NYC data suggests top colleges would be 50% Asian if not for holistic admissions

by Grace

New York City high school admissions data suggest that top colleges might be 50% Asian if not for holistic admission policies.

Admission numbers for New York City’s top test high schools were recently released, showing that 50% of students admitted were Asian American.  Admission to these schools is determined solely by test scores.


Top universities use a holistic admissions system, aiming for racially diverse student bodies.


HT Powerline

7 Comments to “NYC data suggests top colleges would be 50% Asian if not for holistic admissions”

  1. Reblogged this on the everyday academic and commented:
    Interesting insights from NYC test high school data – without “holistic” admissions, top colleges might be 50% Asian.

    Food for thought – if banning the consideration of race in admissions decisions would indeed cause huge demographic shifts on selective college campuses, how would universities respond? I can’t help but think about Jerome Karabel’s book The Chosen and his finding that many selective institutions developed subjective, “holistic” evaluation policies in order to keep out Jews and other “undesirables” who tested well on entrance exams. Would history simply repeat itself, with Asians being the “undesirables” this time?


  2. On the question whether it’s “holistic” or “prejudice”, I think many people agree that in the name of diversity, whole categories of students are being subjected to prejudice. Maybe not to the extent of that against Asian-Americans, but still prejudiced. It’s a touchy subject, that’s for sure.

    Blacks MAY be benefiting from “affirmative action” admissions if we consider that even fewer would be admitted without special consideration.


  3. The numbers seem incomplete.

    If I add up the percentages, I get: 71, 75, 73, 66, 69, 67, 63, 79, 72, 80. Who comprises the unaccounted percentages? Hispanics/Native Americans/Pacific Islanders? I’d be surprised if their numbers were that high at these institutions (especially since Pacific Islander are often lumped with Asians, which must really screw them), although I could see them being 20% of the US population.


  4. You caught me being lazy and leaving the other categories out. These college numbers are from CollegeBoard, and the other categories include:
    two or more races
    Ethnically unknown
    Non-resident alien

    Harvard, for example, has this breakout:
    9% Hispanic
    5% Two or more races
    4% Ethnically unknown
    11% Non-resident alien

    Given the screwy reporting system, all these numbers should be taken with a grain of salt. (For example, if a student puts “Hispanic”, that trumps all other reporting categories even if he indicates other categories.)

    But why do you think the (Asian, I presume) numbers are over-reported? If anything, they might be under-reported given that many Asians would prefer not to report their race because they’re an ORM (over-represented minority).


  5. I don’t think I suggested the Asian numbers are over-reported.

    The additional breakout suggests that Asians, black, and whites are all under-reported in the table. I’m guessing the non-resident alien category also includes those three categories.

    These ‘other’ categories also suggest the screwiness of the reporting system, and its questionable value.


  6. Oh, I misunderstood about the Asian numbers.

    I would agree that these numbers are a bit screwy, but I view them as an approximation.

    Even if they were able to precisely gather percentages, the idea of placing every person into just one category is flawed. Never mind that the category list includes both race and ethnicity choices??? Yet this is what schools and governments use to create “diversity”. It’s no wonder so many people are frustrated with the system.


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