, is that until the 1980′s very few American students took Admissions test (SAT) Prep courses.  No one I knew back in the 70′s took a prep course.  We showed up on Saturday and took the test–ONCE–and submitted those one-time scores!  Today, huge sums of time and money are spent on taking these SAT’s and Asian students outspend white students in the test prep time and money competition.  For this reason, the SAT test is deemed to be less representative of their ‘ability” and more another indication of effort, not talent. Now I know this sounds harsh, but that is the elephant in the room bias no one wants to talk about here.

    • http://stevemd.myopenid.com/ Steve

      That’s an interesting point Margaret and perhaps that does play some role in AAs generally scoring higher on standardized exams.  But to play devil’s advocate, shouldn’t the willingness to work hard, put in the effort, and make sacrifices be seen as a positive characteristic?  Although the SAT can be said to correlate with intelligence, don’t they also measure how much preparation and hard work the person has put into the exam?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1191224433 Margaret Mcintyre-Farina

        AS with every other ‘factor” yes, to some degree. GPA, excellence in instrumental music–everything takes time–and especially a passionate pursuit of a ‘hobby” or service to our country as in military service.  Most Asian students I’ve known just don’t get this.  The SAT is NOT the silver bullet that trumps all else.  To try to manipulate the ‘value” of the SAT through sheer brute force of study defeats (how Americans at least view) these standardized tests.  Much more importance will be placed on the SAT of the student who does not take a test prep course and submits their ‘one and only’ test (like my cousin who graduated from Stanford Law/MBA in 1965, after earning a very high GPA in the electrical engineering program at Notre Dame which he was admitted to using his ‘one time” SAT test!)  You get the point now why SAT score no longer convey ‘brilliance’ or exceptional achievement.  Achievement yes, but not the trump card Asians believe them to be.

        • http://stevemd.myopenid.com/ Steve

          I completely agree that GPA and exam scores are not everything, although I would argue that it should be a significant factor.  But I think you may be underestimating the level of discrimination that even highly qualified AAs face in the admissions process despite overcoming unique life hardships, excelling in leadership, and giving back to the community.  I guess that is all I can say about that.  And about, the SAT not conveying brilliance, I agree with that for the most part.  I think it conveys a willingness to sacrifice one’s time to put in the dedication to achieve a good score.  Personally, I think that’s merit enough.  If you call that “brute force” then so be it.

        • http://stevemd.myopenid.com/ Steve

          And as a case in point, I did receive a 99th percentile on the SATs (taken ONCE) and
          that sure wasn’t from my genius brain.  That was from studying at home
          while most of my friends (of difference races) hung around in parking
          lots smoking dope while I studied at home or the library.  Even with the
          significant amount of time I spent studying, I played on my varsity
          basketball team for three years, co-chaired the debate club, and was
          pretty active in our school’s acting group.

          In college, I double majored in business and philosophy while completing my science courses as a pre-med.  I scored on the 97th percentile on my MCAT.  I started a small biotechnology start up which I sold for a minor profit while also holding a position at my university’s student government. Before you say, “hey an asian premed that’s so predictable!”.. I actually was dead set on a career in cinematography before I realized I probably did not have enough talent for it.

          But really, these attributes are aside the point. My point is, that there are exceptional individuals of all races but all to often in my personal experience, I’ve noticed many of my asian american colleagues fall by the way side.  Myself included.  And its not something that consumes my life that I never went to an Ivy League school, but every once in a while these sort of articles come up and I feel compelled to tell another side of things. Whether you want to acknowledge it or not, there are a portion of people who are looked over for education opportunities simply based on their ethnicity despite having a unique background and exceptional creative and leadership qualities.

        • anon

          “Much more importance will be placed on the SAT of the student who does not take a test prep course”

          How do the admissions officers know whether or not the student took an SAT prep course? And if someone has a very high SAT score, it is definitely going to give him or her a huge advantage over someone who doesn’t (just in general – not taking into account this question of ethnic background or anything).

      • Tyranipocrit

         But it is not the only criteria. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1191224433 Margaret Mcintyre-Farina

        Steve, I believe one of the critical cultural differences surrounding the SAT is that Americans tend to view the test as one more of ‘intellectual talent that is a measure WITHOUT TEST PREP as opposed to Asians who view the test as just one more high powered (status) educational hurdle to be studied for–and a symbol of ‘effort”.  While I applaud ‘effort” I am just trying to explain why there is such a paradox surrounding the SAT in the United States.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1191224433 Margaret Mcintyre-Farina

        Yes steve, of course today in America, the SAT’s indicate effort and of course effort is a personal quality that should be recognized and rewarded.  My point is that originally, the SAT was implemented as an indication of ‘potential” of “intelligence” even brilliance for the student earning an 800 in math (which my cousin did on a SAT test CIRCA 1962.) Recall, those tests were used to provide an opportunity to smart kids from ‘not wealthy” backgrounds (race and ethnicity was not the issue).  The tests were designed to be an indication of potential, not a test to be studied for and ‘mastered”.  Wealthy and savvy parents tutored their kids in SAT to change the perception of their average child, to appear smarter.  Americans are still biased about ‘intelligence” and innate talent.  Americans admire innate talent and brilliance, so now that everyone takes test prep courses, the test itself (and 800 in math) is no longer considered a proxy of ‘genius”. The test as an indicator of brilliance has changed to an indicator of ability to learn math and reading in English.  This explains why higher aggregate SAT scores among Asians are not the silver bullets of admissions–just indicators of the
        willingness to study, repeat the exam, pay for test prep, study some more, repeat the exam etc. Personally, I am more impressed by a high verbal score which indicates a deeper understanding of English, than a high math score which is more amenable to ‘prep study.”  My bias.

    • david_duke_k3

      Back in the 70′s the big 3 American car companies built big gas guzzling cars they wanted  Americans to drive and that was that.

      Now big money is spent to make cars that are more efficient and makers are catering to the consumers.

      It’s called progress and competition, old-timer. 

      You may not like it and think things were better when you did it, but personally I liked it back in the day when women like you didn’t go to college and couldn’t vote, and whose place was at home taking care of the kids and cater to men’s every whim, and that was that!

      You know what sounds harsh?  Your insignificant life.  Have you amounted to anything?  Have you changed the world in a noticeable way?  How have you immortalized yourself?  Have you made a billion dollars?  You are but a speck of dust in an uncaring universe that couldn’t have cared less whether you ever existed.

  • Tyranipocrit

    Does it have something to do with all the chinese-chinese who are being admitted who have less qualified academic records but lots of money and connections.  Schools make their money on international students–they pay thrice the amount.  And chinese students who can afford it are the airs of the new corrupt billionaire class in china (except a minority few)

  • Expanded_Consciousness

    So, a minority group that may have benefited from affirmative action in the past, doesn’t like it when affirmative action works against them? Asians are over-represented in the top school based on their population percentage in the country. So, now they cry against affirmative action? You are either for affirmative action or against it. Can’t have it both ways. If you believe in the value and political usefulness of actively balancing the power in society between the different groups, then you have to embrace it even when it works against “your people.”

    • Wotan

      “So, a minority group that may have benefited”

      Did they benefit or did they not, and if you’re unsure, why continue the insinuation that they may have benefitted at someone else’s expense. 

      • Expanded_Consciousness

        Of course they benefited from affirmative action.

        “When affirmative action was first implemented in the early 1970s, Asian Americans benefited from it in large numbers, as did Blacks, Hispanics/Latinos, American Indians and the group that has benefited the most, White women.”

        http://www.asian-nation.org/affirmative-action.shtml

        It is a zero-sum game, with affirmative action someone always benefits at someone else’s expense.

        • Wotan

          Well, we also know that anti-miscegenation  and exclusionary, racist laws were still in practice in many states by the last 60s – not to mention the racist and exclusionary laws that had affected the Chinese, Japanese and the Koreans (though the last group’s numbers were very small in comparison to the former two groups) for the better part of 75 years prior to the 70s, so whatever the writer of the paragraph you quoted means by “large numbers,” I’m still not sure that they were given preferential treatment over other groups. You make it sounds as if Asians Americans place an emphasis only upon reaching the USA. This work ethic they brought over to the USA when immigrating as a select groups or as even indentured servants. IOW, I’m fairly confident that when racist laws were taken off the books, there were more capable and qualified Asian Americans who would have been admitted to selective college without the need for race based Affirmative Action.

          And even at that, by the early 80s, the issue of Affirmative Action negatively affection Asian American applicants became so apparent that a consortium of Asian American student groups from the Ivies, MIT and so forth had already researched the issue and disseminated a report on the negative impact of Affirmative Action on Asian Americans. 

          If they benefitted from Affirmative Action – which as I’ve noted strikes me as counterintuitive given my personal dealings my Asian American predecessors, then it was for something like a decade or less that they benefitted before being hurt by the policies. IOW, a near century of exclusion and institutional racism and you want to emphasis your point by focusing on the 10-15 years of questionable gain?

          Lastly, to your point that Affirm Action is “zero sum gain,” I disagree. Other groups have benefitted at the cost to Asian Americans and this groups includes whites.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1191224433 Margaret Mcintyre-Farina

        Wotan, in the legal world of affirmative action–if your category is hired or admitted at or above their numbers/percentage in the labor pool or applicant pool, your category has benefited from affirmative action.  

    • http://stevemd.myopenid.com/ Steve

      If affirmative action is no longer protecting a discriminated group, then yes, I think there is a problem with it.  If asians benefited from this law in the past why aren’t they now?  Has racism against asians disappeared from our society? Should we no longer need to give them equal access to education like ALL other minorities? Clearly, based on your previous posts you acknowledge that this discrimination against asian ethnicity exists and even go so far as to say admissions officers have the “right to do so”.

      What exactly is your point? You seem to drone on about how all asians are the same, that they are not well rounded, and imply that they have no ability to be leaders.  Thank you for perpetuating these stereotypes, as you obviously have a limited ability to make a cohesive argument that doesn’t rely on asians having some sort of inferior personality.

      So given equivalent merit, achievement, personality or whatever subjective metric you want, what % would you have asians be limited on our campuses?

