By now, anyone who follows education in this country knows about the lawsuit filed by Students for Fair Admissions against Harvard University (“Harvard on Trial,” The Weekly Standard, Oct. 22). It charges that Harvard discriminates against Asian-Americans by holding them to a higher standard than students of other races.
I’m one of the few educators who believes that academics alone should be the sole basis for admission to private colleges and universities. If that results in a far less racially diverse student body, so be it. It’s not that I don’t see the benefits of having students from diverse backgrounds. All I care about is the ability of students to handle the work
Consider the California Institute of Technology. It uses no racial or legacy preferences in admissions. Not surprisingly, its student body is more than 40 percent Asian-American. Are students there being shortchanged by not being in a school with more students of other races? Perhaps, but I maintain that the price they may be paying is worth it in light of the school’s high academic standards.
Put differently, how are students who lack the aptitude and ability to handle complex material helped if they are admitted on the basis of achieving diversity? I believe that everyone is good at something. The challenge is finding what it is and then pursuing a career. You don’t have to go to Harvard to do that.
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