Colleges 2008

Statistics from the 2008 America’s Best Colleges 
by U.S. News & World Report for 2006-07 freshman class.

School % accepted total applicants number accepted % Asian-Am. in student body
Juilliard School 6.66 2,314 154 15
Yale 8.90 21,101 1,878 13*
Harvard 9.34 22,754 2,125 14*
Cooper Union 10.00 2,600 260 21
Princeton 10.19 17,564 1,790 14
Stanford 10.94 22,333 2,444 24
Columbia 11.57 19,851 2,297 16
MIT 13.31 11,374 1,514 26*
Brown 13.82 18,316 2,531 14
U.S. Naval Academy 14.05 10,747 1510 5
U.S. Military Academy 15.45 10,276 1,588 6*
Dartmouth 15.68 13,938 2,186 14
CalTech 17.21 3,330 573 37
Pomona 17.56 5,439 955 14
U. of Pennsylvania 17.64 20,483 3,613 18
U.S. Air Force Academy 18.50 9,296 1,720 8
Amherst 18.63 6,142 1,144 13
Swarthmore 19.02 4,852 923 16
Williams 19.10 6,000 1,146 11
Washington Univ. (St. Louis) 20.83 22,251 4,634 12
Bowdoin 21.57 5,401 1,165 12
Middlebury 21.58 6,205 1,339 9
Georgetown 22.34 15,070 3,367 9
Claremont McKenna 22.40 3,593 805 15
Duke 22.70 18,159 4,122 17
Average 14.92

*decrease from prior year
4/3/07 Brown Daily Herald: “Admission rate drops to record low of 13.5 percent”
Brown accepted 13.5 percent of applicants this year out of a record 19,044 applications – the “lowest admit rate in our history,” said Dean of Admission James Miller ’73.
Students of color made up a record-breaking 41 percent of the admitted class, up from 39 percent last year.
“We had a pretty big increase in the number of first-generation (college) students,” Miller said. “We’re very excited about the socioeconomic composition of the class. The fact that we’re able to attract a large number of first-generation college students is wonderful.” First-generation students represent 15 percent of this year’s admitted class, as compared to 12 percent last year.

2/9/07 Brown Daily Herald: “Two students challenge Asian American admission discrimination.”
by Irene Chen
Neil Vangala ’09 (left) and Jason Carr ’09 started a new group called Asian Equality in Admissions, which confronts questions of discrimination against Asians in the admission process. Two students challenge Asian American admission discrimination
Many may pass over the question without a second thought, but identifying race or ethnicity on Brown’s undergraduate admission application has become a concern for Neil Vangala ’09. Vangala has started a group on campus called Asian Equality in Admissions, which will address discrimination in admission against Asians and Asian Americans.
Vangala and Jason Carr ’09 started the group last month after learning of a recent case of supposed discrimination against Jian Li, currently a freshman at Yale University . Li filed a civil rights complaint against Princeton University , alleging that the university had discriminated against him during the admission process.
“Stereotypes are ingrained in the admission process,” Carr said. “Like (Asians) are too studious, or they lack extracurricular activities.”
“I think we have a right to know if (admission officers) discriminate against us after reading our names,” Vangala said. “On paper, simply because they’re Asian, you assume certain things about them.”
Carr said many students at Yale think Li shouldn’t complain about where he ended up. “(Li) was such a good student, so he got into one of the Ivies that he applied to,” Carr said. “We fully realize that his complaint won’t fully change anything.”
“We think this is indicative of a trend,” Vangala said. “Jian Li is trying to identify a trend, but the response is that Asians should accept less.”
This general ambivalence towards Li’s case was reflected in an op-ed published in the Daily Princetonian, the school’s student newspaper. The op-ed mocked Li’s complaint against the university, stating, “I so good at math and science. Perfect 2400 SAT score. Ring bells? Just in cases, let me refresh your memories. I the super smart Asian. Princeton the super dumb college, not accept me.”
Chanakya Sethi, the editor in chief of the Princetonian when the op-ed was published, wrote in an e-mail to The Herald, “The piece should be judged in context with due consideration of its intent. It was run in a joke issue full of parody and satire, and our intent was to mock stereotypes.”
“It’s not appropriate. It doesn’t matter who perpetuates the stereotypes,” Carr said.
Vangala and Carr’s concern follows in the footsteps of a 1983 report conducted by various student groups at Brown, including the Latin American Students Organization, the Asian American Students Association and the Organization of United African Peoples. The groups used information given to them by the admission office to conclude in a 43-page report that the University had discriminated against Asians.
“As a matter of fact, they even convinced the Brown Corporation to admit that forms of inadvertent discrimination were working to preclude Asians from Brown,” Vangala said. “They then said that if this type of prejudice went ‘unrectified,’ the discrimination would be intentional. It is a major aim of our group to publish a similar report. If our report proved discrimination, then these prejudices would be, by past admission of the Corporation, intentional.”
Vangala is hoping to work with other campus groups to establish the group’s goals and to provide fair representation of their interest on campus.
“We want to work with different groups, other multicultural groups on campus,” Vangala said. “Each of us will have a vote. Our first question will be if (we can) ask the admissions office for data, and we will ask a representative from each organization to vote.”
Dean of Admission James Miller ’73 told The Herald that the admission office is ready and willing to discuss these issues with Vangala and Carr. They have scheduled a meeting for later this month.
“I think it’s absolutely appropriate to talk to anyone who wants to discuss this issue,” Miller said. “However, it’s against University policy to release individuals’ data. For one thing, the admissions process looks at a myriad of variables, and to look at one factor makes no sense.”
“We have an increasing amount of students not reporting their racial or ethnic identity out of principle or because they no longer fit into a certain category,” Miller said. “Our priority is to build a community intellectually and culturally diverse and to put together the most vibrant and diverse group of students.”
Li’s hope in filing his complaint against Princeton is that he will be able to bring awareness to the issue. In an e-mail to The Herald, Li wrote that he “expected to see a surge of criticism after these discriminatory admissions policies were revealed, but there was none.”
“I am very glad that Neil and Jason have taken the steps to start AEA – this is precisely the kind of activism and consciousness-raising that I hoped to encourage when I filed the civil rights complaint,” Li wrote.
Don Joe, a Florida lawyer and an activist for Asian Americans, started an online petition calling on Princeton to release its admission statistics.
“Part of Princeton ‘s response was that ‘We don’t release information on our ethnic groups because no one in the public has asked,’ ” Joe said. “We decided to start this petition – Jian Li and myself and some other people – trying to put pressure on Princeton to release statistics.”
“My personal viewpoint is that they should eliminate race. If they want to recruit disadvantaged students, they should use family net worth to make the distinction,” Joe said. “I don’t think people should discriminate against Asian Americans in order to increase the number of black and Hispanic students.”
“You can look at test scores, they’re easily obtainable and objective … There was a Princeton professor (who) looked at it, and he determined that Asian Americans need to score at least 50 points higher than whites to have the same chance of admission,” Joe said, referring to a 2005 study by Princeton researchers Thomas Espenshade and Chang Chung, who analyzed data from three selective private universities.
When asked about what he thought of the group started by Vangala and Carr, Joe said, “As far as I understand, their goals are similar to mine – to achieve equality in education for Asian Americans.”
Belinda Navi ’09, who coordinated Southeast Asian Week in November, said she was ambivalent when asked about the group and its goals. “I think equality is subjective. It’s hard to pinpoint discrimination,” Navi said. “It’ll be a challenge of this group. But I think starting dialogue with the admissions committee is vital.”
Navi said she was wary about simply not checking off ethnicities on her college application. “My ethnicities are definitely a part of who I am, and inevitably what you communicate in your application is who you are,” Navi said.
“I think the purpose of checking ethnicity is to understand the environment that an applicant comes from,” Navi said. “I think that if people didn’t check their ethnicity (on applications), those who are privileged with the parents who have the money to pay for a violin, cleats, to pay for debate trips – those will be the ones who are going to be at an advantage.”
Navi said affirmative action is a necessary evil and that students should focus on the lack of equality in public schools around the country rather than affirmative action.
“(Public schools) are the reason why these race quotas exist,” Navi said. “Affirmative action wouldn’t be necessary if the government would look at racism in public schools today. It’s trying to correct for past injustices in a somewhat unfair way.”
Vangala and Carr said they are not opposed to affirmative action. “Policies like affirmative action and other forms of positive racial preferences were introduced for the very same reason that we constructed our group,” Vangala said. “By fighting such policies, we would therefore be implicitly encouraging the very discrimination that our group is trying to stop.”
“I do believe in affirmative action. There are people who have fewer opportunities to educate themselves – those people tend to be of a different racial background,” said Soyoung Park ’09, the Asian and Asian-American student services programming assistant for the Third World Center .
“(Asians are) constantly grouped with white Americans, but when it comes to admissions, I think it’s unfair to group us with minorities then,” Park said. “All I can say is that until we become a society that’s non-discriminatory, we’ll never really have ‘fair’ admissions.”
Vangala said he wants to be clear about what he is trying to do with the group. “We’re not arguing for the University to change the definition of merit. We’re not arguing against racial preferences. We think a diverse community is important,” Vangala said. “We’re arguing solely against Asian Americans being discriminated against in the college admissions process.”
9/26/07 Columbia Spectator: “A Statement from the Asian American Alliance ,”
by Calvin Sun
We, the Columbia University Asian American Alliance, acknowledge that on Friday, September 14, an incident occurred on 114th Street and Broadway between officers of the New York Police Department and an Asian-American student. Many accounts—including the article “Police, Students In Confrontation Over Arrest” (Sept. 17, 2007)—point to evidence of excessive force and racial bias among the officers of the NYPD against the student.
If the details concerning the police’s racial overtones and the excessive use of force are true, we condemn this abuse of authority by the NYPD officers present. Furthermore, if racial discrimination was indeed committed by those officers, AAA will take the necessary steps to move towards dialogue and action that will make these issues clear to the student body and general public.
Finally, we acknowledge that this incident may represent a larger problem within the NYPD and its treatment of people of color in New York City . In response to this, AAA would like to mobilize with other groups in the NYC area and student organizations on campus to take measures to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future.
AAA recognizes that the student involved in this incident clearly violated New York State ’s zero-tolerance policy of drinking in public.
However, AAA believes that regardless of the crime, the NYPD should not under any circumstances practice racial bias or excessive use of force.
The author is the chair of the Asian American Alliance.

3/29/07 Columbia Spectator: “Admissions Stats Break School Records,”
With 21,000 applicants, the overall admissions rate for the Columbia College class of 2011 was 8.9 percent, the lowest percentage ever at CC and the second lowest number in Ivy League history, trailing only the 8.6 percent admit rate Yale recorded last year. The School of Engineering and Applied Sciences admitted just 18.1 percent of its applicants, also a record.
Columbia College accepted 1,164 students regular decision into the class of 2011, out of a total applicant pool of 16,070. Meanwhile, SEAS accepted 452 of its regular decision applicants out of a pool of 2,844.
This group of 21,343 students that applied to Columbia ‘s two undergraduate schools represents an increase of 6.7 percent over last year’s record high, with a combined admissions rate of 10.4 percent.
4/9/07 Cornell Sun: “C.U. Admissions Rate Drops by 4.2 Percent,”
With Cornell’s acceptance rate hitting an all time low of 20.5 percent, acceptance letters are harder to come by.
This past admissions season, Cornell received 30,382 applications from students across the world, of whom 6,229 were accepted, 3,223 were waitlisted and 18,419 were denied admission.
Of the admitted students, the mean SAT verbal score was 700 and the math mean score was 720. 92 percent ranked in the top 10 percent of their graduating class.
Doris Davis, associate provost of admissions and enrollment, hopes that the class of 2011 will be made up of 3,050 students, which translates to an expected yield rate of 49 percent.
5/9/07 The Dartmouth: “Class of 2011 sees higher yield, greater diversity,”
by Luke Mann-O’Halloran
Dean of Admissions Karl Furstenberg pointed out the increased diversity of the incoming freshman class, which has the highest percentage of Latino and Asian students in Dartmouth’s history, and the highest proportion of black students in roughly 20 years. He highlighted the effectiveness of the College’s outreach programs to diverse high schools in bringing prospective students to campus.
Class of 2011: 14.2% Asian American
Current student body: 13.4%

4/6/07 Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs: “ Dartmouth attracts largest applicant pool ever, admits lowest-ever percentage,”
Dartmouth College received its largest-ever number of applications for the class entering the college fall of 2007, and accepted its lowest-ever percentage of applicants.
A total of 14,176 applications were received for the Class of 2011—two percent more than the number received for the Class of 2010 and 20 percent more than the number of applicants for this year’s graduating class.
Of that pool, only 2,165 students—15 percent of the total applicants—were admitted, the lowest acceptance rate in Dartmouth history. Approximately half are expected to matriculate, which would result in a class size of about 1,080.
The admitted group sets a number of other Dartmouth records:
Student of color make up 41 percent of the admitted group, the highest percentage in Dartmouth history. Of those 886 students, 210 (9.7%) are African American, 385 (17.8%) are Asian American, 189 (8.7%) are Latino, 77 are Native American, and 25 are multi-racial.
The mean of the admittees’ SAT scores are 723 for Verbal/CR, 726 for Mathematics, and 718 for Writing.
Administrators anticipate that about half of those who enroll will receive scholarship assistance, for a total of $15.2 million. A full 15 percent of the admitted group, or 335 students, will be the first in their families to attend college.