      • Expanded_Consciousness

        There is never equal merit, achievement, and personality. Top colleges are looking at all forms of intelligence, not just SAT scores. If, on average, Asians are a little up on SAT scores, then they can also be a little down on other forms of intelligence. If affirmative action is about equally balancing the power in society among the races, then Asians have more than their fair share. Clearly, you think SAT scores are the holy grail, and that 50% of the Ivies should be Asian, 50% of Wall Street should be Asian, 50% of Washington politicians should be Asian, etc. Of course, if the super-race of Asians don’t accomplish this, the only reason is because the rest of America are racists. Conveniently,  affirmative action is now an evil. 

        • http://stevemd.myopenid.com/ Steve

          No, I never said asians should be 50% of all those fields nor do I
          believe that.  But its interesting you say afirmative action is about
          “balancing power” in society and that “asians have more than their fair
          share”.  Actually evidence points to the contrary, Asians have the least
          representation in congress out of any racial group.

          One thing is obvious however.  You clearly have some prejudicial views of the asian community and think we are all the same, and that we should not receive equivalent consideration in education.

          EDIT: And no, I don’t believe everyone in the US is racist, but it pretty evident that racial prejudice exists. JUST LOOK AT THE NUMBERS. On the other hand, we have obvious forms of racism from individuals like yourself who seem to really enjoy stereotyping minorities.

          • Expanded_Consciousness

            Asians Americans are 5% of the US population. If we are going to enact affirmative action policies and balance power among the races, then Asian entrance to top universities should be capped at 5%. In California public universities Asian are: 50%, MIT: 28%, Harvard: 20%. BU 15%. You are happy to entertain the notion that Asians, as a group, may be slightly up on SAT scores, but will not entertain the notion that Asians, as a group, may be down on other forms of intelligence. You cannot be for dividing people into different races only when it makes your race look good (SAT scores, affirmative action working for you), and against dividing people into different races when your race falls short (other forms of intelligence, affirmative action working against you).

            You have not proven that Harvard is racist because Asian admits are at 20% and not higher.

          • http://stevemd.myopenid.com/ Steve

            Look, obviously you hold some prejudicial notions already and I can’t change that for you.  You keep parroting the fact that asians are inferior in some regard but refuse to point what you believe these things are.  And please stop pulling accusations out of thin air.  I don’t believe in or have mentioned anything related to your accusations above.  On the contrary, your previous posts clearly show your bias and prejudice against asians, saying we all have the same personality and aren’t fit for leadership etc. 

            I am done with this conversation as we are at an impasse and I don’t see that there is any use in arguing with a bigot like yourself.  Go on believe that asians are inferior.  I can guarantee they will prove you wrong in the future.

          • Expanded_Consciousness

            Harvard and other elite schools do look at personality. You have no problem looking at Asians as a group in a positive light (slightly higher SAT scores), but you cannot manage to look at Asians as a group in any negative light (slightly lower in turning out dynamic leaders). Your argument is that it is useful to divide people into races, and that Asians as a group are superior on SAT tests, and equal or superior on every other personality trait. Any other view is racist. Asians are a super-race and Harvard is racist for not having class sizes higher than 20% Asian, even though Asians are only 5% of the US population. You have an Asian-centric view. A biased view. 

            In the future, the 5% Asian American population just won’t be taking over the world. Asians are not a super-race. It is a competitive world. Other races have skills, too. Asians, as a group, are just not the greatest at everything.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1191224433 Margaret Mcintyre-Farina

            Steve, reading your discussion with Expanded precipitated a thought.  It occurs to me that since Asians are least represented in politics, perhaps Asians are using their SAT merit as a proxy for power, not just as an indication of being able to work hard to earn an SAT score which is an important but still only a factor in admissions to higher education that confers status and subsequently influence, money  and power.  Could we just have discovered the real source of angst? Perhaps Asians should take their brilliance into the realm of politics and gain influence directly.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1191224433 Margaret Mcintyre-Farina

        Steve, having worked in Human Resources for over 30 years, I have worked with these ‘quota” systems.  Affirmative action seeks to ensure that a company or school hire or recruit/admit a category (based on race, ethnicity or sex) at the same percentage as exists in the labor market (school applicant pool).  If in the Unites States, Asians are 5% of the population and the school recruits nationally, then the school would admit 5% Asian and be compliant with affirmative action.  If a school like say the University of Virginia chooses to recruit foreign students and charge them double tuition, rather than admit in-state students for which the school only receives ‘in state tuition” revenue, the school seems to be within its legal boundary.  This policy of recruiting foreign students for the out of state tuition revenue has angered many tax paying citizens of Virginia.  I thought you might benefit from understanding another source of inequity that actually benefits wealthy Asian students.

  • Cabanator

    I can’t figure out from this discussion what it is that people actually want from the college admissions process. At some point we decided that acceptance to universities shouldn’t be based solely on merit, that having a class with “diverse perspectives,” as described by the admissions officer is what we should be aiming for. Well obviously this opens the door to subjectivity in the admissions process. What would be more objective is a selection process based solely on merits–a “points” system based on GPA, SAT scores, extracurriculars, etc., but then people would be upset that certain minorities and disadvantaged groups aren’t adequately represented, that they never had the opportunity to earn those same merits because of unfair socioeconomic and cultural factors. What, exactly, does Ms. Chen propose that we do about rich white people who can afford to pay for expensive private schools and college admissions coaches? This has less to do with race than with the fact that rich, powerful people will always have an advantage in society. Of course colleges will try to retain their wealthy donors by admitting their children whenever possible. It’s not a coincidence that many of the most prestigious universities also have the largest endowments. Legacy admissions will always exist to some extent as long as colleges compete for endowment money. 

    The reality is that as long as diversity is the goal rather than pure merit-based admission, all of us are competing against our peers in whichever subjective boxes the admissions officers put us in. In the name of diversity, they are only going to take so many candidates from each box, and if all the candidates in your box happen to be more qualified than those in another box, tough luck for you. Yes, it might seem unfair that admissions officers are categorizing students this way or making seemingly subjective judgments about their “circumstances.” If we don’t like this system, the alternative is to move to a completely transparent merit-based system based only on measurable statistics, like they do in many other countries. And then what will we do when we find that certain groups are over or underrepresented? Complain that a solely merit-based system is unfair, no doubt. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1191224433 Margaret Mcintyre-Farina

      Canabator has summarized well the essential features of the educational system, particularly the “elite” educational system.  My purpose for writing is just to remind the passionate, that even if stereotypes are at work, the United States is still a more fair society than any other in the world simply because an elite degree is  not a requirement to live well or to invent a product or service which may earn millions of dollars using that brilliant mind that may or may not have earned a high SAT score!  My beef is that the SAT has become a symbol of a distortion of the higher education system in our country and the SAT does not guarantee educational meritocracy. 

  • anon

    You have made this comment again and again. In fact, there are ‘Jewish’ groups made of for ‘Jewish’ people who claim to speak for the rest of the ‘Jewish’ people. (AIPAC and J Street are just two examples; there are tons of other charitable, political and other kinds of organizations.) How can it be so bad to categorize people that way? 

    As far as I know, these groups are not necessarily talking about the religious aspect of Judaism.

    And actually, the Common App does have an optional question asking about your religion, just as it does about ethnicity.

  • jhklap

     I apologize for my multiple entries-new to the comment process.

    I received replies about “Jewish” being an optional question on the common app.

    I have two kids in college, both of whom are white and Catholic, and we never clicked that optional box.

    Besides, Dr. Chen was comparing ethnicity to faith.

    Why not then mention Catholics or any other faith in comparison.

    Or another ethnicity. This was an apple to bananas talk.

    She also without any statistics spelled out her distain with some “wealthier” applicants sending their children to prep schools and prep classes. We are not rich nor a prep school family.

    My son is at an Ivy, my daughter is not but could have been.

    Never once did we think her not being accepted was in any way because some other ethnic group or faith.

    There are an inordinate number of applicants, many of whom have top scores etc.

    Admission is a lot about luck and your child having a real passion for something.

    • J__o__h__n

      Jewish is also ethnicity.  Many people who aren’t religious consider themselves Jews (and people who hate Jews certainly do despite how they self-identify).  The comparison to Jews was made because in the past schools devised quotas to keep high scoring Jews out of the schools and replaced objective scores with subjective things like being well-rounded.  That practice is what is being compared to current limits on Asians. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1191224433 Margaret Mcintyre-Farina

        JOHN, during the time frame you mentioned, Catholics were systematically kept out of elite schools–that’s how Notre Dame was ‘born”.  ND was the Catholic version of Harvard–network and all. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1191224433 Margaret Mcintyre-Farina

    Over the past 10-20 years, it seems the Asian political attitude has shifted from conservative to liberal as they listen to the siren of ‘liberals fighting for “justice” because Asians do feel aggrieved by the betrayal of the almighty SAT score which is the single ‘objective” measure they cling to–above all else. So, in the larger context, liberal politics are to blame for affirmative action gone awry as well as for fanning the flames of feelings of ‘injustice”. 

     

     

                I’ve also wondered if
    the Asian ‘outrage” that their higher SAT scores don’t guarantee them
    admissions to ‘elite” gateway Universities, might stem from their
    non-democratic cultures (of origin) which allows only the path of
    ‘education” to trump aristocracy or authoritarian power.  This is a
    question not an opinion.  As a Catholic, we believe material success is
    not the central goal of our life on earth and in democratic America, ‘less
    successful” people (low SAT scores) have rights and dignity too! One of my Korean foreign exchange high-school students was far from the stereotype of the academic super star and 2100+ SAT scorer.  He was a natural artist–very creative in the visual arts and I helped him get into a ‘decent” school in Chicago so he could also attend the Art Institute.  His father had a fit and ‘demanded” he major in finance.  He flunked out and now is serving in the Korean Army–in shame.  Shame for not being allowed to use his gifts and shame for what me and my family consider an honor, to serve in our military.

      Years ago I divested myself of liberal feminist politics that told me I was a victim. I hope Asians of all political leanings will reject the victim mentality and embrace America as the land of opportunity–not guaranteed success based on test scores. Below, a link to a great article by Thomas Sowell that traces roots of true racial discrimination to leftist politics…

     

    http://spectator.org/archives/2013/03/12/intellectuals-and-race

    • http://stevemd.myopenid.com/ Steve

      Your biggest misconception is that you stereotype Asians into people that can only pull great test scores.  Your myopic view of society is quite evident when you say these blanket statements.  And what does liberalism, catholicism, or joining the military have anything to do with the discussion at hand?  It merely sounds like you are touting our own ethnocentric view of what others should be doing with their time.

