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Asian-American Group Alleges Discrimination at Some Ivy League Schools

Students walk on the campus of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, Nov. 12, 2015.
Students walk on the campus of Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, Nov. 12, 2015.

A coalition of more than 100 Asian-American groups has asked two federal agencies to investigate three Ivy League universities for allegedly discriminating against Asian-Americans during their admissions processes.

The Asian-American Coalition for Education sent a letter of complaint Monday to the Education Department's Office of Civil Rights and the U.S. Justice Department, asking them to investigate Brown University, Dartmouth College and Yale University.

The complaint alleges the percentage of Asian-Americans at Brown and Yale has not changed in the last 20 years, and at Dartmouth over the last 10 years because of "racial quotas and caps" that "severely burden Asian-American applicants."

The percentages remain flat, the coalition says, although the number of qualified Asian-American students has "increased dramatically" over the past two decades.

The coalition wants the federal agencies to require the schools to halt or limit the use of race-based and subjective admission criteria and publish the qualifications of applicants.

In response to the complaint, Yale says academic metrics are "not the sole determinants for admission," while Dartmouth explains it "considers the whole person" when screening applicants.

This is the latest in a series of complaints that Asian-American interests have lodged against selective schools. The Education Department has never found evidence that the schools engaged in deliberate discriminatory practices.

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