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Lawsuit against Harvard claims that Asian American applicants are consistently dinged on ‘personality’ scores

Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Darren McCollester/Getty Images

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Information and document pertaining to Harvard admissions process were unsealed this morning as part of a lawsuit alleging the Ivy League school for discriminating against Asian American applicants.

The lawsuit was filed a few years ago by a group called Students for Fair Admissions, which claims that Asian American students, despite their strong academic performance, are routinely kept from being admitted to Harvard.

Earlier this year, the group sought to have some of the school’s admissions records introduced as evidence in the lawsuit. Harvard had fought the release.

The documents unsealed today, according to STudents for Fair Admissions, show that Harvard uses a “character” or “personality”-based system in its overall admissions process that discriminates against Asian Americans.


Anemona Hartocollis, higher education reporter for the New York Times, who’s following this story; she tweets @anemonanyc