3/30/07 The Dartmouth: “Acceptance rate hits all-time low,”
With over 14,000 applicants to the class of 2011, Dartmouth posted a record low acceptance rate of 15 percent, accepting only 2,165 applicants.
One measure of the academic strength of the pool is its SAT averages. This year’s average math and verbal scores were 726 and 723 respectively, which are comparable to previous years.
Of the admitted students, 134 are legacies, down from 148 in the Class of 2010. Outgoing Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Karl Furstenberg stated that the legacy connection is an advantage to a student’s application, though it is only one contributing factor.
In terms of diversity, 41 percent of those admitted are students of color, up from 39.5 percent last year.
African American and Latino students composed 10 percent and 9 percent of the admits respectively, up slightly from last year.
The number of Asian American students increased from 17.7 percent last year to 18 percent this year, and Native American students compose 4 percent of the admits, up from 3.6 percent last year.
Also noteworthy is the increase in international admits, up from 163 students last year to 201 students this year.
With 47 percent of all the admitted students receiving some sort of financial aid, Furstenberg said that the College’s generous financial aid program works to create a more diverse student body, both domestically and internationally.
Furstenberg estimates a 50 percent yield, consistent with yields in past years.
6/12/07 Raleigh News Observer: “Duke expects more freshman,”
Durham – The university’s yield — the percentage of students who took Duke’s offer of admission — inched up from about 41 percent last year to 42 percent this year, Duke officials said Monday. Duke had been aiming for a freshman class of 1,665 students, but the Class of 2011 is now expected to number between 1,687 and 1,710.
In the past 11 years, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Christoph Guttentag said, the yield was higher than 42 percent in seven years and lower than that in four years.
Duke received 19,206 applications for fall and admitted 21 percent — an admissions rate Duke described as its lowest ever.
The new class is also the most diverse class in Duke’s history. A record 44 percent of the incoming class are students of color, including 500 Asian students, 105 Hispanic students and 156 African-American students. Ten years ago, students of color made up only 24 percent of the freshman class.

5/22/07 Raleigh News-Observer: “Cheating case hit Asians hardest: Duke must look again, lawyer says,”
By Jane Stancill
Durham – Most of the Duke University business school students who were severely punished last month for cheating are Asian, and their attorney says that’s no coincidence.
The biggest cheating scandal at the Fuqua School of Business primarily involved students who had been in the United States less than a year and who did not understand the honor code or judicial proceedings well, said Durham lawyer Robert Ekstrand, who filed appeals last week on behalf of 16 students.
Violations were minor, Ekstrand said. But when a faculty investigator pressured them to admit wrongdoing, they quickly wrote contrite letters of confession, sometimes without knowing the specifics of the accusation, he said. Swift hearings and convictions followed.
The case began when professors noticed striking similarities in students’ take-home exams for a class called “Decision Models,” according to information filed with the appeals.
Thirty-eight students among the more than 400 in the class were accused and investigated for cheating on the exam and other assignments, resulting in 34 convictions of graduate students in the master of business administration program. Nine were expelled, and 15 received one-year suspensions and a failing grade in the class. The rest of the guilty received failing grades.
If the appeals fail, the international students would lose student visas and have to leave the country in the next couple of weeks, Ekstrand said.
“There is something else going on here, something that needs to be explained before we go forward with this, because it doesn’t look right,” he said. “This is a class that involves 410, and selected for the investigation and prosecution and permanent separation from the university are all students who are from Asian countries. Somebody has got to look at this. You just wonder how this could have gotten so far.”
Five convicted students declined to be quoted in the newspaper.
‘Take great care’
Fuqua Dean Doug Breeden emphasized in early May that the students involved in the case are both domestic and international students, representing four continents. In e-mail to the school, he wrote, “Each case is unique and complex, and the charge to the Judicial Board is to take great care in considering the individual circumstances surrounding each.” The appeals board will do the same, he said.
Duke officials won’t comment on the cases until the conclusion of the appeals process next week. “We must respect the confidentiality that the appeals process requires and our students deserve,” said Mike Hemmerich, associate dean for marketing and communications at Fuqua.
Ekstrand said honor code violations were, for the most part, minor and unintentional. One example, he said, was students who shared a template in which data that everyone had from the exam questions were typed into an empty spreadsheet and disseminated. No one shared analysis or answers, he said. The computer files show documents were created at the same time, which might have looked suspicious, Ekstrand said.
“These are technical violations that had almost no impact on the exam,” Ekstrand said, “done by people who have a lifetime of an impeccable record of good conduct.”
The lawyer points out in information filed with the appeals what he said are problems with the case:
* The professors identified possible violations within four days of the exam, which was taken by more than 400 students who produced several thousand pages of work.
* A dozen other students whose files had the same creation date were not implicated in the cheating cases.
* One professor acted as primary investigator for all the cases.
* Some possibly exculpatory evidence was not given to students before the appeals.
* Asian students quickly wrote statements admitting guilt and did not always grasp that the honor code gave them the right to avoid self-incrimination.
Because the students pleaded guilty, their hearings were brief and they were not able to explain to the Judicial Board the particulars of what they did and didn’t do, Ekstrand said. Cultural norms led the students, who come from Asian countries including China , Korea and Taiwan , to express shame and remorse instead of fighting the charges, the lawyer said. “Culturally, a confession or an admission of guilt can be a way to apologize,” he said.
Students from different cultures arrive on campuses with different notions about the boundaries of collaboration, say experts on ethics.
It’s a huge problem, says Gary Comstock, philosophy professor and director of research ethics at N.C. State University . Many foreign students don’t understand the rules of writing such as proper citation and attribution. “I think the university has a special obligation to those students,” he said.
Before enrolling at Fuqua, international students are required to attend a summer institute designed to help them make language and cultural adjustments. Students are carefully counseled to pay attention to the honor code “as an important potential point of cultural difference,” according to a memo to Breeden from Bill Boulding, an associate dean.
Comstock said some students use their international status as a crutch. “There are two principles at work here. One is fairness. We don’t want to treat them differently. The other is cultural sensitivity and the fact that they’re coming to this country and may not have the kind of training that we give to U.S. students … There’s also honesty. Some students aren’t honest when they say, ‘I didn’t know.’ ”
Academic dishonesty is a problem in U.S. higher education, with some studies showing 70 percent of students admit cheating. But it also plagues Asian countries. In March, the College Board dropped the results from part of the SAT exam administered in South Korea after an investigation found that the test was provided illegally to students through Korean test-preparation companies. Last year, the Chinese government said 3,000 students cheated on college entrance exams, according to the Xinhua News Agency.
A language gap?
Some people have suggested that unauthorized collaboration is a problem among Asian students, who sometimes feel justified in helping each other overcome language difficulties, said Don McCabe, a Rutgers University professor who has conducted many studies on cheating. “Also, some societies are more collectivistic in nature than we are in the U.S. , with our greater emphasis on individual achievement,” he wrote in e-mail. “Students raised in these societies may be more likely to engage in collaborative activities that we might consider cheating but which they do not.”
Asian student groups at Duke declined to comment for this story.
Ekstrand said there may have been violations by some of his clients, but the punishments are disproportionate. He wants Duke to do a more thorough investigation of ethnic bias.
“I believe when they look closely at this and learn all the facts, I have faith that they will do the right thing,” he said.

5/22/07 Associated Press: “Duke cheating case hit Asian students,”
Durham, N.C. – All of the students expelled in a cheating scandal at the Duke University business school were from Asian countries, while other students were punished less severely, their attorney says.
Many of the students involved in the case at the Fuqua School of Business confessed instead of fighting the charges because of different cultural norms in their countries, Durham attorney Robert Ekstrand said.
“There is something else going on here, something that needs to be explained before we go forward with this, because it doesn’t look right,” Ekstrand said in Tuesday in The News & Observer of Raleigh .
In their home cultures, he said, “a confession or an admission of guilt can be a way to apologize.” He said they sometimes wrote confession letters without understanding the specific accusations.
Officials disclosed last month that 34 business school graduate students were convicted of cheating on an exam and other assignments. Nine were expelled, and 15 were suspended for a year and given a failing grade in the class. The others received failing grades.
Ekstrand has filed appeals on behalf of 16 students.
The nine expelled students, all from Asian countries, would likely lose student visas and have to leave the country in the next couple of weeks if their appeals fail, Ekstrand said.
Duke officials have said students involved in the cheating case were from various countries, including the U.S. They declined to comment on the cases until appeals are completed next week.
“We must respect the confidentiality that the appeals process requires and our students deserve,” said Mike Hemmerich.
The investigation began after a professor found similarities in answers to a take-home exam. In an appeal filed last week, Ekstrand said honor code violations were mostly minor and unintentional and questioned why some possibly exculpatory evidence was not given to students before the appeals.

3/29/07 Duke Chronicle: “Duke Mails Admissions Letters to More Than 19,000 Applicants for the Class of 2011,”
Durham, NC — Duke University will mail decision letters Friday to 19,170 high school seniors from every state and dozens of nations who vied for admission to the Class of 2011.
This week’s mailing brings the university’s total offers of admission to 3,770 students, including 470 early decision applicants accepted in December. The university expects 1,665 of the accepted students to enroll this fall. The admissions rate of 20 percent is one of the lowest on record since the university began keeping track of data in the late 1950s.
More than 1,300 of this year’s applicants had SAT scores of 1,550 or above on the math and verbal sections of the test; Duke admitted 58 percent of these students.
Records broken this year include the number of applicants to Trinity College , the undergraduate liberal arts college (16,132), as well as the number of African Americans (2,190), Asians/Asian Americans (5,173) and Latinos (1,303) who applied.
The number of international applicants has risen steadily during the past few years, Guttentag added, noting that Duke had 2,292 this year.
More than 40 percent of Duke undergraduates receive financial assistance from the university in the form of grants, loans and work-study jobs. The annual median aid package for the 2005-06 academic year was about $29,000. The cost for tuition, room and board for the current academic year is $43,075.

3/29/07 The Duke Chronicle: “Duke admits 3,770 applicants for Class of 2011,’
For the 19,170 applicants hoping to be members of the Class of 2011-the wait is over. The University accepted 3,770 applicants total to be a part of next year’s freshman class, bringing the overall acceptance rate to 20 percent, one of the lowest in recent years and down from last year’s 21 percent.
Records were also broken this year for the number of African American, Latino and Asian and Asian American applicants, reaching highs of 2,190 (11.4%), 1,303 (6.8%) and 5,173 (27.0%) applications, respectively.
Dean of Admissions Christoph Guttentag said he expects yield to increase from last year’s 40 to 41 percent.
5/17/07 Harvard Gazette: “Asian-American students comprise 20.3 percent of the Class of 2011, compared with 19.1 percent last year: Yield for the Class of 2011 nears 80 percent, Selected from record pool of 22,955 applicants,”
Nearly 80 percent of the students admitted to the Class of 2011 will enter Harvard in September, identical to last year’s Class of 2010. The yield may rise slightly once the final returns are in, including about 35 students who will be admitted from the waiting list over the coming weeks.
The Class of 2011 was selected from a record applicant pool of 22,955.
Asian-American students comprise 20.3 percent of the Class of 2011, compared with 19.1 percent last year. African-American students comprise 8.7 percent of the class (9.3 percent last year), Latino students 9.2 percent (8.7 percent last year), and Native Americans 1.2 percent (1.2 percent last year).

