U.S. Department of Justice sues Yale, alleging race-based discrimination

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit Thursday against Yale University, accusing the university of violating federal civil rights laws by discriminating against Asian-American and white applicants in favor of applicants of some certain races.

According to the Washington Post reported Friday, the U.S. DOJ in the situation of the Yale University admissions after a two-year investigation, pointed out that the school attaches importance to the racial factor in the admission, and is too biased in favor of applicants of certain races, including African-Americans, Hispanic, Native American, Pacific Islander and some Asian subgroups such as Cambodian, Laotian and Vietnamese.

In contrast, among applicants with the same degree, Asian-Americans and whites are only one-eighth to one-quarter as likely to be accepted as African-Americans, the DOJ said, citing data.

However, Yale has denied the allegations.

"I want to be clear: Yale does not discriminate against applicants of any race or ethnicity. Our admissions practices are completely fair and lawful. Yale's admissions policies will not change as a result of the filing of this baseless lawsuit. We look forward to defending these policies in court," Yale President Peter Salovey wrote in a statement to campus Thursday evening, the Wall Street Journal reported.

In addition, Salovey countered that the DOJ's allegations are based on inaccurate statistics and unwarranted conclusions.

"DOJ's claim that the proportion of various racial groups admitted to Yale has remained stable for many years. In fact, in the last two decades, the percentage of admitted applicants fluctuated significantly for all groups," said Salovey.

The Washington Post reported that a U.S. higher education association called the Justice Department's lawsuit "shocking and disheartening" and accused it of being politically motivated to bring it 26 days before the U.S. presidential election.

The issue of race in college admissions in the U.S. has long been controversial, the report said. Supporters say it would bring diversity to education and critics saying the practice gives an unfair advantage to some applicants solely based on the color of their skin.

(Cover image from CFP)