Trump’s DOJ says Yale admissions is biased against White, Asian applicants

Department of Justice's statement is the Trump administration's latest challenge to affirmative action

Students walk through the campus of Yale University. (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images)

After a two-year investigation, the U.S. Department of Justice has declared that Yale University’s admissions process is discriminatory against white and Asian American undergraduate applicants. 

“There is no such thing as a nice form of race discrimination,” Eric Dreiband, assistant attorney general for civil rights, said in a statement on Thursday in the Trump administration’s latest challenge to affirmative action.

The DOJ found that race was given “too much” weight in application reviews, however, the university has said that it “categorically denies this allegation.” 

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Yale University Law School. (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images)

According to a previous report from The Washington Post, the Trump administration discouraged the use of race in college admissions and public school enrollment in 2018. 

The administration posited that the Obama administration “overstepped its authority” in the effort to diversify schools and overcome the legacy of segregation. 

“The Supreme Court has determined what affirmative action policies are Constitutional, and the Court’s written decisions are the best guide for navigating this complex issue,” Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said in a 2018 statement. “Schools should continue to offer equal opportunities for all students while abiding by the law.”

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U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The latest stance from the DOJ has not swayed Yale University which told The Washington Post that it “has no plans to change its admissions practices on the basis of such a meritless, hasty accusation.” 

In a letter that was made public this week, Dreiband said that Yale has a long-standing history of discrimination. He said that the university grants “substantial, and often determinative” preferences to “racially-favored” applicants. He said that Asian and white applicants have “only one-tenth to one-fourth of the likelihood of admission as African American applicants with comparable academic credentials.” 

In response, Yale University said they look at the “whole person” when selecting applicants and that they “take into consideration a multitude of factors, including their academic achievement, interests, demonstrated leadership, background, success in taking maximum advantage of their secondary school and community resources, and the likelihood that they will contribute to the Yale community and the world.”

The university also said that it is “proud” of its admissions practices. 

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