        Studies show that despite higher achievement in grades, test scores, and equivalent levels of leadership and diverse hobbies that asians are indeed being limited to a quota.  This has a real impact on people who have not only worked hard, but also have the diversity of experiences and life perspectives that college SHOULD be looking for.

      Frankly, I’m sorry the only asians you’ve encountered fit into your narrow stereotype.  Myself and most of the asians I have associated with do quite well for themselves in all spheres of life, not just academic.

      • Expanded_Consciousness

        Asian Americans are 5% of the population. Their SAT scores and grades have earned them higher than 5% representation at elite schools. Just because you want even more Asian-dominance and the world doesn’t give it to you, does not mean bigotry is in place. Clearly, you do not value diversity and affirmative action. Just Asian-dominance.

        If you insist on dividing people into races and looking at their positive attributes, then you must allow for looking at their negative attributes. If you engage in looking at Asians, in aggregate, to see their on-average positive attributes, then you must allow for negative assessments, as well. Let’s get real. There are culturally-formed, common types found in any subculture. Admissions boards see a lot of shy, quiet, lacking in communication skills, lacking in social skills, studious Asians. A lot of single-focus, pre-med-to-please-the-parents Asians. These applicants do not stand out against dynamic, outgoing, unique candidates. 

        You have failed to prove that when 5% of the population secures 20% of Ivy League admissions, the fact that they do not dominate even more is because of bigotry. You can throw the accusations around, and ignore other factors, but it doesn’t mean everyone has to.

        • http://stevemd.myopenid.com/ Steve

          ‘Let’s get real. There are culturally-formed, common types found in any
          subculture. Admissions boards see a lot of shy, quiet, lacking in
          communication skills, lacking in social skills, studious Asians. A lot
          of single-focus, pre-med-to-please-the-parents Asians”

          I think your prejudice is pretty clear.  I’d like to ask what are the “culturally-formed” common types in your own culture? LOL, I’m guessing the opposite of asians right? Give me a break!

          Please, give it up with your thinly veiled statements.  Your accusation that I’m arguing for asian-domination is delusional at best.  All I am arguing for is race blind admissions which the UC schools have already adopted and show higher attendance of asians.  Your other meaningless accusations only serve to obfuscate your own prejudice against asian american culture and your ignorance of the facts.

          • http://stevemd.myopenid.com/ Steve

            Really, I’m done conversing with you.  You’ve really failed to form any cogent arguments aside from relying on your insistence that asians lack personality.  Good day!

          • Expanded_Consciousness

            Wrong. Admissions boards that only looked at SAT scores wouldn’t need to exist. A computer could decide on the admits. It would be an inferior way to build a class and harmful to society. Admissions boards seek qualities found outside of SAT scores. They do not blind themselves and ignore those qualities. They do not, and should not, ignore other pertinent facts and factors. Life cannot be reduced to a math formula. Harvard could easily admit only those with perfect 1600 SAT scores. It is good that they do not. It would be stupid to pass a law saying they must. They absolutely would not have as many famous alumni if they did. Their admissions board is amazing at identifying future superstars early on, and they can do this only by looking beyond the SAT score. 

            Sorry, your argument that looking beyond the SAT score is not inherently bigoted.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1191224433 Margaret Mcintyre-Farina

            Steve, until my mother’s generation, her family ONLY married other Alsace French-German people–and they had been citizens in the United States since 1823!  They did in fact have obvious ethic characteristics–they were farmers and craftsman with clear European habits.  Today, ‘mainstream” American means ‘mixed ethnicity”, where obvious cultural traits have faded with inter-marriage.  This is especially true of Irish Catholics who were, until the 1960s, recipients of much discrimination.  Because Irish Catholics came to American ‘poor”, they took a couple of generations to work their way into the middle class and Catholic schools helped them climb the social ladder.  Catholic schools helped many poor immigrants, particularly in Chicago, gain a foothold in the American dream.  I wonder how first or even second generation Asians feel so entitled to elite status in a country where they choose to maintain a certain cultural homogeneity, BASED ON SAT scores.  I’ve also been a director of a ‘test prep” service not to be named here and I know how SAT scores can be ‘earned” through hard work and practice!  In my heart, I also believe elite schools also know that SAT’s are no longer a proxy for ‘brilliance” like they MAY have been in the early 1960′s–before wide spread test prep programs.  Maybe it’s time for a new test–one that no one can prepare for!!

        • anon

          “Admissions boards see a lot of shy, quiet, lacking in communication skills, lacking in social skills, studious Asians.”

          Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems like most admissions boards never actually ‘see’ the applicants. Requiring interviews is not the norm. 

        • YP Cheng

           Yes…and a lot of Asian Americans are actually trying to do the opposite now…you can dynamic, outgoing and unique with great test scores and still be shot down…if you are Asian. Your perception of Asians are limited and maybe there is a problem with the admission committee also if they share your views.

          • Expanded_Consciousness

            You have to look at aggregates, and at trends within the group. If as a group, Asians trend upward on SAT scores, they also trend downward on leadership scores. You don’t want to say all groups score the same on SAT scores, but you want to say that admission committees should score all groups the same on personality scores. That is just not the reality.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1191224433 Margaret Mcintyre-Farina

            YP, of course it is disappointing not to get the rewards of ‘the system” whether the system is at work or admission to an elite school. But, one poster tried to explain that ‘success” in America is not limited by elite degrees as success is limited in China and Korea.  My point is that in America there are no guarantees and elite education is only one factor.  Money and connections still matter and Americans recognize that.  What makes America great, is that there is unlimited opportunity to earn a living and have a great life WITHOUT THE ELITE DEGREE SO ASIANS SHOULD NOT FOCUS ON GETTING THE ELITE DEGREE!!  By putting so much of you life energy into getting into these elite schools, you are reinforcing the belief that an elite degree is necessary for success and a good life–which is simply not true in America.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1191224433 Margaret Mcintyre-Farina

        Steve, I’m sorry if you read my posts to mean Asians can ‘only” pull great test scores.  Most Asians I have known put together great resumes and work at being ‘well rounded” but often it’s more the appearance of being well rounded.  I have been a career coach for major Fortune 500 corporations for 25 years and my experience with companies that hire a lot of Asians is yet another source of my information. I worked on special assignments (at one very well known high tech firm) to help Asian men get the promotions they felt they deserved because ‘they worked harder’ than their others in their department.  Often they would work through lunch, taking their meal at their desk ‘to get more work done”.  I tried to explain to them three simple truths: 1. American men in their department often played basketball together at lunch and they should try to join them in a pick up game.  2. Their attitude that the ‘American men were lazy” showed and it was resented; 3. Just because they grew up believing the earning a master’s degree guaranteed them a management position, that is not how many American companies work and they must join in group activities and be ‘accepted” as a leader.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1191224433 Margaret Mcintyre-Farina

        “And what does liberalism, catholicism, or joining the military have anything to do with the discussion at hand?”  1. Liberalism has generated this entire ‘affirmative action” mentality which creates a sense of entitlement.  This claim that Asians are being discriminated against because their admissions to Ivy League schools are not commensurate with their SAT scores flows from the liberal religion of ‘entitlement”, not meritocracy.  My point is SAT is only one factor of merit, not the ‘silver” bullet of admissions. 2. Catholicism (and Christianity) is a dominant religion in the United States and Asians who avoid Catholicism and/or Christianity do so at their own risk.  Christianity preaches that materialism that crowds out spirituality is a ‘false god” and material success is not the only goal of life.  I’m trying to get the point across that it seems Asians are angry and aggrieved because their high scores ‘as a group” are not translating into the material success they feel entitled to.  That’s how Catholicism is relevant here–to point out yet another cultural stereotype that has a kernel of truth! 3. While the military is ‘mandatory” for Koreans, Korean parents, especially affluent ones work very hard to help their children avoid the military.  I admit, many affluent liberal American parents also convey that serving in the military is not a worthy goal. On the other hand, I also know personally some amazing Asian students in my son’s ROTC class who I am happy to know–but they are the minority of the Asian ‘minority”.  It would be nice to see more Asian parents approve of and encourage their children to serve in our American military. Has anyone here looked into the statistics for Asian admissions to the United States Military Academies (West Point, the Naval Academy, the Air force Academy?) 

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1191224433 Margaret Mcintyre-Farina

          Statistics from the Naval Academy and West Point show that Asian students do well at these elite academies when they apply.  While SAT is important at the academies, other accomplishments are considered important and if you’ve ever seen the application, you will see every manner of achievement considered: music, theatre, debate, science fairs, Boys/Girls state, sports, team captains and club office holders especially.  The academies actively recruit Asian students but don’t ‘over rely” on SAT scores, therefore the ‘discrimination based on test scores” could be charged.  Still, there seems to be more meritocracy at the Service Academies than at the Ivy League schools. Comparing Asians and Whites: percent admitted to freshman class/ percent graduating in four years: Asians at West Point: 15%/78%  Whites: 14%/72%
          Naval Academy: Asians: 13%/85% Whites: 15%/77%.  statistics from vw.acri.org/blog/wp-content/ceousa-service-adademies.pdf

    • Wotan

      I know many Koreans who’ve gone to the Art Institute of Chicago fro MFA’s with their parents having paid full tuition and living expenses because they were here as foreign students. While your example sounds plausible and expected if that Korean had a family business to inherit – and don’t forget that every able bodied Korean man has a mandatory military commitment (even the international superstar Rain who’s continually on Time’s top ten in most influential people on the plantet) is currently doing his time in the army – there are so many Koreans, Korean Americans and Asian Americans who are and have been encouraged to pursue a career in the arts.

      Nam June Paik, Yo Yo Ma, I.M. Pae, David Henry Hwang…this list goes on and on.

