I didn’t vote for President Trump, but I must give him and Attorney General Jeff Sessions their due. Thanks to reports the White House is encouraging the Department of Justice to investigate whether affirmative action results in racial discrimination against white and Asian American applicants to highly selective colleges and universities, the news has again brought this issue to the fore. Having spent nearly a decade investigating and litigating discrimination and the meaning of tests scores in selective admissions – including claims of reverse discrimination against white applicants – I can say the topic is confusing and often totally removed from college admissions reality. But I can also state unequivocally that these allegations deserve the label often uttered by Trump: fake news.
First, I understand why so many Americans think Black students are subject to a lower standard of admission than other races. My scholarship even uses the term that has become popularized: a “Black bonus” in college admissions. However, when I crunched the actual admissions numbers, I found it a mathematical error to blame the admission of what turns out to be very small numbers of African Americans to elite universities for the rejection of particular white and Asian American college applicants. My research also explores and explains the statistical test for identifying circumstances in which Asian Americans are the victims of discrimination because of universities preferring to admit a higher percentage of the overwhelmingly larger number of white applicants—a “white advantage” over Asian Americans in college admissions. (Huffington Post)