3/29/07 Harvard University Gazette: “A record pool leads to record results,”
A record applicant pool of 22,955 applied to Harvard College this year, resulting in a number of new milestones. Traditional admission letters (and e-mails) were sent today (March 29) to 9 percent (2,058) of the pool, the lowest admit rate in Harvard’s history.
In addition, the Class of 2011 entering this coming September will be the most economically diverse to date, with an estimated 26 percent eligible for Harvard’s new Financial Aid Initiative (HFAI) for low- and middle-income families, which requires no contributions from those with annual incomes under $60,000 and a reduced contribution for those from $60,000 to $80,000. Since the inception of the program three years ago, there has been a 34 percent increase in aid for students from families with incomes under $60,000.
Records were set for the percentages of African Americans (10.7 percent), Asian Americans (19.6 percent), Latinos (10.1 percent), and Native Americans (1.5 percent) admitted.
By standard measures of academic talent, including test scores and academic performance in school, this year’s applicant pool reflects the remarkable level of excellence typical of recent years. For example, nearly 2,500 scored a perfect 800 on their SAT verbal test; almost 3,200 scored 800 on the SAT math; and more than 3,000 were ranked first in their high school classes.
Two-thirds of Harvard undergraduates receive some form of financial aid, including scholarships, loans, and jobs. The average total student package will likely be more than $36,000, over 70 percent of the total cost of attendance.

3/29/2007 Harvard Crimson: “2,058 Accepted Into Class of 2011,”
From a record pool of 22,955 applicants to the Harvard College Class of 2011, 2,058 students were offered a spot. That makes this year’s application process the most competitive Harvard has seen, with less than nine percent of hopeful students being offered a space in next year’s freshman class. Last year, 9.3 percent of applicants to the Class of 2010 were accepted.
Slight increases set record highs for African American, Asian American, Latino, and Native American students. The pool of accepted students is 10.7 percent African American, 19.6 percent Asian American, 10.1 percent Latino, and 1.5 percent Native American, according to the Admissions Office.
Admission of foreign nationals rose above last year’s 8.7 percent, coming in at 9.1 percent this year. In total, foreign citizens, students with dual citizenship with the U.S. and another country, and U.S. permanent residents constitute approximately 19 percent of the admitted class, about the same as last year.
The Admissions Office estimates that 26 percent of the admitted students will be eligible for HFAI, a program that waives the parental contribution to tuition for families earning less than $60,000 a year and significantly lowers the expected parental contribution for families earning between $60,000 and $80,000 a year. Since HFAI was put in place three years ago, the number of accepted students from families with incomes under $60,000 has increased by 34 percent, according to the Admissions Office.

8/27/07 MIT The Tech: “Final Demographics For Class of 2011 Released,”
By Yuri Hanada
The demographic breakdown of the Class of 2011 has been released, with gender and ethnicity statistics comparable to last year’s.
African Americans make up 9 percent of the class, comparable to the Class of 2010’s 8 percent but an increase from the 6 percent of the previous three classes.
The remaining Class of 2011 is 38 percent Caucasian, 26 percent Asian American, 7 percent Mexican American, 1 percent Native American, 2 percent Puerto Rican, and 3 percent other Hispanic. One percent is of other ethnic descent, 8 percent are international students whose ethnicity was not polled, and 5 percent did not respond.
Ninety-two percent of the students are U.S. citizens and permanent residents.
The percentage of admitted students choosing to enroll has steadily increased since the 2003 yield of 58.8 percent for the Class of 2007.  The final yield for the Class of 2011 was at a record 68.8 percent, with 1,069 students of the total 1,553 admits expected to enroll, Interim Director of Admissions Stuart Schmill ’86 said.

From Dan Golden’s book The Price of Admission: How America’s Ruling Class Buys Its Way into Elite Colleges — and Who Gets Left Outside the Gates
“Similarly, MIT dean of admissions Marilee Jones rationalized the institute’s rejection of a Korean-American applicant by resorting to stereotypes. Although she wasn’t able to look up his application because records for his year had been destroyed, “it’s possible that Henry Park looked like a thousand other Korean kids with the exact same profile of grades and activities and temperament,” she emailed me in 2003. “My guess is that he just wasn’t involved or interesting enough to surface to the top.” She added that she could understand why a university would take a celebrity child, legacy, or development admit over “yet another textureless math grind.” College administrators who made such remarks about black or Jewish students might soon find themselves higher education outcasts.”

4/27/07 Wall Street Journal: “MIT Admissions Dean Lied On Résumé in 1979, Quits,”
By Keith J. Winstein and Daniel Golden
The dean of admissions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was forced to resign today after the school confirmed an anonymous tip that she had lied about graduating from college herself.
The dean, Marilee Jones, is prominent in higher-education circles as an author and outspoken advocate of reducing the stress of college admissions. At MIT, she redesigned the school’s application to include fewer lines for extracurricular activities, saying that too many students were puffing up their credentials to fill the space.
But as the university learned last week, Ms. Jones had embellished her own credentials. She attended college for one year, as a part-time student at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1974, but never received the bachelor’s or master’s degrees that she claimed from RPI. Nor did she receive a degree she claimed from Albany Medical College , the university found. Registrars at RPI and Albany confirmed that Ms. Jones didn’t receive degrees there.
“It’s amazing that she only spent that much time in college. She’s really smart,” said Michael Behnke, the admissions dean at the University of Chicago and Ms. Jones’s predecessor at MIT. “She’s really been a leader in the profession. She was a leader when she worked for me. Very creative. Obviously, too creative,” he said.
Ms. Jones, who is 55 years old, is described as a “scientist by training” on an MIT Web site for applicants, and her nonexistent degrees are listed on her publisher’s site.
In a statement released by the university, Ms. Jones said she first fudged her résumé in 1979 when she was hired in a junior position in the MIT admissions office. When she was promoted to the deanship in 1997, she “did not have the courage to correct my résumé,” she wrote. Ms. Jones didn’t respond to messages left on her home and cell phones.
“This is a very sad situation, both for the institute and for Marilee,” MIT Chancellor Phillip Clay said in an interview. “We take integrity very seriously, and it was on that basis that as soon as we determined that these facts were not true we dismissed her even though she has done a great job.”
MIT officials said that Daniel Hastings, dean for undergraduate education and Ms. Jones’s boss, received the anonymous tip about her résumé last week, setting off an internal investigation. School officials aren’t saying whether they have since learned the source’s identity.
Ms. Jones’s sudden resignation comes at an inopportune time for MIT because Tuesday is the deadline for students admitted for this fall’s freshman class to decide where to enroll.
It’s also another blow to the image of higher education, which is suffering a crisis of trust in its financial-aid offices amid state and federal investigations. Recently, financial-aid directors at elite schools, including Columbia University and Johns Hopkins, have been placed on leave because of revelations that they accepted payments from a lender they recommended to their students. At many colleges — though not MIT — admissions deans also oversee financial aid.
Bruce Poch, the dean of admissions at Pomona College in Claremont , Calif. , said the financial-aid scandals and revelations about Ms. Jones’s falsified degrees will likely prompt MIT and other universities to check résumés more closely. Such scrutiny can be “fairly casual” in academia, he said, particularly in lower-level jobs such as the one in which Ms. Jones began her MIT career.
Ms. Jones was a dominant presence at MIT. She sometimes signed letters to incoming students as “your mom away from mom.” After joining the admissions office in 1979, she focused on increasing female enrollment at the historically male-dominated engineering school. As at other top colleges, the number of women at the school has surged, from 17% of undergraduates in 1979 to 45% this year.
In 1997, Ms. Jones was promoted to dean of admissions and launched a national career as a spokeswoman for easing the stress of college admission. With a Philadelphia pediatrician, she is the co-author of a 2006 book, “Less Stress, More Success: A New Approach to Guiding Your Teen Through College Admissions and Beyond.” In a statement, the book’s publisher, the American Academy of Pediatrics, said it “continues to stand behind the information and positive messages presented in the book.”
Ms. Jones also served on numerous higher-education boards, including a regional council of the College Board and the National Association for College Admission Counseling’s commission on standardized testing.
Mr. Poch said Ms. Jones was “one of the people who was trying to bring sanity back to the whole admissions world. She’s spoken persuasively and thoughtfully both to parents and admissions deans about restoring the humanity to this process and taking some pressure off kids. She’d been unbelievably well received.”
Reflecting Ms. Jones’s prominence, MIT was scheduled to co-host an institute in June to train college admissions staff from around the country to serve as the next generation of deans and leaders in the field. Lloyd Thacker, director of the nonprofit Education Conservancy, the other host of the event, said he isn’t sure whether it will go on as planned.
In her statement, Ms. Jones apologized, saying she was “deeply sorry for this and for disappointing so many in the MIT community and beyond who supported me, believed in me, and who have given me extraordinary opportunities.”
The university said that it will begin a search for Ms. Jones’s successor and has appointed an interim dean, Stuart Schmill. MIT said that its “process of admitting the incoming class continues without disruption.”
In a recent interview for a Wall Street Journal article on colleges checking applicants’ credentials, Ms. Jones bemoaned what she described as frequent exaggeration of credentials by applicants. “The way the whole college application system is set up now, it really does encourage cheating and lying,” she said.
— John Hechinger and Jon Weinbach contributed to this article.
5/18/07 Daily Princetonian: “Admissions: Class of 2011 yield falls to 68 percent,”
A total of 1,218 students of the 1,791 admitted to the University have chosen to enter the Class of 2011, according to Dean of Admission Janet Rapelye. This represents a yield of 68.0 percent, which is down slightly from last year’s 69.2 percent.
About 38 percent of the incoming class will be minority students, slightly up from 37 percent last year. The Class of 2011 is 15 percent Asian American, eight percent African American, eight percent Hispanic, six percent biracial and less than one percent Native American.
International students will make up 11 percent of the freshman class, up from 10 percent for the Class of 2010 and nine percent a year earlier.
The legacy figure is 15 percent for the incoming class, up from 14 percent for the Class of 2010 and 12 percent for the Class of 2009.
About 11 percent of the students in the incoming class are the first members of their family to attend college.
A majority of the class will receive financial aid according to Rapelye, who expects the figure to be about 54 percent, which is roughly on par with last year.
The average SAT score for the students of the Class of 2011 has gone up slightly from those last year. The average score was about 2186 overall, with 730 for math and verbal plus 726 for writing.
4/3/07 Daily Princetonian: “Class of 2011: Acceptance rate dips to all-time low,”      The University accepted a record-low 9.5 percent of applicants for the Class of 2011, admitting 1,791 of the 18,942 prospective candidates.
Dean of Admission Janet Rapelye explained that her office anticipates a high percentage of accepted students to enroll. If 69.5 percent or more of the accepted students enroll, the class will fill without resorting to the waitlist. “We have had an increase in yield each of the last two years, and if the yield stays the same, we can go to the waitlist,” she said. Last year’s yield was 67 percent.
Rapelye declined to provide statistics on admitted legacy students but said they were similar to last year’s. “We have admitted legacies at a rate three times as great [as the overall rate], and this has been consistently true for 25 years.”
In the Class of 2010, 9.9 percent of those accepted were legacies.
As it was last year, about 44 percent of the accepted students are minorities.
A large portion of the Class of 2011 will be receiving financial aid. “Fifty percent of the accepted students were offered financial aid,” Rapelye said, “and that figure might go up as incomplete applications are completed.” Moreover, 14 percent of those accepted came from low-income families.
International citizens were accepted from 77 countries and compose 10.6 percent of the accepted students. Last year, 9.7 percent of accepted students were international. Applicants came from more than 135 countries, Rapelye said.
The odds for athletes who received likely letters this past fall were much better than those for the average applicant. “The majority of students who received likely letters, and stayed in the process, were admitted,” Rapelye said.