      Please cease in your crusade to stereotype Asian Americans based on your limited experiences with Asian Americans.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1191224433 Margaret Mcintyre-Farina

        Wotan, my experience is much broader than my ongoing choice to host Korean foreign exchange students.  For 30 years I lived in an affluent American suburb which attracted Asian high achieving families.  It was from this experience I first noticed a shift from conservative to more liberal politics.  And of course there are many accomplished Asians in the Arts. Where you will not see many Asians is in the American military. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1191224433 Margaret Mcintyre-Farina

        Wotan, you confirmed my real bias, that wealthy people from all corners of the globe acquire elite educational opportunities and converge in competitive elite communities, sometimes for the betterment of mankind, but other times for pure self-aggrandizement.  Human nature, is normally distributed through out all ethnicities.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1191224433 Margaret Mcintyre-Farina

        Wotan, lest we not forget that these able bodied Korean men don’t fight any wars!!  The able bodied American men and woman maintain readiness to defend South Korea in between being deployed to any number of  hot spots on the globe in addition to Iraq or Afghanistan recently.  It seems to me that given the amount of preparation, and we all agree, Koreans are very good at preparation, South Korea could defend itself on its own, particularly since South Korea has superior technology and actually can feed its soldiers compared to the North. While off topic, I think its fascinating to look at how other countries balance their spending between military readiness, domestic spending and investment in infrastructure at home.

    • unclelam

      Wow. Bravo.  Somehow in a discussion about education you manage to inject liberal/conservative partisan politics into the discussion.  Rush Limbaugh will be so proud.

      • JGC

        And if you enjoy MM-F’s missives, please be sure to read the ones by TomGallagherPenn much earlier in the thread.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1191224433 Margaret Mcintyre-Farina

        You are kidding aren’t you.  Politics, religion and class issues are very much a part of this education argument you can be sure…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1016400192 Mufassa Longfellow

    POINT OF INFORMATION:

    As a Berkeley student, I need to point out that the Berkeley professor forgot to mention Proposition 209. Since 1996 all California public schools (the entire UC and CSU system) have been prohibited from taking race into consideration in admissions. 

    Thus there is absolutely no form of affirmative action in California. Carolyn Chen assumes that there is an active and vibrant practice of Affirmative Action at the selective schools that she targets (Ivies etc.). 

    Not making an argument for or against A.A. here, but it’s an important distinction to make.

    • http://stevemd.myopenid.com/ Steve

       And as a result of taking a holistic view of a student’s application without regard to the single factor of race, asian americans become that much more represented in the student body.  And this is true even when you take into consideration the higher proportion of asians living in california. 

      I’m sure the ONLY reason they were accepted was because of their high test scores right Margaret?  They couldn’t POSSIBLY have been unique in their own regard.

      • unclelam

        Stop misrepresenting Chen’s point.  She never said grades are the only consideration.  On the other hand, you inferred that grades are the only thing going for Asian Americans.  Really?  Asian Americans consider possibly be well rounded and unique too.  Really?

        You just made her point didn’t you?  That when race is taken out of the equation, Asians made up of 40% of the student body.  When race is taken into consideration, Asians made up less than 20%.

        • http://stevemd.myopenid.com/ Steve

          If you read my post carefully, I am for removing race as a factor in admissions.  the last two sentences were meant to be sarcastic towards the poster Margaret who seems to think Asians are only good test takers.

    • unclelam

      So when you take race out of the equation, Asians are 40% of the student body.  When you include race, Asians are less than 20%.

      Hmmm………

      • Expanded_Consciousness

        Wrong. Asian Americans are 5% of the U.S. population. Asian Americans in California are 15% of the population (3X more than the national average).

        • Wotan

          Don’t you think most Asian Americans who’ve added something of substance to the conversation on this issue know what are their total population and percentile break downs? We don’t really need to be told how many of us there are, and that really has nothing to do with unclelam’s point. 

          • Expanded_Consciousness

            Public universities in CA are naturally going to have a higher number of Asian students, since their numbers are higher in CA. 15% in CA -> 40% in undergrad (nearly 3X). 5% in U.S. -> 10 – 20% in the Ivies. Asian Americans are over-represented by a factor of 2X – 4X in colleges, apparently due to their higher SAT scores and grades. Yet, that still isn’t good enough for the Asian-centrics out there that do not want racial diversity, but only want more Asians in top schools.

          • Wotan

            Incoming class at Berkeley is actually higher at around 50%. These disproportionate outcomes are also seen in UC Irvine and UCLA. But glad to see that you managed to crunch the numbers and came to some other offensive conclusion on what it is the Asians want without having really listened. When will people like you get it? It’s not about you.

            If it’s people like you who are devising these “diversity” schemes, I’m siding with those who vehemently oppose some twisted notions of diversity. It wasn’t the Asian who gained at the suppression of the Blacks, the Latinos and the Asian Americans but now you want to blame the Asian Americans because they’re voicing their protestations on why they should bear the brunt of this social tax?

            I’ll tell you what, if you’re so interested in diversity and righting a historical wrong, give up your slots disproportionally. Short of that, these attempts are just clumsy.

          • Expanded_Consciousness

            Either you are for diversity or you aren’t. Affirmative action is a zero-sum game. Welcome to the losing side. Now you are doing well and are going to have to help out the less fortunate.

          • Wotan

            I’ve already told you it’s not a zero sum gain and repeating that it is doesn’t change that. And no, I’m not on the losing side because I’m not on the same side as you. We were never on the same side that made retributions to the systemically wronged disproportionately my problem. We had nothing to do with slavery, the Natives being wiped out and on and on. In fact, we were the ones who also suffered under systemic racism and you think we should pay more than whites? What manner of twisted logic and sense of diversity is this anyways?

            Again, I fundamentally reject your terms and conditions toward diversity.

          • Expanded_Consciousness

            Affirmative action is about benefiting those suffering today. It is not about punishing whites for the crimes of its ancestors. 18 year old whites and 18 year old Asian Americans can help those who suffer today.

          • Guest

            No it is not. If it were solely that then I’ve be for it 100%. As is, I’m still leaning toward Affirmative Action but let’s be real here and be truthful about who’s paying a disproportionate amount to correct wrongs my group had no part in.

            When first generation African immigrants are outperforming Asian Americans and are benefitting from race based policies whereas the inner city youth still has no chance, which groups is suffering and which groups is benefitting and at whose expense.

            That you keep deny that Asian Americans are disproportionately hindered in the admissions process doesn’t get to the issue. And again, that Asian Americans are affected to the benefit of even whites isn’t a level playing field. Stop moving the goalposts and stop implying that whites and Asian Americans are paying equal shares in this college admissions social tax.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1016400192 Mufassa Longfellow

    Chen forgot to account for incoming freshmen class size in her hardly academic research. She’s written an op-ed in the NYT not a peer reviewed paper on the subject (probably fishing for a book deal).

    Harvard’s undergrad population: ~6,000 (admission rate <10%)Stanford: ~5,000 (admission rate <10%)
    Berkeley (Go Bears!): ~25,000 (admission rate of 20%)

    Ivies could fill their incoming freshmen classes only with Valedictorians and still turn thousands of applicants away. Add in the legacy preference, and mathematically they absolutely have to weigh the softer data heavier just to find any differentiation in the applicant pool.

  • http://twitter.com/jcrystoff Jeff Crystoff

    Regarding the woman who called whose valedictorian daughter didn’t get into Northeastern, U of Rochester, etc. There’s got to be something else going on there: It’s hard for me to see those colleges denying someone who was 1st in their high school class unless there was some other serious issue involved.

    • Barry Levine

      I agree, these are not such difficult schools to gain entry.  The discussion was around elite schools, and that is not U of R nor Northeastern (both good schools but not elite).

  • unclelam

    I’m surprise at the outrage over Chen’s comments.  It’s a long known “secret” in many circles that many Asians are shut out of the elite universities because their “quota” can be met easily.  It’s a shame too because many top notch Asian students don’t even bother applying to certain schools because this is happening.  I’d argue that this practice is in fact hurting the student bodies because the universities are depraving themselves of many well-rounded students that could have added to the synergy of the student bodies.

    • Expanded_Consciousness

      Asian Americans are 5% of the U.S. population. Harvard College is 20% Asian right now. How is a Harvard that is 40%, 50%, 60% Asian going to create a “well-rounded,” “synergistic,” “diverse” student body? It clearly would not.

      • unclelam

        This is exhibit A of what Chen is talking about – this artificial suppression of one race in the name of diversity.  You can have 40%, 60%, or 70% of one race in the student population and still have diversity and well roundness.  It’s about evaluating a person based on his/her accomplishment, not skin color.  

        What’d happen if the NBA follows your logic and only hire 18% Blacks and 76% White?  Eh?  How about we stop putting these limit based on skin color?

        • Expanded_Consciousness

          Racial diversity in schools and in the workplace is valued in American life.

          • unclelam

            Racial diversity at the expense of other kinds of diversity is not valued in American life.  Sorry.

          • Expanded_Consciousness

            Wrong. Since the races are different, especially in their social-political interests, racial diversity automatically bequeaths other types of diversity, and the society thus benefits. An Asian-dominated society is not called for by the talents of Asians as a group, or by the interests of America as a whole, diverse, complex, multi-skilled nation. Asians are not the super-race.

      • hesusdenazarento

        U.S. is but 5% of world’s population and yet it consumes more than 25% of world’s resources.  What gives?  Whoever said proportionate representation at elite universities is how it should be?  Clearly U.S. action in the world would suggest it does not agree.  So why do you buy into it?

      • hesusdenazarento

        The U.S. is but 5% of the world’s population, yet it consume more than 25% of its resources.  What gives?  Whoever said elite schools’ student body should proportionately reflect that of society at large?  Clearly the actions of U.S. suggest it does not believe in such nonsense.  Why do you buy into it?

      • hesusdenazarento

        The U.S. is but 5% of the world’s population, and yet it consumes more than 25% of its resources.  What gives?  Whoever said the student body at elite institutions should reflect that of society at large?  Clearly the actions of the U.S. suggest it doesn’t believe in it at the world scale.  So why should its immigrant citizenry?  Why do you buy into it?

  • Barry Levine

    I think it’s time to end such discussions in entirety.

    Africans were slaves and now president of the US.Jews were mass murdered and excluded, and now are allowed to succeed as well.   I know lots of successful Asian persons, and when they donate large sums to Harvard, their kids will get in too, no different than anyone else.  On Point does a disservice to racial equality by hosting such debates so we can all come and show our worst human qualities in such an argument.
    This professor should find something better to do with her time.
    Yes there is personal discrimination in the world, in EVERY country.   The US at least now legislates against open discrimination.   Just try, as a white american, to go live in Japan or Korea, and see how accepting their society would be of  caucasians !  See if you can get into elite jobs or schools ?  I dont think so.  They are very closed societies, and this woman has the nerve to come and talk about discrimination here in the US ?  

