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Daniel Golden

Blame Rich Whites for 'Asian Fail' at Top Colleges

Asian-Americans are indeed treated unfairly in admissions, but the culprit is not affirmative action.
The select.

The select.

Photographer: Mikki Ansen/Getty Images

More than a decade ago, I chatted with Asian-American seniors at Hunter College High School in New York City about their college admission prospects. One young woman told me she had scored 1530 out of a maximum 1600 on the SAT. When I congratulated her, she said that her score was what she and her friends called “an Asian fail.” She predicted it wouldn’t be enough to get into her dream school, Yale. She was right. The next day, she learned that Yale had rejected her.

I remembered our conversation when I read last week that the Justice Department plans to investigate a complaint by Asian-American organizations that Harvard discriminates against them by giving an edge to other racial minorities. My immediate response was: right victim, wrong culprit.