4/2/07 press release: “Princeton offers admission to 9.5 percent of applicants,”
After receiving a record 18,942 applications, Princeton University has offered admission to 1,791 students, or 9.5 percent of those who applied for the class of 2011.
The University expects 1,245 students to enroll in the class of 2011.
Among this year’s applicants: more than 6,000 had a cumulative 4.0 grade point average; 10,000 had a combined score of 2100 or higher on the three sections of the SAT.
The 1,245 students expected to enroll is a slight increase over the 1,220 enrolled this year in keeping with a plan initiated in 2005 to expand the undergraduate student body from 4,700 to 5,200 students by 2012.
43.9 percent of the students admitted to the class of 2011 are students of color.
The University continues to admit students from families with a broad range of income levels, with 50 percent of the admitted students being offered need-based financial aid. Princeton ‘s “no-loan” policy, which meets financial need with grants instead of loans, allows all students who qualify for financial aid to graduate debt free.
1/22/07 racialicious.com: “The Daily Princeton’s Rosie Carolla defense
of Lian Ji op-ed,”
by guest contributor Jeff Yang
Hot on the heels of that whole Rosie mess, some of you may have heard of the flap over the Daily Princetonian’s publication of a parody op-ed, supposedly from a student named “Lian Ji,” in their annual “joke edition” of the student paper. Here’s a brief excerpt from “Princeton University Is Racist Against Me, I Mean, Non-Whites”:
Hi Princeton ! Remember me? I so good at math and science. Perfect
2400 SAT score. Ring bells? Just in cases, let me refresh your memories. I the
super smart Asian. Princeton the super dumb college, not accept me. I get
angry and file a federal civil rights complaint against Princeton for rejecting my
application for admission.
And yeah, the spelling and broken English goes on. And on. And on. Along with references to doing laundry, working railroads, dog eating, etc.
That said, it wasn’t the op-ed alone that goosed my gander–it was the post-publication spin. Faced with a firestorm of controversy over the supposed satire, the Daily Princetonian’s Managing Board (who collaboratively wrote the op-ed) responded with an editor’s note of surpassing arrogance:
Since publishing Wednesday’s joke issue, we have learned that some of our
readers were offended by a column satirizing Asian stereotypes. The response
surprised us: We did not seek to offend, and we sincerely regret having upset
some of our readers.
Many criticisms of the column, however, do not recognize its purpose. Using
hyperbole and an unbelievable string of stereotypes, we hoped to lampoon
racism by showing it at its most outrageous. We embraced racist language in
order to strangle it. At its worst, the column was a bad joke; at its best, it
provoked serious thought about issues of race, fairness and diversity.
The column in question was penned by a diverse group of students — including
several Asians on our senior editorial staff — who had no malicious intent.
Given our purpose, we are deeply troubled by and reject the allegation of
We welcome debate about our column, especially in the pages of this
newspaper. We hope our readers will see the column for what it is.
Chanakya Sethi ‘07, editor-in-chief; Christian Burset ‘07, Neir Eshel ‘07, Anna
Huang ‘07, Nancy Khov ‘07, Alex Maugeri ‘07, Tom Senn ‘07 and Ellen Young
‘07, Editors, 130th Managing Board”
Now, okay, these are kids. They have room to grow and learn. Most of them will go into fields that have little to do with media or entertainment or journalism. But regardless of what industry they decide to join, they’ve got to understand that this kind of post facto rationalization, what one might term the Rosie Carolla Defense, never flies.
“We have learned…the response surprised us”? Uh…guys, you couldn’t have guessed that some of your readers would be offended? How tone-deaf can you possibly be? Dave Chappelle and Sasha Baron Cohen and other line-pushing comics can be offensive (though arguably, that’s in service of a larger message they’re trying to convey); they are, however, absolutely aware that in doing so some, if not all, of their viewers will be offended. That’s their job as humorists–to get people uncomfortable, so that they have an emotional reactin (and if they learn something, cool–but at least they won’t walk out with the same blank sheet of paper they walked in with). Bottom line: Don’t write any reality checks you don’t have the cojones to cash, comprende?
Sadly, the DP Board failed to even think it through that far–they just assumed that everyone would get it, because, you know, Princetonians are funny. Like Bill Bradley, he’s hilarious. And Brooke Shields. My sides hurt.
And then there’s the creative un-apology that follows: “Many criticisms of the column, however, do not recognize its purpose…we hoped to lampoon racism by showing it at its most outrageous. We embraced racist language in order to strangle it. At its worst, the column was a bad joke; at its best, it provoked serious thought about issues of race, fairness and diversity.”
Reading this made my teeth ache. Translation: “You didn’t laugh, because you didn’t understand/have no sense of humor/are dumb and ugly and should die.”
Once more, the Rosie Carolla Defense rears its ugly head. Why is it always the least subtle, least inventive, most humor-challenged “comedians” who accuse other people of not having a sense of funny? Worse yet, these kids didn’t just see their essay as thigh-slappin’ high-larious. It was also supposed to “provoke serious thought”…good grief.
The editorial continues with some ethnic figleafing (noting that there are several Asians on the senior edit staff, including, presumably, the editor in chief) and then this kicker: “Given our purpose, we are deeply troubled by and reject the allegation of racism.”
Highfalutin’ SAT words, but again, all in service of the Rosie Carolla Defense. First they apologize for hurting your feelings. Then they imply that if your feelings are hurt, it’s because you suck. Then they say their feelings were hurt because you called them on their crap. Then they reject your argument out of hand, because, you know, it’s not what they said, it’s what they intended that matters.
Or, to put it another way: “I didn’t mean to crush your head with this two-by-four. I meant to tickle you with it, even though I swung it with both hands as hard as I could and aimed at your temple. The reason you didn’t laugh is because you have a thin skull. And I reject your allegation that you were hurt, because it was not my intent to cause you multiple fractures and brain damage. Finally, by accusing me of hurting you, you hurt my feelings, so really, I’m the victim here–beeyotch!”
The note’s conclusion, referring to the board’s “regrettable mistake” (e.g., believing that other people had as brilliant a sense of humor as themselves) and requesting a “constructive debate on race and race-related issues” is, like most Rosie Carolla un-apologies, too little and too late:
“We threw a grenade into an outhouse, and now we want to hold hands and sing ‘Kumbaya’ in the flying fecal matter that has erupted. This guy Jian Li has submitted a suit against the college with the Department of Education. People are already pissed off in 15 directions, at all levels of the administration and faculty and student body. Some Asians think Li has a point. Some think he’s a cancer. Lots of white people think exactly what the op-ed piece seemed to suggest–that Asians like Li don’t belong, because they get good grades but have no soul, or something. And as the Managing Board of the official daily newspaper of the Princeton campus, we’ve decided that the best way to create an ‘opportunity…for constructive debate’ is to run this joke op-ed. Tiger pride, yo! Reprazent!”
Am I being too tough on these kids? Remember that, after the Michael Richards N-bomb flap, Malcolm Gladwell, of “Blink” and “Tipping Point” fame, used his blog to outline a framework for determining if a statement is genuinely racist (I smell a book coming on, Mal). He brings it down to three factors:
Content: “What is said clearly makes a difference. I think, for example, that hate speech is more hateful the more specific it is. To call someone a n—-r is not as a bad as arguing that black people have lower intelligence than whites.”
Intention: “Was the remark intended to wound, or intended to perpetuate some social wrong? Was it malicious?”
Conviction: “Does the statement represent the individual’s considered opinion?”
By these standards, the DP Managing Board gets a pass, right?
I think Gladwell’s being reductive, which is, of course, his stock in trade: Simple, universalist answers to highly complex questions.
What he doesn’t take into account is that racism isn’t solely the province of the speaker; it is shaped by context and colored by the nature of the audience. Assuming that our goal is a civil society, we have a responsibility to understand and acknowledge the reasons why others might see harm in our actions or statements; the harm may not be intended, but if, as the DP Managing Board suggests, flaps such as this offer an opportunity for advancing the dialogue around race and stereotype–well, isn’t a dialogue by definition a two-way street? You can’t categorically “reject” one party’s position, then call for an open debate, can you?
For future Rosie Carollas, here’s my personal set of metrics around race and humor–your mileage may vary. Quantifying what’s funny and what’s offensive is always tricky and sometimes dangerous, as one of my friends pointed out. For instance, most definitions of pornography tend to fall on “you know it when you see it”…not, uh, that I’ve ever seen it.
But I submit the following as thought starters, if not necessarily rules of engagement–at the least, these are things people should consider before busting out with a questionable and potentially inflammatory statement:
If you’re using humor as a way of pushing people to think about a situation, by illuminating foibles or disconnects between and within racial groups, you should get some leeway (if not a blank check). I would put a lot of Dave Chappelle’s stuff in here, especially things like his “Racial Draft” sketch and his “black Ku Klux Klan member” skit. It’s uncomfortable to watch some of it, there’re things going on that some people might take offense at, but you get the larger point of the parody–there’s a message beyond “look how stupid/cheap/crude/lame etc. [insert ethnic group] is! HAW!”An offensive statement or caricature may just be one stop toward a final destination, and we owe artists, performers, and other creatives some elasticity before jumping on the racism wagon. The problem with Rosie O’ Donnell, Adam Carolla, and their ilk is that their jokes tend to be either thoughtless or ad hominem, and they compound their problems with weeks of pathetic, defensive spin.
As a kind of addendum to point 1, if you are a member of the racial group you’re satirizing, you are in a better position to illuminate said foibles or disconnects–it’s at the least a more defensible position, and probably a more informed one. Arguably, it’s a position of privilege. I would say that the latter is probably true if you’re a member of an ethnic group satirizing that ethnic group in front of a private audience of fellow members of that ethnic group–the room for misinterpretation or unfortunate repurposing is narrowed. Not everyone would agree with this, but it’s a practical issue on some level, not a political one.
Being funny helps. Again, it’s not a blank check, but at the least, if diverse audiences find what you’re doing hilarious, at least there’s some kind of utility to your shtick, right?
If it’s a novel take on a topic or situation, well, again, no “get out of jail free,” but at least you can stake a claim to breaking new ground. For instance, if someone were to do a sketch about how all Asian men are sexual dynamos, capable of incredible feats of erotic prowess–well, hey, I haven’t seen that before. It’s a caricature, but it’s a new caricature. I personally would not be that offended.
Power matters. Sorry. It just does. It’s not the same thing when a white, educated, upper-class person makes fun of a nonwhite, less educated, working class person as vice versa.
By these standards, where does the DP’s “joke op-ed” stand?
On point 1., I’d give them a thumbs down. I can’t for the life of me see what the larger point of the piece was, or how it’s meant to interrogate or satirize stereotypes–I think most readers of any race would assume that the piece is if anything satirizing, you know, Asian people, and in particular, Jian Li, the Yale student who’s suing Princeton for reverse discrimination. (The broken English is a big, red X, for one.) This guy Jian Li got a perfect score on his SATs, and he’s going to frickin’ Yale. Now, say what you will about Yale’s quality of education, but no one’s going there who doesn’t have basic command of, like, articles and prepositions.
Point 2., also a fail. Sure, there are Asians who are part of the ed board, but that doesn’t absolve the non-Asians, and if anything, it makes you kind of wonder what Anna Huang and Chanakya Sethi (and maybe Tom Senn and Ellen Young, who knows) were thinking. This is a piece that was going out under the banner of the Princetonian, and from there, to the world. It should have been read from that perspective before publication–that’s the responsibility of an editorial board. When we print this, how, objectively, will it be read and interpreted? What is our message? Is it getting across?If they truly wanted to satirize the Jian Li issue (and the larger notion of Asian “whiz kid” stereotypes), why not write a fake op-ed by, say, a doped-out slacker Asian American dude who’s spent the last four years smoking pot and surfing, got straight Ds and 600 on his SATs, but still claims to have been rejected from both Princeton and La Jolla Community College because of “reverse discrimination”? (Though naturally, Yale still accepted him. Rimshot!)
Point 3. and 4., two more thumbs down. The gags they use are unfunny. Old as rice. And ultimately, at least from my perspective, lame.
Point 5. Well, Jian Li is far from a poor, uneducated, unable-to-defend-himself individual, but the way the piece is written, it has a distinctly anti-immigrant note to it. The bad fake accent, the “My mom from same province as General Tso. My dad from Kung Pao province” lines, Ugh. When you can’t tell parody from racist propaganda, it’s time to think hard about what you’re doing.
As the puppets in Avenue Q say, “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist.” But if you’re smart and you put a foot in it, you admit it, you apologize, you learn something, you move on–you don’t jump on a high horse and accuse others of being dense.
If you’re not smart, and apparently there’s a lot of dumb floating around on Ivy League campuses, you do the Rosie Carolla thing, and turn a tempest in a teapot into Katrina 2.0.