    Also, in absence of buying your way in, the notion that “upper middle class” has some advantage is patently untrue and just the opposite. My son is at the college recruitment age, and got a letter from Yale encourage him not to self-select out and apply, that their criteria is very diverse and don’t assume your grades must include a perfect SAT score to gain admission. Vague otherwise but they admit it’s not transparent. What was crystal clear was the financial part of the equation.   They were very detailed as to financial aid guidelines.
    Basically if you are poor and get in, wont cost you a nickel.If you are very rich, well not only can you afford the education, we all know you will be buying in future offspring too. It is the middle class, with enough to pay, but not enough to pay without debt, without affecting retirement, and with little chance of future donations, that they don’t want or need.Poor students give them diversity, rich give them money, what does the middle class give them ?   I am not going to take up Yale and their offer to have my son apply, as they made it pretty clear that I must risk our family’s financial future to send my son there, I really could not care less if he were to get in or not.   I am happy to find a non-elite school that doesn’t just want our money, thanks.    An elite school is not a requirement for true success.  Just ask some famous Harvard drop outs if they wish the had stayed in school and not started their businesses when they did ?   There is even a famous Reed College graduate who dropped out and did as well as the elite drop outs !     Now they can buy the entire university they dropped out of, if it were for sale.

    • Wotan

      “Just try, as a white american, to go live in Japan or Korea, and see how accepting their society would be of  caucasians !”

      KAIST in south Korea is an elite university geared toward technology, science and math. Students who are accepted there and who graduate from the institution are considered and treated almost as national treasures because so much would have been invested into their potential and human capital. I’m usure of the specific numbers and percentiles but they’ve a significant international student population to the extent that they’ve adopted English as the official language for class instruction. Again, this is a South Korean institution.

      http://www.kaist.edu/english/handbook/06_students_02.php

      And while racism and exclusion of outsiders of the dominent culture does exist everywhere as it does in South Korea, the speed at which they’re changing and embracing a plural, multi-ethnic society is striking. One of the highest rated talk shows on TV is one which features about a dozen non-Koreans including Caucasian Americans and Canadians, Africans, Israelis, Arabs, Europeans, Chinese, Indonesians, Russians and so forth who speak about their daily lives in Korea and their impressions on Korean culture. 

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Talk_Show

      http://www.kbs.co.kr/2tv/enter/suda/

      And one of the most popular TV program hosts is a cute, quirky Japanese foodie who speaks fluent Korean albeit with a funny accent.

      One’s experience in ROK, however, would be very different if one had been in uniform as an US soldier. 

      This comparison, however, is apples to oranges insofar as the non-Koreans living in Korea are mostly new immigrants whereas the Asian Americans denied admission to colleges they’re well qualified for admittance are more often US born.

    • David_Duke_KKK

      End such discussions and abolish freedom of speech!

      Hail Moses!

  • Lawrence

    Ironic?

    A few months ago, On Point broadcast a show that highlighted the huge emergence of Asians in American schools, how Asian kids are raised from a young age to go to schools here in the USA and how the Universities are flooded with these bright and energetic students.

    • David_Duke_KKK

      Welcome to the real world, Lawrence of somewhere.

      Where have you been hiding?  You speak of it as if it were interesting and unknown to the well-informed.  

      What about “anorexia among the very young” show a few weeks ago and the headline “Obesity problem among 17% of American Children.”

      You know what else is ironic? Jews for Jesus.

      • Lawrence

         Seems like you are trying to make a point, but I fail to determine what exactly it is.

         

         

  • JGC

    From “The Social Animal” by David Brooks:

    “So Mr. Casual Elegance married Ms. Sculpted Beauty…and they produced three wonderful children:  Effortless Brilliance, Global Compassion, and Artistically Gifted.  Like most upper- and upper-middle-class children, these kids were really good at obscure sports…The kids all excelled at homogenous and proudly progressive private high schools, carefully spending their summers interning at German science labs…They went off to selective colleges with good sports teams…and then they launched their careers that would reflect well on their parents…”

    This conversation has gone well beyond racial aspects, in also addressing class considerations. But here is the curious thing: as every one is scraping for SAT scores and scrapping about placement issues, employers are looking more for people with vocational skills (although they are often stubbornly not willing to train the people they seek). 

    From “Where the Jobs Are”, by John P. McCrea in Barron’s, 11 March 2013:

    “I run an IT search and consulting firm…The ad the job candidate responded to asked only for a B.S. in a hard science and an aptitude with computers. So we were perplexed by his application, because not only did he have a J.D. from a top-20 law school, but he had already passed the state bar exam. He was more qualified to sue us than petition us for employment…Why would a guy with this pedigreed education apply for an entry-level job paying $20 an hour?  You know the answer, of course:  He has over $100,00 in student loan debt.”

  • unclelam

    LOL.  You are so pathetic it’s funny!!  Man, you are one messed up puppy, but thanks for making me chuckle.  

  • tom_yom_soup

    Me want to add my two spices.  I sink gooda amarican schools no need admit asian people.  Good study asian people no go to gooda amarican schools no get mad.  you sink school evry sing.  school not evry sing.  fo sample, I lika gook tom yom soup.  I no go to school but I very good make tom yom soup.  make business at making soup.  make lot of money.  sell business for birrions of dollers now i sit at home give advice to you wantobe going good school rejects. 

    ms. chen stirring soup pot to get spices and flavors mix well.  ecept she no got real degree.  asian studies?  wass da?  don’t make tom yom soup laugh.  go get real degree in restaurant management.

  • tom_yom_soup

    i want to be first asian member of david duke’s kkk club.  what you sink, david?  me look menacing in tall white cone hats.

  • david_duke_k3

    Dear Mr. Tom Gallagher,

    My name is David Duke, high priest emeritus of the Federation of The Ku Klux Klan.  You seem like the kind of man that our organization could use.  I believe you will find our organization quite fitting to your views on life and the White Man’s place in the world.  I’d like to invite you to become a senior member of the Oligarchy in the Southern Chapter of the Federation of the Ku Klux Klan.
    Your sons would make perfect specimens that would represent us well.  Your middle son, the Wall Streeter, would be especially useful to us as we have a few economies I’m plotting to wreck.  Maybe he can apply some of his skills to my cause?  The White race would be indebted to you and your family for all eternity.

    Think about my offer.  Get back to me soon. 

    Yours Truly,

    David Duke, H.P. of The F. K. K. K.

  • tom_yom_soup

    And women like you are deemed bossy cows.  It’s a disease, but it’s true.

  • tom_yom_soup

    Again, me repeat, me no deny asian people weak and effete.  No dynamic leadas like Hitler, Mousolini, Manson, and countless others.

  • ExcellentNews

    To improve your chances for Ivy League admission, make sure your change your name to N’Gomo Rothschild Chang Falcon Feather…

    A nation which does not give the best opportunity to the best and brightest will surely be surpassed over time by those nations who do.

  • Expanded_Consciousness

    Cultural differences go along way in causing many Asian applicants to score lower on personality ratings. This is a good summary:

    Characteristics of the Traditional Asian Family
     
    Hierarchical in structure, with males and older individuals occupying a higher status
     
    Gender Differences between Asian male and Asian female
    Males=highly valued
    Asian families want sons b/c males are important and they carry on the family name (lineage).
    Females=valued less than males, less important role in family
    The role of the female is to be passive and to adhere to husband’s family, be subservient to the male, perform domestic chores, and bear children.
    The role of the male is to provide for the family. Primary duty is to be a good son; obligations to be a good husband and father come second to duty as son.

    Patriarchal husband-wife relationships
     
    Respect for ancestors and elderly (Past-present time orientation)
     
    Loyalty to authority figures
    One-way communication: adults speak to children
     
    Collectivism—Family & Group Focus—Interdependence
    Children learn early in life that the family is central & the primary unit
    Behavior of individual members is a reflection on the entire family
     
    Discipline–shame and guilt used to control and train children
    Emphasize loyalty and honor to the family and avoidance of shame and embarrassment to the family
    Family problems are hidden from public and handled within the family
    Outstanding achievement: source of great pride for child and entire family
    Mental illness is shameful and represents family failure
     
    Less Open Display of Emotions=sign of maturity and self-control
    Care and concern is shown by supplying physical needs of family members
    Father—Authoritative and Distant, less emotionally demonstrative and involved, provides for the economic and physical needs of family
    Mother—more responsive to children but uses less nurturance and more verbal and physical punishments than Whites; meets emotional needs of children and serves as intermediary b/t father and child.
     
    http://www.coedu.usf.edu/zalaquett/mcdp/Asian%20handout.htm

  • ftgml

    Questions:

    Are Asian children with green cards or are citizens who are born in the US or to Asian parents who are also US citizens also Americans?

    Why are there no cap or even distinguishing for European Americans?

    Will it be legal if a company in a predominantly white community start to limit the number of Asian employees since they are disproportionately represented in relation to the community?

    Was it wrong to put a cap on Jews in the early 20th century simply because they are different than non Jews? if so, what about today’s same type of practices against the Asian children?

    As Asian immigrants we always tried to avoid implant any racial sensitivity to our children. However, even after they just left kinderguartens, they would start to distinguish themselves from their friends on races? Kids are innocent but the society has been continuously putting the poisonous racial devides into the little minds, thus, along with may racial preferences that the government and the educational instituions maintain, perpetuate the racial devide in the supposed to great melting pot.

    Years ago, there wa a case in on eof the major newspapers (ether the NYT or WSJ) about a Korean American applicant from a prestigeous NE prap school being denided admission by one of the top Ive league entity but a fellow schoolmate of a different race protected by Afirmative Action bu twith much lower SAT scores and othe cridetials got in. He sued and won and he went to another equally prestegious school. He did not fight just to get in, but, rather, for a belief that all races should be equal.

    Top universities screening out qualified Asian applicants in the name of serving the racial (not spelt out, though) balance of the communities is a known fact. It is just not something they wil declare.

