CNN: American Morning: Cost of Diversity [for Asian-Americans]

In Yul Kwon’s segment on “Cost of Diversity (video),” Kwon talks to some Asians who claim that college diversity programs may unfairly target them. Kwon interviews UCLA Law (& Asian American Studies) Professor Jerry Kang who promotes that [racial] diversity makes an overall better academic environment.

Kwon then interviews Asian American Legal Foundation Lee Cheng stating that when compared to under-represented minorities, Asian Americans are at a 2-to-1 disadvantage for admissions into universities. Critics complain that university diversity programs put Asian-Americans at a disadvantage. Kwon then cites that in a study done by two Princeton University professors, “The Opportunity Cost of Admission Preferences at Elite Universities” (Social Science Quarterly, June 2005)

“…Removing consideration of race would have little effect on white students, the report concludes, as their acceptance rate would rise by merely 0.5 percentage points. Espenshade noted that when one group loses ground, another has to gain — in this case it would be Asian applicants. Asian students would fill nearly four out of every five places in the admitted class not taken by African-American and Hispanic students, with an acceptance rate rising from nearly 18 percent to more than 23 percent. Typically, many more Asian students apply to elite schools than other underrepresented minorities. The study also found that although athletes and legacy applicants are predominantly white, their numbers are so small that their admissions do little to displace minority applicants.” (Source: Princeon University, News Release: Ending affirmative action would devastate most minority enrollment (6/6/05))

Lastly, Kwon interviews Jian Li, currently a Yale undergraduate who was denied admissions to Princeton (as well as Harvard, Stanford, MIT and the University of Pennsylvania despite having a perfect 2400 SAT score and near-perfect SAT II scores.) In 2006, Li filed a federal civil rights suit against Princeton for rejecting him based on the claim of racial discrimination, and ironically citing the above mentioned Princeton study (note: I write previously wrote about this in my blog posting “Princeton Parody Raises Question of Bias“)

Now this is a really touchy subject amongst Asian-Americans and Asian-American parents, especially since traditionally, education has always been highly valued and can be very competitive amongst (so much so, that The Wall Street Journal did a VERY controversial article discussing “The New White Flight – In Silicon Valley, two high schools with outstanding academic reputations are losing white students as Asian students move in. Why?” )

What are your thoughts on the “Cost of Diversity?”

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About John

I'm a Taiwanese-American and was born & raised in Western Massachusetts, went to college in upstate New York, worked in Connecticut, went to grad school in North Carolina and then moved out to the Bay Area in 1999 and have been living here ever since - love the weather and almost everything about the area (except the high cost of housing...)
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