1/23/07 New York Times: “At Princeton, a Parody Raises Questions of Bias,”
by Karen W. Arenson
Princeton, N.J., Jan. 22 — Belda Chan, a senior at Princeton University , was stunned when she encountered an article in broken English in the annual joke issue of the student daily parodying an Asian-American student who had filed a civil rights complaint against Princeton .
Chanakya Sethi, editor in chief of The Daily Princetonian, which said it wanted to provoke thought.
“The editor in chief said their intention was to spark a dialogue on race,” said Ms. Chan, a history major from Massachusetts whose parents immigrated from China . “Obviously that’s happened. But hate crimes spark dialogue too, and that doesn’t mean they are good things and that we approve of them and that they will help in the long run.”
Perhaps even more than the complaint by Jian Li that he was rejected for admission by Princeton because of his race, the article published last Wednesday has put front and center the question of whether elite universities treat Asian-American students fairly in admissions and whether those students who are admitted face bias.
“Hi Princeton ! Remember me?” the parody began. “I so good at math and science. Perfect 2400 SAT score. Ring bells? Just in cases, let me refresh your memories. I the super smart Asian. Princeton the super dumb college, not accept me.” Later, it said: “What is wrong with you no color people? Yellow people make the world go round. We cook greasy food, wash your clothes and let you copy our homework.”
Students, faculty and college administrators have condemned the article. The newspaper, The Daily Princetonian, printed an editors’ note expressing regret for upsetting readers and saying that a diverse group, “including several Asians on our senior editorial staff,” had written the column.
“We embraced racist language in order to strangle it,” the note said. “At its worst, the column was a bad joke; at its best, it provoked serious thought about issues of race, fairness and diversity.”
Chanakya Sethi, the Princetonian’s editor in chief, who is of Indian descent, said staff members were trying to put the article behind them.
But the debate has not subsided. “The damage has been done, and we now all face the collective task of repairing our civil discourse and salvaging our university’s reputation,” said April Chou, chairwoman of the Asian-American Alumni Association of Princeton, in a statement published in the newspaper on Monday.
While Asian-Americans account for 5 percent of the population in the United States , they account for greater numbers at prestigious institutions like Harvard (18 percent), Stanford (24 percent), and the University of California at Berkeley (46 percent). At Princeton , they accounted for 13 percent of undergraduates last year, and make up 14 percent of the current freshman class.
But some critics, like Mr. Li, the applicant who brought the complaint against Princeton, contend that many colleges, even those with substantial numbers of Asian-American students, deliberately hold down the number of Asian-Americans and that they should have a greater presence given their performance in high school and on standardized tests.
Mr. Li, a freshman at Yale, had a perfect 2400 on the SATs, top grades at his high school in Livingston , N.J. , numerous Advanced Placement courses, community service in Costa Rica , and high rankings in New Jersey ’s math and physics leagues.
He said in an interview that the experience with the civil rights complaint, filed with the United States Department of Education in August, had been “stressful.” He said he had drawn some ridicule, including the column, which he called “insensitive” and “extremely distasteful.”
But he said he felt his efforts were paying off, by bringing attention to the issue. He has been invited to speak about affirmative action and at events for Asian-American students. And he heard from two students at Brown University who would like to start a national campus movement to battle discrimination against Asian-Americans. Princeton says it does not discriminate.
Some of its students say they are anguished that the newspaper parody reinforces outdated images of the campus, which long ago had a reputation for anti-Semitism.
Bryan N. Bunch, a sophomore from Atlanta , said: “I know there are many stereotypes about Princeton . Elitist, racist, insular are but a few. Maybe in the past they were,” he added. “But today Princeton is genuinely an incredibly diverse place. I have friends from Korea , Africa, California and nearly everywhere in between.”
“How is an outsider to know of Princeton as an accepting place when school writers seemingly indict Asians?” he asked. “It honestly saddens me that students won’t apply or won’t matriculate because of misinformed thoughts.”
Jessica Wey, a senior from Michigan who is studying molecular biology and neuroscience, said she attended a Princeton conference in the fall at which minority alumni, including an Asian-American alumnus who graduated more than 60 years ago, talked about their experiences.
“It was incredible to hear what Asians earlier had to struggle with,” said Ms. Wey, whose parents are from Taiwan .
“And in comparison,” she added, “we seem to have it easy, superficially. There has been great progress. Still, Princeton still has a very white feel to it that steers Asians away.”
She said she has talked to potential students who have chosen not to attend for that reason. But she said such problems were more perception than reality.
Still, there were those who took the column in stride. Felix Huang, a Princeton senior from Texas majoring in chemical engineering, said he found it amusing. “If I had read the article 10 years ago, I would’ve been annoyed, defensive and angry,” he said, because he was “very sensitive about being Chinese.”
But now, he said, he feels that being Asian-American is a blessing, and he has “absolutely no defensive feelings about it since I know that any criticisms of being Asian-American simply have no merit.”
Chang-rae Lee, an author and creative writing professor at Princeton who immigrated to the United States from Korea at 3, said of the parody, “It certainly could have been funny, perhaps hilarious, and painfully so, had it smartly satirized and skewered all involved, while underscoring the very complicated issue of Asian-American admissions practices at elite colleges — real and perceived.”
He added, “Instead the piece employed the easiest, basest stereotypes of culture and character and voice for its sensational aims, offering little more than the most juvenile gloss on the issues.
“Frankly, the piece astounds me not so much for its racism as its stupidity,” he said.
University officials were scathing. Janet S. Dickerson, Princeton ’s vice president for campus life, called the article “offensive,” adding, “the students exercised poor judgment in writing it.”
On Monday, The Princetonian carried a joint message from its top editors and the leaders of Princeton’s Asian-American Students Association, saying they were all “frustrated that this episode has led some to believe that Princeton is an unwelcoming place for Asian-American students.” They said such an impression is “not validated” by their own experiences.
They announced that they will co-sponsor a forum in the spring semester “for all community members to share their opinions” on the debate.
P. G. Sittenfeld contributed reporting.


1/21/07 Associated Press: “ Princeton newspaper stirs controversy,”
Princeton Borough, NJ – An article in the annual joke issue of Princeton University ‘s student newspaper has left some readers accusing its staff of racism.
The Daily Princetonian issue included a column with a byline that closely resembles the name of Jian Li, an 18-year-old Asian man who filed a civil rights complaint against the university last summer after he was denied admission.
Li, who now attends Yale University , told The Associated Press on Saturday that his complaint against Princeton accusing the school of bias against Asian students remains under investigation.
“I think the article was extremely distasteful,” Li said. “Whoever decided to publish it showed an extreme lapse of judgment.”
Under a byline of Lian Ji, the article published Wednesday used broken English and spouted racial stereotypes to bash the school for his rejection.
“Hi Princeton ! Remember me? I so good at math and science. Perfect 2400 SAT score. Ring Bells?” the article begins. “Just in case, let me refresh your memories. I the super smart Asian. Princeton the super dumb college, not accept me.”
The article ran with a disclaimer informing readers that it was part of the joke issue, but that didn’t stop students and alumni of the Ivy League school from accusing those who wrote it of racism.
“I consider myself an easygoing person, but guys — this article doesn’t even try to use humor to hide the underlying hate,” Andre Liu, who identified himself as a 1991 graduate, wrote in a letter to the editor.
An article on the controversy was published in Friday’s editions, along with a note from The Daily Princetonian’s managing board saying that its members “sincerely regret having upset some of our readers,” but defending their intentions.
“Using hyperbole and an unbelievable string of stereotypes, we hoped to lampoon racism by showing it at its most outrageous,” the note said. “We embraced racist language in order to strangle it. At its worst, the column was a bad joke; at its best, it provoked serious thought about issues of race, fairness and diversity.”
Chanakya Sethi, the newspaper’s editor-in-chief, said Saturday he understood why some people were angered by the column and hoped the controversy would spark a dialogue on campus.
“There are honest differences about what is humorous and what is not, and it was a regrettable mistake to think everyone would see the column as we do,” he said.
4/4/07 Tufts Daily: “Tufts admits and seeks to court the potential Class of 2011: Incoming class will look a lot like its predecessor,”
“We accepted 27 [percent] of this year’s applicant pool, the same as last year,” Dean of Admissions Lee Coffin said in an e-mail to the Daily. “We are expecting a freshman class between 1,275 and 1,285, as usual.”
The number of applicants has also remained steady. This year 15,381 students applied, according to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. “The last three applicant pools have each been around 15,300, and that feels like the right size pool for Tufts,” Coffin said.
The mean SAT score also varied little from last year, although it did increase seven points from 1433 to 1440.
Recruitment efforts were also employed to attract minority applicants. As a result, there was a 26 percent increase in African American applicants this year, according to Coffin.
This statistical increase was restricted to black students, however, as all other demographic groups were represented at levels similar to previous years, he said.
4/6/07 http://www.discriminations.us/: “Surprise! “Holistic” Review Helps Blacks & Hispanics, Hurts Whites & Asians”
by John Rosenberg
UCLA has just announced, with great pride and relief, that its new, “holistic” admissions procedures have resulted in an increase in the percentage of formerly preferred minorities admitted to the next freshman class.
Prior to the university’s adoption of the new admissions policy last year, two application readers reviewed each prospective student’s academic records while a third took into account the applicant’s outside achievements and any challenges he or she might have overcome. Under the “holistic” approach, every application is read and considered in its entirety by two readers, and the readers give more consideration to the opportunities that had — or had not — been available to applicants.
Whether or not increasing the number of blacks and Hispanics was the purpose underlying the new policy, it was the effect.
The new admissions policy appears to have increased black and Hispanic students’ chances of being accepted, while making it more likely that white and Asian-American applicants would be turned away.
The percentage of whites (33% of those admitted) who were admitted fell from 26.2% last year to 24.6%, but, as usually happens when factors others than academic qualifications are given more emphasis, the biggest losers were Asians. Last year Asians made up 45.6% of the admitted students; this year they are 43.1%, “with almost all of the decline taking place among two subsets whose numbers had been growing most rapidly on the campus: Chinese-Americans and Vietnamese-Americans.”
Although the applicant pools from both populations grew only slightly, the share of Chinese-American applicants who were admitted declined from 35.8 percent to 31.6 percent, while the share of Vietnamese-American applicants who were admitted declined from 28.6 percent to 21.2 percent.
As the above numbers indicate, the percentage of Chinese-Americans who were admitted fell by over 11% from last year, and the percentage of Vietnamese who were admitted fell by over 25%.
It seems to me that the UCLA admissions reviewers have made a dramatic, even breathtaking, discovery that they should publish and share with the world: the nature of the heretofore unknown “opportunities” enjoyed by Vietnamese-Americans, opportunities that have obviously expanded exponentially in the space of one generation and that equally obviously served as a burden and handicap on their applications to UCLA.