    All races should be treated equal in work places and eductional places as they are in front of God (Bhuda or Mohammed).

    Unfortunately Asian Americans are still quite quiet in activism against social injustice. In this sense, we should learn from our African Aemrican brothers and sisters. We need to fight for our equal rights, especially for Asians, our children’s. 

    The recently retired former Principal of the top NYC public school was once reportedly to have said that he would not allow racial quota in the school and they could only do that over his dead body.

    In the old times, Asians students were more academic centered and less assertive, thus it was easy to disqualify them by adding sports, extra corricular and leadership qualities into the requirements.  However, today’s Asian Americans, especially the second generation immigrants are as any other americans in all these areas. Then the racial balance came into the equation, undeclared. I am also curious to see that, as white becomes minority in may communities even states, what would happen next with these pedominantly white universities. what new criterials will they invent.

    One comment here had it right to the point. If the American Us do not maximize its acceptance of the best, other nations will.

    In reference to another comment here regarding whites in Asian countries being treated unfairly also, I feel as indignant about their treatment. However, one wrong does not justify another. They are both wrong. So your argument simply reinforces the message here.

    In summary, I agree with Carolyn that this is a serious social issue that is getting too little attention.

    I also want to clarify it that this topic is not trying to pit one race againt another, rather, it is trying to eliminate that. it is the admission officials who are doing that. Race should be banged as a criterion in admiisions, publicly or privately.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1191224433 Margaret Mcintyre-Farina

      Immigration has ALWAYS had categorical caps. Read your history books.

  • http://stevemd.myopenid.com/ Steve

    Equal outcome is NOT the same as equal opportunity.  Unfortunately, there seems to be a problem with “too many” qualified asians in colleges that schools feel the need to artificially suppress their numbers.

    It’s funny how some people feel a need to balance the numbers when it comes to asian americans in higher education, but these same people conveniently ignore the fact that asians are disproportionately underrepresented in congress, senate, judiciary branch, NBA, NFL, MLB, Film, Television, the music industry and so on.

     The day that we as a society accept equivalent representation of asians in all these aforementioned fields (which is currently significantly less than 5%), is the day that I will accept 5% of asians in higher education as a moral good.

    To argue for equal outcome in an area that unfairly damages one racial group above all others is a hypocrisy and an affront to American values.

    • YP Cheng

      I promise myself not to respond to blog…but I have to… because I agree with you entirely. I just read an article that most corporate jobs at higher level is held at such a low level for Asian Americans…Asians are always competing with each other that’s why sometimes they are less likely to help each other.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1191224433 Margaret Mcintyre-Farina

        YP. (I work as a career coach in Fortune 500 companies, specializing in tech jobs and executive development. I also sponsor Korean exchange students at my son’s High school.) 1. Korean kids may compete against each other but they also ‘support each other against’ the American kids. I could give very specific examples about how that works– passing old tests to younger students is one typical way. Also, In the corporate environment, much of this ‘aggrieved” outlook manifests itself. Just because in Korea, someone with a master’s degree in engineering ‘gets to be the boss”, it does NOT work that way here. To be ‘the boss” and get a promotion, an engineer must be ‘liked and accepted” by their peers/team. That means they must often ‘play” together, lunch together and otherwise demonstrate their ‘team character”. I was a consultant for a well known high tech firm that employed large numbers of Asians and my job was to help them learn how to gain those promotions they were hungry for. As long as they felt ‘entitled” because they ‘worked harder, had higher grades/scores, worked longer hours etc., their attitude towards their peers held them back. I even had Asians aspiring to be ‘the boss” (manager) tell me “the American men are lazy…” Well, that attitude won’t get you far with a team of professional engineers. For a group that believes their ‘stereotype” is being quiet and submissive, the other engineers felt the Asian engineer’s attitude came across loud and clear–even though they couldn’t remember exactly when the Asian engineer ‘said it.” Needless to say, when all of this ‘attitude” (also expressed here in this forum) was unraveled, my job of helping Asian engineers get promoted became exponentially more difficult.

  • http://stevemd.myopenid.com/ Steve

    For some reason, Expanded_Consciousness feels the need to reduce all asians (American or otherwise) into these rigid stereotypes and say that is why asians have “poor” personality.  The problem is, he doesn’t realize his own ethnocentric view of the world when he subjectively rates his own sub-culture as being more superior to others.

    • Expanded_Consciousness

      “All” Asians? You are lying. You know you’re lying. You have destroy your own arguments.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1191224433 Margaret Mcintyre-Farina

      Steve, I sense from Expanded, a message that Harvard has never been ‘fair”, will never be totally ‘fair” (a meritocracy) and it’s almost arrogant for Asians not to accept this.  It seems to me that elite Korean universities could be considered ‘cruel” institutions by comparison. My own perception is that although the Ivies are ‘elite” and not wholly ‘merit” oriented, the United States has many ‘lesser” Universities where more people can obtain a good degree, use their talents and advance in society.  It just seems to me that Asians are bringing their own educational elitist baggage to the Ivy League here, and the rules are somewhat different.

  • Regular_Listener

    I agree with the admisssions officer in the discussion, and I concur with the efforts of elite schools to maintain diversity and a variety of perspectives and backgrounds in their student bodies.  I don’t doubt that it is a very difficult task and that many perfectly well-qualified students get turned away from top schools.  But you know what?  That is not necessarily the end of things, not at all. 

    Ms. Chen was courageous to point out that the the number of Jewish Americans at the top schools is way out of proportion to the general population, but that raises a bunch of problems. So far as I know, there is no box to check on an application that says “Jew”, and Judaism is regarded more as a religion than an ethnic background, although it is of course both.

    Some say that the real losers in this struggle for success and diversity are working class white kids, who do not get offered scholarships and other benefits intended for people from minority backgrounds, and who, despite coming from not particularly advantaged backgrounds, are expected to perform as well in school and on tests as their white and Asian peers from well-to-do homes.

     

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1191224433 Margaret Mcintyre-Farina

      Regular listener, you are right. Working class white kids can go to their local junior college because there’s no money for them. The only problem with the junior college route is they will be ‘discriminated against” by elitist’s who graduate from Ivy schools… As a career coach, I take extra effort with these kids of average or humble origins and help them understand what a farce the Ivy elite ‘club” is and help them focus on how to contribute their unique talents, not their test score egos.

  • Expanded_Consciousness

    As you know, but pretend you don’t, we are talking about trends and not “all” from a group. As an aggregate, Asians may be up on SAT scores, yet are down on personality scores. Asian American students most often come from parents who were born in Asian countries. To say that they have been fully acculturated into American culture as a group, is false. 

    Harvard, and other top schools, could fill its entire class with students who have perfect SAT scores. It doesn’t. It chooses to look at other characteristics. Harvard admissions officers see a lot of Asian students with shy, nervous personalities, that rate low on interpersonal and communication skills. So, when 5% of the population garners 20% of Harvard admits, you don’t cry that it should dominate and be higher than 20%, rather you get real and see that SATs ain’t everything, and Asians as a group are not a very dynamic people. It ain’t hate. It is reality. 

    Top schools look for dynamic, outgoing, engaging future leaders. Face it. Deal with it.

    • YP Cheng

       Personality is quite subjective…being on the quiet side does not mean you have bad personality…sometimes the same dynamic
      outgoing personality can turn out to be the biggest bullies on campus and also these kids seek an education so they can learn to become leaders…Leaders are made not born!!!

      • Expanded_Consciousness

        Yeah, that’s all well and good, but the reality on the ground is that Harvard and other top institutions scrutinize their applicants, and you had better already be special and not expecting Harvard to make you special. SAT scores alone don’t cut it, and don’t guarantee you an invite from Harvard.

        • Edward Chun

          lols your argument is meritless. Asian Americans make up 45% of the student body at Cal Tech, UC Berkeley, and UCLA (schools that do not practice AA). Are you suggesting these schools do not look beyond GPA and Test Scores? Also, asian americans work harder academically than whites because they know they will be discriminated against and not because they are genetically predisposed to be nerdy and antisocial you idiot.

          Further, the fact that asian americans make up 20% of the student body at Harvard while making up only 5% of the population is irrelevant. If asian americans earned the right to be there, then they earned the right to be there. If whites want to gain entry, then they should work harder in both academics and extracurriculars.

          FYI, asians pay 80% of the seats that go to URMs while they make up only 5% of the population. Per capita, the chances of asians getting admitted are sharply diminished on the basis of race alone.

  • Sara Holley

    I am mixed race from a working class background and tired of all the white privilege. And that’s coming from a person who is 1/4 white. People act as if Caucasians are under bad conditions when that truly isn’t the case. Asian people are being singled out and discriminated while minorities have it hard enough as it is. And now Caucasians are complaining about their opportunities? I think this is crazy. If Caucasians don’t want all the scholarships going to minorities, why is discrimination against the Asian population okay? We even see this in today’s public K-12 schools. The “zoning” is purely a political matter and the claim the US makes about integration in schools is completely false. There are still schools everywhere with 90% of one race. I think it’s completely unfair that on my college application, I’ll have to write multiracial rather than Asian, Caucasian, and Native American. Minorities have it bad enough as it is and Asians deserve equal treatment, so Caucasians need to stop complaining when they’ve been on a pedestal for centuries. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1191224433 Margaret Mcintyre-Farina

      Are you serious about “have to write “‘multiracial”… why check any box at all? My kids don’t check those boxes.

  • humbow

    I haven’t listened to the admissions officer yet, and am eager to do so because Ms. Chen is irritating the bejezeesus out of me. You can’t argue simultaneously for meritocracy and against it, which is what she seems to be doing.

    She may raise some interesting points, but the fact is that nothing is new; the only thing that has changed is the group being “discriminated” against. In 1961, as a white nobody from California, my mother had an “easier” time getting into Swarthmore than her college roommate, who was a Jew from New York. In 1991, I probably had an “easier” time getting into Mount Holyoke as a half-Indian (east) who had lived overseas all her life than someone from MA. Colleges try to create diverse populations. This is not an easy thing to accomplish.

