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Asian-American groups accuse Harvard of racial bias




General atmosphere at 2013 Harvard University 362nd Commencement  Exercises at Harvard University on May 30, 2013 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
General atmosphere at 2013 Harvard University 362nd Commencement Exercises at Harvard University on May 30, 2013 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Paul Marotta/Getty Images

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A coalition of more than 60 Asian-American groups filed a federal complaint last week against Harvard University claiming racial bias in the University’s undergraduate admissions process.

The claim might surprise you, given that Asian-American students are over-represented at top universities. But the complaint alleges that Asian-American students with top one-percent grade point averages, academic awards, and track records of holding leadership positions are more likely to be rejected compared to white applicants.

While Harvard has denied any discrimination, the coalition which represents Chinese, Korean, Indian and Pakistani members wants to see a federal investigation into Harvard’s admissions practices.

Are college admission practices fair? How should colleges base admission qualifications?

Guests:

Alex Chen, President of The Orange Club, a political action committee, which is one of the groups bringing the complaint against Harvard. 

Richard Sander, Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law, author of  "The Evolution of SES Diversity in the Applicant Pool of Highly Selective Universities," 1994-2012. He's legally advising the coalition that's bring the Federal complaint against Harvard

Michael Yaki, member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights; he also runs his own consulting firm in San Francisco