4/6/07 San Diego Union Tribune: “Record number of freshmen are admitted to UC system,”
by Eleanor Yang Su
The number of black and Latino students admitted to the University of California rose by 10 percent, while white and Asian-American student figures rose by 2 to 3 percent across the nine undergraduate-campus system.
At the University of California San Diego , the change in admit numbers was more pronounced because the campus admitted 10 percent fewer freshmen than last year, when an unexpectedly large number of students decided to attend UCSD.
The number of white students admitted to UCSD dropped by 14 percent this year, while figures for Asian-Americans dropped 8 percent and Latino admit numbers fell 5 percent. Black student admit numbers did not change.
The figures represent a significant shift for the 209,000-student system. Since the late 1990s, white and Asian-American freshmen admit numbers have grown dramatically, while African-American student figures have crept up more slowly.
UC officials said this year’s change reflects an increase in the numbers of African-American and Latino students applying to UC, and the high qualifications of those students.
The numbers were most notable at UCLA, which implemented a new admissions process this year, after considerable community outcry over its low black freshman enrollment figures. The number of UCLA black freshmen admitted rose by 143 students this year, or 57 percent.
UC’s diversity figures have been closely watched since 1996, when California became the first of several states to ban race-based admissions in public colleges.
Some were suspicious of the changes, including Ward Connerly, a former UC regent who led the campaign to dismantle affirmative action in college admissions.
“I’m convinced that the university is, if not breaking the law, then somehow orchestrating proxies to enable them to increase the number of black students,” Connerly said.
UCSD officials discounted that, noting that application readers are given clear instructions to ignore race in the admission decision.
UCSD admitted about 42 percent of its 45,000 freshman applicants. Admitted freshmen had a mean grade-point average of 4.06, and an SAT score of 1,941 out of a maximum of 2,400.
UCSD admissions by the numbers
Number of freshmen admitted at UCSD by ethnicity:
386: African-Americans, no change from last year.
2,429: Latinos, 5 percent fewer than last year.
7,411: Asian-Americans, 8 percent fewer than last year.
6,029: Whites, 14 percent fewer than last year
Source: University of California San Diego


4/2/07 The Daily Pennsylvanian: “Admission rate drops to record low 15.9%: Using the Common App for first time, U. accepts 3,610 students,”
Penn’s overall admission rate dropped to a record-setting 15.9 percent for the Class of 2011, according to data released by admissions officials Friday.
In its first year using the Common Application, the University received 22,634 applications – also a record high – and accepted 3,610 students.
Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Lee Stetson said that he expects about 66 percent of the accepted students to matriculate, which is in line with the yield rate from past years.
The number of underrepresented minorities – which made up 20 percent of the entire pool of admitted students – is relatively consistent with last year. Five more black students were accepted, bringing the total to 407. The number of Latinos admitted fell slightly to 310 from 324 last year. Twenty Native Americans were admitted, two more than last year.
Overall, minorities comprise 42 percent of accepted students, down from 44 percent last year.
The average SAT score experienced a moderate increase from 2126 to 2137. The average accepted student was in the 98th percentile of his high school class.

1/12/07 The Daily Pennsylvanian: “29% of early app students admitted: Admit rate up from last year due to smaller applicant pool,”
by Jon Meza
Penn has accepted 29 percent of early applicants for the Class of 2011, a group that will make up about 48 percent of the total class.
Last year, the University accepted 28 percent of its early applicants, and this year’s slight rise in the acceptance rate comes in conjunction with a 2.5 percent decrease in early decision applications.
A record-breaking 9.5 percent of the admitted class will be international students, with strong representation from Canada, India, England and Hong Kong.
Accepted students from within the country currently represent 47 of the 50 states.
The number of accepted minority students dropped from last year’s record-breaking levels. The number of Latino students dropped from 89 to 71. Seventy-four black students were admitted this year, compared to 81 for the Class of 2010. There were also 239 Asian students and four Native Americans admitted.
Those admitted to the Class of 2011 have an average SAT Critical Reasoning score of 697, compared to 686 from the class of 2010. Math scores rose from 715 to 722, and the average writing score was 705, up from 695 last year.
2/5/07: “Is UVA’s Housing Policy Racist?,” posted by John Rosenberg on February 5, 2007 6:27 pm
I wouldn’t have thought so, but listen to John Evans, UVA’s Director of Housing Accomodations, who asserts that “the housing assignment process is race-blind.” Since many of those who favor racial preferences claim that race-blind admissions and hiring policies are racist, perhaps they would apply the same label to race-blind student housing assignments.
The Cavalier Daily article cited above provides more evidence for something that really should not be in doubt, i.e., that universities that do the most to implement “diversity” often have less of it than others, and worse actual relations between races. Thus, at a recent forum on housing problems the forum moderator asserted, to widespread agreement that “space in our community is racialized.”
The same issue of the Cavalier Daily contained other evidence that all is not well in the garden of “diversity,” an opinion column that demanded “Ending Asian Exclusion.”

ASIANS and Asian-PacificAmericans comprise about 17 percent of the         University population, represent 50 CIOs [student organizations] on grounds, and have the highest graduation rate among all minority groups. Yet, the University rewards their significance and contributions with sheer neglect in nearly every aspect of University life — be it faculty, funding or anti-discrimination policies. It is timethe University address its dismal record of dealing with Asian discrimination and give the community the place it deserves.

Jesse Jackson and others may speak wistfully of a “Rainbow Coalition,” but UVA seems to be experiencing more thunder storms than rainbows:
Also of concern is the extent of racial discrimination against Asians at the University. In 2005, according to The Cavalier Daily, a survey showed that 51 percent of APA [Asian Pacific-American] students “have experienced or witnessed discrimination against APAs”. In the Spring 2006 Summary Report of Bias Complaints, which analyzes acts of bias or discrimination against students reported via the Office of the Dean of Students’ “Just Report It” website, ten targets were Asian-Pacific Americans. This was higher than the number of incidents for any other racial or ethnic group.
Despite this, there is not a single APA member on the Committee of Diversity and Equity, which is populated entirely by blacks. In another Cavalier Daily article, Assistant College Dean Beverly Adams said in 2005 that while “blacks may feel their voice will be heard if they speak, Asian students may not feel that way.” [Asian Student Union president Patrick] Lee, for instance, said he was shocked that many students at the University asked him if he was lying in a letter he wrote to the editor about acts of discrimination against Asians on Grounds, or if they “actually happened”. By turning anti-discrimination efforts into an exclusively African-American issue, the University is ignoring the realities that occur on Grounds and nurturing a climate where discrimination against other minorities are overlooked, underestimated or simply dismissed.
Nothing about this victimization competition is, or should be surprising. As Nathan Glazer wrote back in 1975 (quoted here), racial preferences predictably lead to (and, I would add, have led to) a real Balkanization, in which group after group struggles for the benefits of special treatment…. The demand for special treatment will lead to animus against other groups that already have it, by those who think they should have it and don’t….
The rising emphasis on group difference which government is called upon to correct might mean the destruction of any hope for the larger fraternity of all Americans. [AFFIRMATIVE DISCRIMINATION (Basic Books, 1975)]
As evidenced by Jian Li’s complaint against Princeton (see here and here), and much resulting evidence, I suspect most Asian students these days want equal treatment, not “special treatment.”

4/12/07 http://iberkshires.com: “Williams Admits 1120 To Class of ’11,”
Williamstown – Williams College offered admission to 1,120 students to the Class of 2011.  More than 6,437 students applied. The admission rate of 17.4 percent is the lowest in the history of the college.
The SAT averages for those admitted to the Class of 2011 are 726 (verbal) and 715 (math).
The applicant group for the Class of 2011 saw a significant increase in the number of minority and international students. Asian American applications increased by 35 percent, African American by 21 percent, and international by 6 percent.
The expected size of the Class of 2011 will be 538 first-year students.


4/6/07 Yale Daily News: “Minority admit data not released,”
by Kimberly Chow
Harvard recently touted its admitted class as the most diverse in the university’s history, but the ethnic makeup of Yale’s accepted students remains a mystery.
Yale releases just a single percentage — the proportion of its admitted students who self-identify as minorities — while other schools, such as Harvard University , specifically state the percentage of admits who describe themselves as Asian American, African American, Latino or Native American. Dean of Admissions Jeff Brenzel said Yale only publishes a racial breakdown for students who choose to enroll because releasing statistics at an earlier stage can be misleading. But Harvard maintains that while the data should not lead to meaningful conclusions, it is a point of interest for many observers of the admissions process.
This year, 41 percent of the American students admitted to the class of 2011 self-identified as minorities, which Brenzel said was identical to last year’s proportion.
He also said an increasing number of minorities have applied over the past few years.
“Minority applicants were up by five percent over those for the class of 2009, which had about the same number of total applications as the class of 2011,” he said.
The number of applications to Yale declined 9.7 percent from the class of 2010 to the class of 2011, while the number of minority applications declined 7 percent.
He said Yale has not historically published the numbers of applicants from each minority group because the best point at which to analyze minority admissions is when the freshman class is finalized in May.
“We do not publish breakdowns of minority admission numbers because we think they can be misleading relative to matriculation numbers,” Brenzel said. “That is, various groups yield at somewhat different rates, and we think the best measure of diversity in admissions practices is the final makeup of a class.”
But administrators at Harvard, which boasted the most racially-diverse admitted class in its history this year, said they think it is worthwhile to publish more statistics.
“People see it as a matter of interest,” Harvard Director of Admissions Marlyn McGrath-Lewis said. “It’s not precise for something, and it doesn’t characterize an incoming class very well — it’s just a piece of information. This reflects, more than anything else, institutional conventions on reporting statistics.”
This year, the pool of Harvard admitted students is 10.7 percent African American, 19.6 percent Asian American, 10.1 percent Latino and 1.5 percent Native American. McGrath-Lewis attributed the record-high percentages to long-running efforts to reach out to a diverse group of students.
“We’ve worked hard to recruit excellent students from many backgrounds for many years, and this is a sign of continued progress,” she said.
Princeton University , which also does not publish statistics on minority applicants, agrees that the final stage is the most relevant at which to examine the numbers, spokeswoman Cass Cliatt said. The university does believe that racial diversity is an important educational objective, she said, and thus Princeton releases statistical breakdowns for the matriculating class.
“When there’s a reason to break down enrollment numbers by racial or ethnic group we’re happy to do that,” Cliatt said in an e-mail. “We don’t break down application and acceptance data because we don’t want anyone to believe mistakenly that we make admission decisions in categories.”
Of Princeton ’s admitted students for the Class of 2011, 44 percent self-identified as minorities.
Some leaders of minority student groups on campus said they were not bothered by Yale’s decision not to publish the racial breakdown for the admitted class, although they said it would be interesting to see the data.
Tarana Shivdasani ’08, president of the South Asian Society, said that while releasing more statistics would make the admissions process more transparent, Yale’s commitment to minority students is clear enough.
“I think that over the past few years, the Yale College administration has been putting a lot of emphasis on diversity,” she said. “The sort of activities they support on campus and the opportunities for you to come up with your own projects are pretty much the same for everyone. … Yale undoubtedly attracts a diverse audience, so I don’t think it’s a cause for concern.”
But Wilma Bainbridge ’09, publicity chair for the Japanese American Students Union, said she thinks Yale should publish the racial breakdown data so that current and prospective students can compare the numbers to those of Harvard and other schools. Yale might be reluctant to release this information because it portray the school in a negative light, she said.
“If Yale seems to not be as racially diverse, then people might get pretty angry, so that may be why Yale doesn’t want to publish this information,” Bainbridge said.
Richard Shieh ’09, a co-moderator for the Taiwanese American Society, said he did not find Yale’s decision not to release statistics troubling and he does not think Yale is deliberately concealing the yield for minority students. Shieh participated in an admissions office campaign to reach out to Asian-American admitted students, he said.



4/11/07 Stanford Report
4/5/07 Faculty Senate meeting minutes

  1. Undergraduate Admissions

Dean Shaw, who had been before the Senate briefly once before, came to the front to present his report. “It’s always hard to follow an announcement of that many billion dollars. Therefore, I really appreciate the opportunity to come back and be with you today. We have just finished a very important period in our cycle. The class of 2011, the young people at the campus call it ‘ 0hhh-leaven’, for those of you that are cheerleaders here, has been admitted.

“At 3:00 p.m. last Friday, we sent over the World Wide Web our announcements instantaneously to all of the 24,000 students who had applied. We had 24,065 students apply to Stanford this year. We admitted about 750 students during the single-choice early action process. And then 1715 were notified last Friday at the same time we mailed worldwide that thick packet that all of you remember when you applied to college.

Admitted Class composition

“The admitted class is 50.3% women, and 49.7% men. The admit rate for those for women was 10.2%, and 10.4% for men. Over 50% of the admitted class are students of color. Seven percent of the incoming class are international students from 60 countries. All 50 states of the United States are represented in this incoming class.

“About 1400 students were offered a position on the Wait list. Not all of them will stay there. Some will choose to go to other institutions in the country. But some will remain on the Wait list. We don’t anticipate a lot of activity from that. Generally, we are pretty popular and kids do tell us that they’re coming to Stanford.