    What bothers me about Ms. Chen’s argument is that I have the feeling that if Asians were NOT doing well in college admissions, she would probably be arguing the other side. And that means that she is not looking at the issue as much as she is trying to marshal an argument to promote a specific cause. Which is fine. But she needs to decide which side of the meritocracy fence she’s on to be credible. Why? Because you can’t argue against meritocracy and make the case that more Asian students should be admitted. And you can’t argue for meritocracy and blather on about white privilege, because these upper middle class white students are exactly the people who have the merit because that privilege starts as soon as they exit the womb!

    • 12345 .

      Why in the world is white privilege the same as meritocracy? Chen is talking about academic meritocracy, meaning good grades, test scores, and extracurriculars, which Asian students possess in much larger proportions than whites yet are admitted in lower percentages.

      • humbow

        It’s been a couple months, so I can’t remember this all that well … but I do remember that she started gushing on about white privilege. She said it first, not I. :)

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1191224433 Margaret Mcintyre-Farina

        What I’ve seen is that in IL where more middle and low income Asian student reside, in contrast to Rich Asians who may not be American or second generation Asians, Asian students are filling up the great University of ILLinois in Champaign. U of I is a great University without the ‘elite status” of an Ivy. U of I may admit more blacks with lower scores than ‘justified” but Asians are flooding in with their healthy scores. 12345, also realize, color /ethnicity is not as important as parent control… starting kids in KUMON when they’re five and spending all time and focus on all academic achievement. I’m mot saying that’s bad, only at some point, here in America, we do give kids a ‘second chance” to make it on their own merit, even if the parents have not prepped them from birth. I think there’s a beauty in that ‘second chance” philosophy, even if the student does not go to an Ivy school but rises in society and contributes their unique talents and perspective.

  • sd0987

    Whites are the most discriminated class in the world. Obama has declared a war on whites. Blue eyes will get you rejected from Harvard. Unless you are gay.

    • 12345 .

      Asians typically have to score 140 points higher on a 1600 point SAT to have the same chances of being admitted as whites.

  • StringbeanJean

    For an instant understanding of bias, discrimination and hypocrisy rolled up in one, read Expanded_Consciousness’s posts.  Countless posts of his/hers blatantly perpetuating stereotypes of an entire racial group.  In this case, it is Asians. If any such statements about the “poor personality” and leadership ability of Asians had been directed at any other group, it would launch utter public outrage.  Insert the race/culture-related stereotype about blacks, Latinos, or Jews and see what happens.  If it’s unjust against one race, how is it so justified against Asians?  Call a spade a spade.  
    Expanded_Consciousness (love the ironic name, btw) is using affirmative action as a distraction for his/her main crusade:  anti-Asian hate mongering based on the same “personality/characteristics” argument that whites used to exclude various minorities for centuries.  Hypocrite Alert.    
          For those who would view the ‘quiet’ or ‘submissive’ stereotypes of Asians as reason to discriminate, I have to ask how quickly you dismiss an Asian you come across based on such characteristics?  Would you immediately dismiss a loud black guy as ‘ghetto’ because he fits one stereotype?  Would you categorize a Jew as a ‘money grubber’ or ‘stingy’ because he scrimps and saves?  The point is, people love to confirm their own stereotypes and move on instead of giving people a chance and understanding what they can be and contribute beyond your initial bias.  Plenty of white people who come across as shy and quiet are given the benefit of the doubt that they’re worthy of time and attention.  (In fact, I’ve known plenty of white, black and Asian leaders and executives who come across as reserved and quiet–just watch, they’ll tell you what’s what when they’re ready!) Yes, there are often behaviors associated with racial groups based on cultural upbringing, but so much of it is our filter–shutting ourselves off so we don’t have to deal with something outside our comfort zone, even if that person has lots of other stuff to offer.
         Asian-Americans, follow the wise example of black, Latino/a, and Jewish advocates.  We as a nation need to get past this whole idea that some people are more equal than others.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1191224433 Margaret Mcintyre-Farina

    A 2011 New York Times article sheds light on the cultural
    elitism,  yearning for elite status and the crushing psychological pressure it causes,
    and tragic effect on Korean Youth. 
    And Asians are criticizing the US University admission policies?  Best to question the self-generated source
    of angst.

     

    Young people in South Korea are a chronically
    unhappy group. A recent survey found them to be — for the third year in a row —
    the unhappiest subset among countries in the Organization for Economic
    Cooperation and Development. The Education Ministry in Seoul said 146 students
    committed suicide last year, including 53 in junior high and 3 in elementary school.

     

     

     

    South Korea as a whole ranks first among O.E.C.D. nations in
    suicide and is routinely among the leaders in developed nations.

     

    The competition for a place in a leading
    university begins in middle school for most South Korean students. More than 80
    percent of Korean young people go to college, and parents here spend more money
    per child on extra classes and outside tutoring — including military-style
    “cram schools” — than any other country in the O.E.C.D.

    The pressure builds to a single day in
    November, when a national college entrance exam is held. Some mothers pray at
    churches or temples throughout the day as their children take the test, which
    is given only once a year and lasts nine hours. The South Korean Air Force even
    adjusts its flight schedule so as not to disturb the test takers.

    The ultimate goal for most students is
    acceptance at one of the so-called SKY schools — Seoul National, Korea or
    Yonsei universities. In South Korea’s status-conscious society, a degree from a
    SKY school is nearly a guarantee of a big career and lifelong prosperity.
    Pedigree is everything.

     

    At Kaist University in Korea, a system that
    required students to pay extra tuition for each hundredth of a point that their
    grade point average fell below 3.0 (based on a 4.3-point system). All students
    pay a token fee each semester, Kaist administrators said, but otherwise their
    tuition is free, financed by government scholarships.

    Under the so-called punitive tuition program,
    a bad semester could cost a student’s family thousands of dollars.

     

     

     

    mes.com/2011/05/23/world/asia/23southkorea.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

  • Edward Chun

    Yes, Asian Americans value education highly, more so than other racial groups.  However, the United States is a melting pot society.  As a first generation Korean-American, I believe that my parents placed too much pressure on me to succeed in school. I do not wish to raise my children in the same way… but I MUST because an asian college applicant is judged on how he performs with respect to other asians and not other people.   
    Insulating groups from competition never yields good results. Insulating asians (who currently place significantly more pressure on their children with respect to schools) from competition from others racial/ethnic groups (and vice versa) through affirmative action will only serve to perpetuate stereotypes by CAUSING asians to be “overly competitive.” If you were a high school student of asian decent wanting to go to a top 20 school, wouldn’t you spend all your time on maintaining a 4.00GPA and trying to get a perfect SAT score after seeing the data points year after year demonstrating discrimination against asians?  

    Also need I remind you of discrimination against asians in the workplace?

    Yes, asians have average incomes that are higher than that of whites.  But this is because Asians are much more likely to be 1099ed as opposed to W2ed (more risk more average profit) and because asians work more hours than whites.  Do you really think Asians are well represented in the corporate world? Obviously not.  Do you really think that asians want to graduate college and work for their parents in their nail salons, chinese restaurants, or dry cleaners? Obviously not. Do you really think discrimination against asians in academia doesn’t translate to the professional realm? Obviously not.   

    Being able to say “I went to a good university” is the one of the only things an asian-american can say that will help them break into the high paying world (of medicine, engineering, corporations, or wherever). We do not have friends and family with big-time connections. We also look different and are subject to our own stereotypes.  For instance, asians in entertainment (movies) today play the same role as little people did in Medieval times–we are something to be laughed at.   We need to make it on our own. The only way to demonstrate that we are “qualified” is to go to a good school. Unlike blacks and hispanics, there is no sympathy towards asians.  The presumption is that all asians are well-off and don’t need help.  

    People like to say that asians should value test scores less and their “well-roundedness” more.  However, how do you expect us to value test-scores less, when year after year admissions officers require more from us than any other group.   And if the method is truly “holistic” is there anyone here on this blog that believes that if last names and race identifying information were redacted from applications, the number of asians at top schools would remain the same? 

    Lastly, I hear a lot of “fairness” arguments such as African Americans being disadvantaged because of the atrocities of the past deserve help.  Albeit this is true.  Who committed and benefited from these atrocities? Whites or Asians?  Its Whites. But who pays for the cost of affirmative action at top schools? Asians and only asians.  

    If you do not believe me, take a looks a UCLA and Berkeley’s admissions over the past 20 years (after prop 209–no affirmative action bill).  The percentage of asians at these schools back in the early 90s were about 17%, today (without Affirmative Action) asians make up over 40% of the student body.  At comparable private schools asians have remained at about 17% of the student body for the past 20 years, despite the college aged population more than doubling.  

    Finally, is it fair to help a wealthy African American or Hispanic applicant over a underprivileged asian? The answer is NO.  In America people born rich, die rich, and people born poor, die poor (no matter the color of your skin).  Black or not, if your rich, fairness should mandate you receive no help. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1191224433 Margaret Mcintyre-Farina

      Whoa, Edward. I was following your thinking until your last paragraph, “In America, people born rich die rich…etc.”. Those are very leftist thoughts. It’s not true. While rich help their progeny succeed, it’s not guarantee in the US. While poor kids have a steeper path, they are free to work hard and rise. What you seem to be most upset about is this, ‘if Asians put all other activities and ‘life” aside and focus on test scores, they will not be admitted to the most prized and elite professions and roles in American society…” LIKE THEY WOULD IF THEY ACHIEVED THOSE SCORES AND ACADEMIC LEVELS’ in China or Korea. But, ahah, you are fooling yourself and expecting (uninformed) Americans to buy your ‘victim” sad fiction. It is well known that Universities in Korea and China are even more competitive and high pressure and students are committing suicide at high rates. Here in the US, while you may not gain admissions to an Ivy League school for which you quality, let me inform you, so do a lot of other ‘qualified” students NOT MAKE IT INTO AN IVY LEAGUE SCHOOL. You argue that discrimination against Asians is more than ‘just not every qualified Asian getting in…” more Asians ‘qualify” than any other group. Well, stop thinking in GROUP mentality and you will be happier. Like I said, Liberals invented the categorical admissions entitlements and Asians have bought into the scam.

