Harvard University recently admitted a record number of Asian American students in its latest admissions cycle, according to The Harvard Crimson, the student newspaper of Harvard University. While this is good news for the Asian American community, the report also highlights the persistent issue of underrepresentation of Black and Latino students at the prestigious university.
According to the report, 24.6% of the incoming class of 2025 is made up of Asian American students, up from 21.7% in the previous year. This increase is noteworthy, as Asian Americans have historically faced discrimination and bias in college admissions processes, including at Harvard. In fact, Harvard was embroiled in a high-profile lawsuit brought by Asian American plaintiffs who alleged that the university’s admissions process unfairly discriminated against them. The lawsuit was dismissed by a federal judge in 2019, but the issue of discrimination against Asian Americans in college admissions remains a contentious one.
While the increase in Asian American admissions is a positive development, the report also highlights the persistent underrepresentation of Black and Latino students at Harvard. The report notes that Black and Latino students make up just 14.8% and 12.5% of the incoming class, respectively. These numbers are particularly striking given that Black and Latino students make up a much larger proportion of the U.S. population than Asian Americans.
The underrepresentation of Black and Latino students at Harvard and other elite universities is a complex issue with many possible causes. One contributing factor is likely the legacy of systemic racism and discrimination in American society, which has resulted in educational disparities and unequal opportunities for students of color. Another factor may be the lack of diversity among the admissions committees at these universities, which may lead to biased admissions decisions that favor certain groups over others.
While it is encouraging to see that Harvard is admitting more Asian American students, it is clear that much more work needs to be done to ensure that Black and Latino students are not left behind. It is up to universities and policymakers to address the root causes of underrepresentation and to take concrete steps to create more equitable and inclusive admissions processes. Only then can we truly say that higher education in America is accessible to all.