“Seventy-five percent of the kids that we admitted to the class had a 4.0 GPA or higher. And for students where rank is available, 90% of the students are in the top 10% of their class. Nearly 50% were in the top 2% of their graduating class. And approximately 70% of our ‘admits’ had SAT scores higher than 700 in all three sections of the SAT (verbal, math, and writing). These kids are wicked smart. And, hopefully, you’ll find that in your classrooms.

“Of those accepted, 630, 25.5%, declared a possible major in the natural sciences, including majors in earth science; 452, or 18.3%, in the humanities; 340, or 13.8%, in the social sciences; 473, 19.2%, in engineering; and 417, 16.9%, have designated pre-professional majors. And they’re joined by about 193 others, 6.2%, that are undeclared, and have not chosen a potential major. The top declared majors in this year’s admitted class are in the biological sciences. ‘Premed’ is an area of emphasis. Engineering, ‘unspecified’ is an often mentioned major. International relations, economics, and political science are in the top ten.

“Many of our admitted students showed special strengths in the process of review in the arts including music, drama and in dance. In a different area, mathematics students are strong. In all of these areas, the Stanford faculty weighed in and gave us input about those talents and capabilities in applicants. We’re very pleased about that cooperation and partnership.

Selection Process

“In the selection process, as I reported last spring, we’ve moved completely to a committee-based process and structure. Last year, it was more of a hybrid. This year, it’s fully functional. I’m pleased to say that the class of 2011 was selected completely in this new system of review. And the professional staff, of which 85% in admissions are new, engaged in this process. All competitive applicants were given multiple reads. Each officer presented from his or her territory and area candidates in one of three concurrent committees that reviewed and made judgments finally about their candidacies.

“During the regular review process, especially commencing in January, we also identified students who we knew from experience would be admitted to most institutions to which they applied. This happens early in the process. They applied December 15th, and as we began the reading, we identified them as being kids that we knew would be admitted everywhere. We sent them out early letters of encouragement. These are called ‘academic superstars’ in Hazel’s report, and we followed these up with calls as part of our outreach program conducted by faculty and senior administrators of Stanford.

“Many of the students who were admitted early during this single choice early action process were contacted by faculty as well. Implementing this program for the class of 2010 was especially effective in yielding these top students. And we hope that the same will be true for the class of 2011.


“Well, all of this also is influenced by outreach. We’ve talked last year a little bit about our efforts to reach out across the nation and across the world. And as indicated last year in my report, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, Financial Aid, and Visitor Services has embarked on a significant increase in recruitment and outreach activities. We kicked off this effort in the fall of 2006, with the following results. This is a big world, we certainly have found! We shared 72 receptions for prospective students in our secondary and tertiary markets with colleagues from the Ivy League, Georgetown, Duke, and Duke University. We traveled together with them to draw out students who might be interested in the most selective institutions in the country. We had 60 breakfasts with high school guidance counselors in our secondary and tertiary markets, 30 regional sessions in our primary markets, approximately 500 high school visits, 35-plus visits to programs and community-based organizations, nonprofit organizations, and 100-plus college fairs, covered by alumni and admissions officers. That was just in the fall, between September and December. Those numbers will actually increase as we move forward.

“Beginning in April and May of this year, we’ll be out on the road again conducting 60 joint travel programs as well as a number of special invitation events in major U.S. markets and Asia. Last year, for example, we traveled again for the second time in Latin America. We’ve been in Southeast Asia before. We were in Europe. And other international markets are certainly on our radar screen. We are looking for the best and the brightest worldwide… so stay tuned.

Enhancing acceptance rates

“All of this is important in attracting the interested young people as they think about Stanford as a possibility. But, in reality, we are also competing with the best institutions in the world. And they are also interested in these students. The focus this month at this time is to ensure that we provide admitted students with the necessary information about Stanford to assist them in making an informed college decision.

“So far in our planning we’ve confirmed 27 receptions for admitted students including one in London, hosted by our alumni and staffed by our admissions officers who will go there to provide the campus perspective to those receptions. We’re also joined by other faculty, the VPUE, and others.

“And on April 19th through the 21st, we have the admitted student weekend here, one of the big five events, a significant event, where we welcome about 1500 visiting students, 700 parents, to the campus. This event involves the entire university community, including many faculty members, who give special lectures for our admitted students and their families. We’re also sending all admitted students targeted communications, both by mail and over the Internet. Our ‘admitted student Web site is significantly improved this year. Hits in the site have never been higher. The kids are very savvy with the World Wide Web. That’s where they communicate. And they do it into the night, we know. So we’re feeling very good about our presentation on that vehicle. We’re especially proud of a student-produced CD for at least a second year in the Arts that will go out with a mailing from John Bravman and being sent with the welcome packet from his office. A new newsletter targeting the parents of admitted students has been implemented this year, because parents do make a difference.

“Most admitted students are also telephoned by current undergraduates. That process begins tonight and will go on through April. There will be alumni contact, and even more by admissions officers. So… they get a lot of tender loving care, a lot of attention, a lot of hugs. The table is absolutely turned, because before last Friday they wanted to get to know me. And now that they’re in the driver’s seat, they could care less about me.

“In addition to our top admitted students I mentioned earlier, both early action kids, about 60 students, and the regular action kids, 90, we thought were so spectacular that we did get the faculty involved. We had about 50 faculty members involved in calling those students to talk to them about their academic areas of expertise.

Financial Aid

“And through this process, our financial aid officers also have been in contact very actively with the admissions class, having mailed all of the financial aid support packets last Tuesday. Over the last two years Stanford has made significant changes and augmentations to our need-based financial aid program in acknowledgment that students from lower and middle income backgrounds really need to be the focus. Last month, we announced a $10 million increase to our now $76 million aid budget. Nearly $5 million of that increase will simply address the increased cost next year. But an additional $5 million will be used to decrease the amount that both parents and students would need to contribute towards their educational costs.

“The details of these programs are part of the public record. The impact would reduce parental contribution by over $2,000, on average, for families, and for those with significant home equity and for all students on aid, reduce loans by $1500. These policy changes aimed towards the middle-class families were joined last year by the low-income family initiatives that eliminated parental contributions for families with incomes below $45,000 or less and reduced significantly those contributions for families with incomes between $45,000 and $60,000.

Competition for Acceptance

“The competition… we’re very cognizant of them. While our yield is among the strongest in the nation and for the class of 2010 it increased slightly, let me remind you that we are competing among the best colleges and universities in the nation for the best and the brightest students. I’ll admit as well that for the past few cycles, several competitors have been exceedingly successful in increasing their yield against Stanford of students commonly admitted. Let me assure you we are very aware of this and believe the trends began sometime before I arrived. A significant amount of research has been conducted through our admitted student questionnaires over time, and the responses inform our challenges. Responses differ depending on what institution the students decide to attend other than Stanford. But I am reasonably comfortable in saying that perspectives emerge that inform our outreach objectives.

“Let me compare our results against students admitted to both Stanford and Harvard. Students rate Harvard higher on academic reputation. At that point in time before our newest announced financial aid policy, they rated Harvard higher on the cost of attendance. They rated Harvard higher on off-campus activities and on-campus housings and surroundings. Looking into college images, respondents marked Harvard often as a place of academic pressure as well as being career-oriented, challenging, intellectual, and prestigious.

“When reflecting upon their sources of information, students stated that they had more contact from graduates, contact with students, high school visits and meetings about Harvard. And when asked to rate perception of Stanford’s characteristics, students said that Stanford’s plusses were the campus attractiveness, the curriculum flexibility, the faculty access, the personal attention, the quality of social life, and the undergraduate emphasis. Some of the positives were about Stanford athletics, being comfortable, friendly, fun, and, interestingly, isolated. And in terms of sources of information, they said Stanford fared better in their videos, Web sites, and electronic communications and publications.

“So, again, we have an absolute mass array of data, of research that talks a lot about students’ perceptions and the reasons they make the judgments they do. You have to remember that these are 17-year-olds making these decisions, and they can change next week or yesterday in terms of what drives their decisions. But we pay close attention to what they have to say to us as we continue to survey them each year. Our objective is to acknowledge perceptions and allow them to inform our strategy, along with quantifiable data. This underlies our outreach strategy that must increase the delivery of effective communication and information about Stanford to prospective students and their families throughout the world. We are active with the effort and certainly have attacked one aspect with vehemence in the area of financial aid. And now it is and continues to be the qualitative issues and perceptions which need to be our targets. We believe we can turn the trend around and yield positively against our four major competitors: Harvard, Yale, MIT, and Princeton.

“Next year, Stanford is moving to the Common Application, a much more convenient way for students to apply for admission. We’re moving the application deadline from December 15th to January 1st. Further, we will maintain the Single-Choice Early Action program, because we believe it’s effective and has been so since its implementation, and in the long term, with careful management, does not in any way hinder the consideration of a socioeconomically diverse pool.

“Further, in accordance to our research findings, we are hopeful that we can harness the energy of our national alumni to be active in their communities in representing Stanford. This includes outreach and consideration of other activities that they can be engaged in, including the consideration of alumni/ae interviews which is under advisement now in your subcommittee of C-UAFA.

Role of Faculty in enhancing acceptance

“I think it’s harder to convince the students and families that coming this far away from other places is manageable. And we need to do that. It is more easily accomplished if we have established personal interactions with them as they go through the process.”

“And here, let me add a special request to you, the faculty. I believe firmly that faculty can play an extraordinarily strong role in convincing students to enroll at Stanford. Connecting you with the students’ expressed academic and intellectual interests is the key to success. The results in making connections with the academic community may well make the difference in whether a student enrolls here or not. This year, while we ultimately, and with significant challenge, get help from faculty to call admitted students, we found it much harder than last year. Further, when we asked faculty participation in the admit student weekend April 19th, 20th, and 21st this year, for lectures and panels, our faculty participants dropped from 42 to 22, an incredible 50% decline in your contribution to that effort from last year’s participation. So, I’m here today to say, ‘please come back!’ We need your help. You make all the difference in the world. And it’s really incumbent upon you to care deeply about who ends up in your classrooms. And this is the one event or several events — telephone calls and the admit student weekend — where you can make, truly, a difference in terms of kids making judgments about where they’re going to attend next year.

“We’ll continue to research how we might most effectively place Stanford squarely among the most viable and best choices for prospective students that we admit, and we’re very proud to do so. We think we will be effective. We need your help. We need the help of the entire community. And I hope my comments have stimulated some of your questions.”

Questions and Comments

Professor Karen Cook had “…just a small question. Why is the waiting list so long if you rarely admit anyone from it?”

Dean Shaw noted that this was a good question. “I think that, if necessary, we could replace the admitted class with students on the waiting list. In fact, we could actually reconfigure this class quantitatively four times. We struggle with the kids that are ultimately elected to the waiting list in the committee environment. And sometimes they miss it by a vote. We think that, in fact, most kids feel some level of honor by being elected to the waiting list and that they had an opportunity to be considered later on.”

“But,” persisted Professor Cook, “do we give them reasonable expectations?”

Dean Shaw noted that, “We tell the students that it is conceivable that we won’t take more than 15 or 20 kids from the waiting list. So … figure out what your odds are. Of the 1400, about 600 will come back and ask to stay on it. And then of that 600, the admit rate is abominable. We tell them that. But I think most kids that I meet who have been elected to the wait list say, ‘That was cool. You know, I almost made it.’ It is a reflection that they were really, really strong candidates.”

Professor Berman had several questions. “Thank you for the report. The news about the incoming class is really impressive. And the news about the financial aid transformation is important as well. It’s really about financial aid that I’d like to ask two interrelated questions.

“As you know, we’re in the midst of a national debate about the size of student indebtedness. Going to college means incurring debt for many people. Do you have a sense of the size of debt that students leave Stanford with?”

Dean Shaw was ready with an answer. “With these new policies, about $15,758 (for the class group that completed their undergraduate degrees June 2006). The national average for students completing a bachelor’s degree at private 4-year institutions was $19,500 in 2003-04 (the most current data available).”

With new policies in place four years from now we project indebtedness would be closer to $10,000.

Below is a snapshot of the chart from Trends ; it shows averages for the last 4 years from the various populations.

Professor Berman’s second question was, “The news today brings reports about relationships between universities and the lending industry. Do you have comments on where we stand on that?”