      Why not be happy with the idea that more Asians are 1099 entrepreneurs or contractors making more money? Steve Jobs and Bill Gates turned their backs on Harvard and so can you… if you have the innate talent and genius you seem to believe you do, like Gates and Jobs. Or, perhaps you know in your heart you don’t–or you have been led to believe test scores are the true mark of genius (they are not)? I believe Americans think if you take the SAT once with no test prep and you score off the charts, you are probably ver smart–maybe a genius. But if you begin practice at age five and take the test many multiple times and even apply to college with those high scores at an older age that your American competitors, Admissions committees just don’t see you has ‘brilliant” and worthy of admissions. They see you as hard working and narrowly focused and part of a culture that produces same. Another fact that this forum seems to have omitted is that most Asian Students are older than their American counterparts when they apply to college, implying a few years of ‘preparation advantage’… College admissions boards KNOW IT, even if most American parents/students don’t.

      When I look at immigrants… and look for that immigrant spark, the drive, the genius, I think more of Khaled Hosseini. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khaled_Hosseini

      Khaled did NOT attend an Ivy college or med school.

      Lastly, it is a sad day when Asians now claim American is a place where the poor remain poor and the rich remain rich. Someone’s been reading Marxist sociology again instead of getting out there and starting a business that serves mankind. If anything, Asian parents should be ashamed of their kids who adopt Marxist liberal progressive thinking–a true indication of weak intellect.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1191224433 Margaret Mcintyre-Farina

        Oh, and Edward, don’t forget, there are plenty of poor and working class (and middle class) Americans who resent RICH ASIANS who are likely two years older than the American applicants, applying to American colleges and Universities, and crowding out American students because the Rich Asians pay double or triple tuition to the school. Worry more about RICH ASIANS dodging the competition in their country of origin and expecting to buy their way into an American University.

        • Edward Chun

          Your logic is fundamentally flawed in several areas and your argument presents many erroneous premises. First correction, social mobility in american society is slowing down. Yes, the saying “people born rich in america die rich, and those born poor die poor” was obviously meant to be applied generally rather than in every instance. The business cycle is now gone–thus, people are becoming increasingly stuck in their social strata. The fact that socioeconomic mobility is very difficult for the poor (in general) and the fact that socioeconomic maintenance is easy for the wealthy (in general) both support the position that fairness mandates that affirmative action policies (which are generally applied) should not benefit the wealthy in college admissions.

          Second, your rebuttal on race and nation of origin is meritless. As an American I am entitled to equal treatment regardless of race, religion, creed, and gender. You argue that asians moved to America because they had better opportunities here. That is absolutely right, so did your ancestors. Now, did people tell you to shut up and stand aside when you fought politically because things were better for you here than back at your country of origin? Obviously not, and if they did, they were wrong to do so. As such, this prong of your argument is insensitive, racist, and unconstitutional. I will not address it further.

          Third, I never thought in the “group mentality” as you allege. Affirmative action policies places me into a group that is discriminated against. Therefore, if this system continues, then I will be forced to apply the same degree of academic pressure on my future children as my parents did on me–because my children must be overqualified. Your statement proves my point well, “They see you as hard working and narrowly focused and part of a culture that produces same.” The fact is they don’t know me, but are judging me on the basis of skin color.

          Fourth, yes, Ivy league schools do recruit students from asia because they are willing to pay full tuition, but this only strengthens my point. Universities are overlooking asian americans for foreign asians because they are willing to pay more. Thus, taking this into account, the proportion of asian americans is far less than what is being represented by the top schools. Whites do not pay for wealthy asians gaining entry into the top universities, asian americans are the ones who pay. Colleges recruit foreign asians because they are willing to pay more and, (because they look the same as us) colleges can discriminate against asian americans in greater numbers. Also, FYI there are more (many times more) wealthy Whites buying their way into elite universities than foreign asians.

          Fifth, yes there are a lot of other qualified students who do not make it into an ivy league school but the burden falls disproportionately on asian americans. As you must be aware, asians pay 80% of the seats that go to affirmative action URMs but make up only 6% of the population. Do the math.

          Sixth, asian americans are not generally two years older. I went to a high school with 60% asians, only the foreign asians from asia were a year to two years older than the rest of their classmates (all non-english speaking foreign students are, for obvious reasons) finding an asian american student that is 2 years older than the rest in his class… rare. Further, in american school systems a year age gap variance within a class is expected.

          Seventh, I have no idea what your reference to Khaled Hosseini is about. Are you telling me we should all be like him, and stay out of elite universities for the sake of everyone else? I don’t get it.

          Eighth, Asians do not study for the SATs starting at age 5, we start at high school. Your stereotyping and use of hyperbole undermines your own argument. And no one (who wants to do well on the SATs) takes the SATs without having studied for it. I was an instructor for Kaplan and Princeton Review for the SATs and the LSATs, most of the clients there were whites.

          Ninth, your reference to Bill Gates and Steve Jobs dropping out of Harvard is downright silly. They both had the CHOICE to go to ivy league schools because they were qualified. I want qualified asians to have the same choice. I also want qualified asians to have the choice between choosing a w2 job that they are qualified for or go into business for themselves (not forced to go into a 1099 position due to racism). You underestimate that privilege… as all whites do.

          Lastly, you like to reference how bad things are for asian americans back in asia. I’ve never been, so I wouldn’t know. But here is what I do know, the asian countries you referenced–China and South Korea–were third world countries 50 years ago. Today, they are some of the biggest economies in the world. What are they doing right? Education! The number of skilled labor in those countries has grown exponentially over the past half century along with their economy. Now, I am not saying that the pressures placed on the youth in those countries are justified, to the contrary, I believe asian parents should chill out. But how are we expected to chill out, when we are discriminated against? Also, insulating non-asians from competition against asians makes non-asians lazy. Its economics 101, all people (regardless of race) want to get laid (pass on their genes) get paid (support their children) but no one wants to hustle for it. If you tell people they don’t have to try hard because the go-getters are going to be discriminated against, then they won’t try hard! You obviously didn’t, your grammar, logic, and spelling blow.

        • Edward Chun

          (continuation)
          Eighth, Asians do not
          study for the SATs starting at age 5, we start at high school. Your
          stereotyping and use of hyperbole undermines your own argument. And no one (who
          wants to do well on the SATs) takes the SATs without having studied for it. I
          was an instructor for Kaplan and Princeton Review for the SATs and the LSATs,
          most of the clients there were whites.

          Ninth, your reference to Bill Gates and Steve Jobs dropping out of Harvard is
          downright silly. They both had the CHOICE to go to ivy league schools because
          they were qualified. I want qualified asians to have the same choice. I also
          want qualified asians to have the choice between choosing a w2 job that they
          are qualified for or go into business for themselves (not forced to go into a
          1099 position due to racism). You underestimate that privilege… as all whites
          do.

          Lastly, you like to reference how bad things are for asian americans back in
          asia. I’ve never been, so I wouldn’t know. But here is what I do know, the
          asian countries you referenced–China and South Korea–were third world
          countries 50 years ago. Today, they are some of the biggest economies in the
          world. What are they doing right? Education! The number of skilled labor in
          those countries has grown exponentially over the past half century along with
          their economy. Now, I am not saying that the pressures placed on the youth in
          those countries are justified, to the contrary, I believe asian parents should
          chill out. But how are we expected to chill out, when we are discriminated
          against? Also, insulating non-asians from competition against asians makes
          non-asians lazy. Its economics 101, all people (regardless of race) want to get
          laid (pass on their genes) get paid (support their children) but no one wants
          to hustle for it. If you tell people they don’t have to try hard because the
          go-getters are going to be discriminated against, then they won’t try hard! You
          obviously didn’t, your grammar, logic, and spelling blow.

  • Guest

    Eighth, Asians do not
    study for the SATs starting at age 5, we start at high school. Your
    stereotyping and use of hyperbole undermines your own argument. And no one (who
    wants to do well on the SATs) takes the SATs without having studied for it. I
    was an instructor for Kaplan and Princeton Review for the SATs and the LSATs,
    most of the clients there were whites.

    Ninth, your reference to Bill Gates and Steve Jobs dropping out of Harvard is
    downright silly. They both had the CHOICE to go to ivy league schools because
    they were qualified. I want qualified asians to have the same choice. I also
    want qualified asians to have the choice between choosing a w2 job that they
    are qualified for or go into business for themselves (not forced to go into a
    1099 position due to racism). You underestimate that privilege… as all whites
    do.

    Lastly, you like to reference how bad things are for asian americans back in
    asia. I’ve never been, so I wouldn’t know. But here is what I do know, the
    asian countries you referenced–China and South Korea–were third world
    countries 50 years ago. Today, they are some of the biggest economies in the
    world. What are they doing right? Education! The number of skilled labor in
    those countries has grown exponentially over the past half century along with
    their economy. Now, I am not saying that the pressures placed on the youth in
    those countries are justified, to the contrary, I believe asian parents should
    chill out. But how are we expected to chill out, when we are discriminated
    against? Also, insulating non-asians from competition against asians makes
    non-asians lazy. Its economics 101, all people (regardless of race) want to get
    laid (pass on their genes) get paid (support their children) but no one wants
    to hustle for it. If you tell people they don’t have to try hard because the
    go-getters are going to be discriminated against, then they won’t try hard! You
    obviously didn’t, your grammar, logic, and spelling blow.

ONPOINT
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Apr 18, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a nationally televised question-and-answer session in Moscow on Thursday, April 17, 2014. President Vladimir Putin has urged an end to the blockade of Moldova’s separatist province of Trans-Dniester. Trans-Dniester, located in eastern part of Moldova on border with Ukraine, has run its own affairs without international recognition since a 1992 war. Russian troops are stationed there.  (AP)

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Apr 18, 2014
This undated photo provided by NASA on April 2, 2014 shows Saturn's moon Enceladus. The "tiger stripes" are long fractures from which water vapor jets are emitted. Scientists have uncovered a vast ocean beneath the icy surface of the moon, they announced Thursday, April 3, 2014. Italian and American researchers made the discovery using Cassini, a NASA-European spacecraft still exploring Saturn and its rings 17 years after its launch from Cape Canaveral. (AP)

Oceans in Space. The new discovery on a moon of Saturn, and the possibility of life there.

 
Apr 18, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a nationally televised question-and-answer session in Moscow on Thursday, April 17, 2014. President Vladimir Putin has urged an end to the blockade of Moldova’s separatist province of Trans-Dniester. Trans-Dniester, located in eastern part of Moldova on border with Ukraine, has run its own affairs without international recognition since a 1992 war. Russian troops are stationed there.  (AP)

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