The quick Shaw answer was, “I do. We’re clean as a whistle, and proudly so. That’s a very serious situation, that is, the relationship between institutions and their lenders. There is apparently some level of conflict of interest that we’re seeing as the national press picks this up. We’ve looked very thoroughly at our own policies, and we’re very proud of the fact that we see no indication whatsoever of any favorable kinds of behavior. We have a bidding process. We are very clean on this issue, and Stanford should be very proud of that. That’s why we’re not on the front page of ‘the New York Times.’ ”

Theo Milonopoulos (ASSU Rep at Large) said, “Thank you for your report. I actually had a question about some of the perceptions that you were talking about that influenced students not to come to Stanford. U.S. News & World Report rankings have obviously created a lot of pressure on high school students. I remember seeing them myself when I was considering which college to attend. Is there a chance that Stanford would be looking not to provide the statistics to the organization that conducts those kinds of surveys so that it’s not a significant influence on decision-making?”

Dean Shaw agreed in principle but pointed out that there would have to be a combined and unified stand by a great number of influential schools to make a change in that periodical’s policy, which is the magazine’s best seller every year. President Hennessy added that if Stanford, alone, did not provide the data that the magazine requested, they were available from other public sources.

Shaw said, “…it’s a matter of organizations, such as the Consortium of Financing Higher Education, the AAU, or University Presidents, all saying at once, ‘Enough is enough.’ And I’m willing to push that conversation. But at this point in time, to stand down alone is not going to be of any benefit to us. And it’s better to give them good data than to have them take bad data and then generate the outcomes.”

Professor Cyert asked “… about the increase in number of applications this year. And my understanding as a parent of someone who is applying to schools this year was that, in general, applications were up. So I thought you might say a little bit about that. And do you have ways of predicting from year to year what will happen? Is there any reason to think about, for example, increasing the class size if the pool of students is really increasing?”

Dean Shaw first pointed out that “…the demographics tell us that there are more and more high school graduates. We had a 7% increase in our applicant pool this year. It might level off at some point. But when you get to these numbers, it becomes pretty anxiety provoking, doesn’t it? It’s just one out of every ten kids who get in. Some of our colleagues saw a significant decline in their applicants, Yale, for example, this year. Harvard was fairly stable, and up a little bit. The issues around whether you can increase the class include the ramifications of that, for example, faculty and residence halls.”

President Hennessy added that, “…as Rick clearly said, there are more qualified students than ever. And if you look at the national trends, that’s been up over a long period of time. The only real growth in the system has been at the public universities. Private institutions have not added positions at the rate that the qualified pool of applicants has grown. I think there is a legitimate argument that we should look at that problem. In addition to needing some faculty expansion we would need a significant expansion of the endowment for financial aid. We would probably need to raise several hundred million dollars in incremental financial aid to add 10% to the class. We would also need to raise significant money to build additional undergraduate dorms. It would take us five years’ worth of fund-raising to really be in a position to begin the process of doing it. But it’s something we need to think about before long.”

Professor Sheppard knew that there would be many more questions, but there was more to the meeting. She inserted her leadership by saying, “At this point, I’m actually going to stop the questions on this particular report, because we have another one that’s closely related to it. Thank you, Dean Shaw.”

His presentation received applause, and it was unusual for the Senate to applaud so many times in one session. Dean Shaw was grateful for the accolade.

  1. Committee on Admission and Financial Aid (C-UAFA) Annual Report for 2005/06 (SenD#5876)

Professor Sheppard apologized “…for those of you who had poised hands, but maybe you can put them into questions for our next report. I would like to welcome fellow senator Hazel Markus, who served as chair of C-UAFA for four years to present the ’05/’06 report on the Committee on Undergraduate Admission and Financial Aid.

Professor Markus began. “I can be very brief. I see this as an opportunity to advertise this committee. For those of you who have indicated on your ‘pink slips’ that you like to have conversation about cross-cutting issues and debate and fight and that sort of thing, C-UAFA is the committee to be on! So, if you get a call from Ted Harris, say ‘yes’ to this one. It’s just amazing the discussions you can have in C-UAFA.

“The year I’m reporting on is ’05/’06. The other members were Al Camarillo, Chris Chaffee, John Eaton, Judy Goldstein, Maureen Nichols, Brad Osgood, Ross Shachter, Robert Waymouth, Sujana Bhattacharyya, Faris Mohiuddin, Avneesh Saluja, John Bravman and Dean Shaw. During the year — it was the first year of Dean Shaw — the office became ‘paperless’. And there was a big panic about that. Former dean Robin Mamlet used to always talk about the application folders as her ‘flat friends’, and she would clutch them to her chest, as would other admissions officers, as they took them to home from the office. They felt this connection to the candidates through their folders. The transformation was amazing. After a couple of glitches, or more than a couple, the staff began to see how great it was to have such quick access to a range of information as they read applications online. And now everything is online and it’s paperless.

“We also moved during that year to the committee system, which Dean Shaw talked about. And what’s different about that is the committees that represent the various areas of the country make selections for their territory. Then they go in front of the concurrent committee and basically argue for their candidates. Then there’s a voting procedure. We didn’t have that before. It was individual readers reading multiple times. The new procedure seems to have been very successful. The staff people are happy with it. It’s the procedure that’s more common in the country. Those who were admitted will be more happy with the new system than those who were not.

“We also owe thanks to the very good efforts of Christina Wire, who always does so many things that I have observed since beginning my association with C-UAFA. She was a leader in a program that Dean Shaw generated in which we ask the faculty to give a call to some of these students. It does make a huge difference. We have talked to some of the applicants and can verify its effectiveness.”

Professor Markus urged faculty to agree to phone accepted students to encourage them to enroll at Stanford. “These are 18-year-olds. They don’t want to talk to you for very long. There’s the occasional one who will keep you on the phone, but most of them are terrified and they just want to get off the phone ASAP. But remember, they’re so happy and proud that you called and they will run and tell their friends. It makes a huge difference. The same applies to giving these lectures on Admit Days. You will see how happy the students are to see you. So, if you’re called to give a lecture for the incoming freshmen try to fit it into your schedule.

“Finally, we spent a lot of time last year discussing how to use all this these data from the admitted student questionnaire, and as well from the senior survey. We could do much more with this material. We’re a great university, full of people who love to crunch these kinds of data. We must commit ourselves to trying to figure out how we could make greater use of the information we have.

“C-UAFA is committed to starting some studies to follow our students on the issues or questions that we have before they’re admitted as freshmen and through their four years here, and after graduation. I think it will happen soon.”

Comments and Discussion

Professor Shachter, the current chair of C-UAFA said, “I look forward to coming next year and filling you in on what’s been happening with C-UAFA this year. But I do want to take this opportunity to commend the office of admissions and financial aid on what appears to be a very successful completion of this phase of the cycle. It’s been a very demanding year, with a record number of applications. And things seem to have gone very well.”

Professor Russell Fernald had a question “…to follow up on something that Hazel said, which is, given the increase in numbers and the remarkable work that you’ve done foraging for the best students, and the rise that you’ve predicted in the number of likely good applicants that will continue to appear… is anyone looking at whether we’re making the right choices? Can we focus more finely on students who do well at Stanford and who really are the best kinds of students to have here? A recent article in ‘Science’ measured how graduate students are selected. Some results confirmed intuitions, but others were counterintuitive. I wonder if there’s any process that would take the information that you have when students matriculate, and add to that how they performed at Stanford, how they used the resources at Stanford? Such data could, perhaps, provide phenotypes that we want to have at Stanford, because they’re the ones that really do the best.”

Dean Shaw jumped in to answer this, “The answer is ‘yes’. Hazel referred to it, and C-UAFA has, in fact, discussed it as well. Outcome studies are really important. And we haven’t really done that formally. We’ve admitted the class, and they have come to us. Very high percentages of them graduate. But we’ve really not done studies that look at the criteria we used to identify their capacities and then measure performances on a lot of different levels.”

Professor Markus added, “We talked endlessly about how we could set up such studies. Now we have some ideas, and I think we’ll move forward. The big question is, is it selection or is it treatment? As they graduate are students a product more of what Stanford does to them while they’re here or, rather, what talents and qualities that they bring as freshmen to Stanford?”

Vice Provost Bravman said, “There’s an external force that’s going to move us in this direction because the University is entering a period of four and a half years of work towards our next visit from accreditation authorities. The landscape has very much changed since 2000 when we did our last report and last accreditation study. Quantitative and qualitative outcomes assessment are no longer a luxury that we can choose to embrace or not. They’re required!”

Professor Bender spoke next. “I wonder what you know, Hazel, about any national studies that were underway when I chaired this committee. At that time twenty years ago a book had just come out that was a thorough study showing that the factors most predictive of undergraduate performance at all institutions were test scores, grades, teacher recommendations, and sustained and focused successful application to work or play in some extracurricular activity, with the emphasis on sustained, focused achievement. I wonder if there are any national studies underway about the factors that pertain to performance in undergraduate degree work?”

Professor Markus pointed out that both Harvard and Princeton are planning such new efforts and there’s at least one currently underway that targets first-generation college students.

Dean Shaw added, “I think the best predictors that continue to be powerful are grade point average, in concert with rigor of courses, and test scores. But there are a lot of other predictors that are coming to the fore that we need to study pretty closely, like practical intelligence, how students were raised, what kind of experience students have had, and, as Professor Bender has mentioned, whether students have had sustained involvement in something.”

Adam Beberg (ASSU Graduate Student Council representative) said, “I’m hearing that grade inflation amongst high schools is a problem, that the Internet is causing plagiarism problems, and that there’s an industry developing to train high school students to take SATs to interview very well, to write and help them write, to borrow a phrase, ‘wicked good applications’. How are you combating this to pick out the students that are really going to be successful and go on to be world leaders. These students that you admit have spent four years of high school preparing to write and present themselves as the perfect college applicant. The stakes are high to get into Stanford or its equivalent!”

Dean Shaw agreed that “…there is an industry, it’s a billion dollar industry, called ‘preparing for college’. And it’s one of the fastest-growing consultant groups in the nation. There’s no question that the test preparation industry is also a billion dollar industry. We feed into it by setting our requirements. We ask for some common factor that we can consider. It’s important to have a national commonality to be able to look at 24,000 candidates. However, you should know that when a kid is so well packaged, we see it, and then ask a lot of questions. We see what they’ve done. We see what they say. And then we might see what a faculty member says in his or her recommendation.

“In other words, there are a lot of different pieces of information that we use. It isn’t that we can’t be fooled. And it would be foolish for us to say that there are not students getting into more selective schools in the country who have done this packaging so well. In general, because there are so many different pieces of information coming from so many directions, I think we usually can find whether it’s consistent or not. If a physics teacher talks about that kid in the classroom, we pay very close attention. Now, the kid would have had to pay the physics professor off to give that kind of a recommendation, and that isn’t going to happen. We look very seriously at those recommendations as being a critical component in their consideration.

“So the applicant can say all these things about what he or she has done and write a spectacular essay, but if the teachers aren’t saying, ‘One of the best in our career,’ it ain’t going to fly! Their parents are training them, too. Let me tell you, the parents are as much culpable in this process. They pay for the consultants. But, in reality, everybody is involved in this process of getting in.”

Professor Sheppard gave John Etchemendy the last word. He said, “I want to correct one thing that Adam Beberg said, ‘The stakes are so high.’ I firmly believe that Stanford’s undergraduate education is the finest in the country. But I do not believe the stakes are so high because the U.S. has a wonderful and deep system of higher education. It’s not just the Stanfords and the Harvards and the Princetons that provide great educations. It’s very deep. So the stakes are not so high, Adam.”

Professor Sheppard enthusiastically thanked Professor Markus and Dean Shaw.


10/18/07 Chronicle of Higher Education: “Asian-American Students Face More Obstacles Than Stereotypes Suggest”
By Sara Lipka
The proportion of Asian-American college students has almost doubled each decade since the 1970s — to 8.8 percent of the total enrollment in 2005 — but those students do not enjoy the universal success that stereotypes suggest, according to a new report by the Higher Education Research Institute at the University of California at Los Angeles.
Three in 10 Asian-American students come from families with annual household incomes of less than $40,000, and one in five needs special tutoring or remedial work in English, says the report, “Beyond Myths: The Growth and Diversity of Asian-American College Freshmen, 1971-2005,” which can be ordered online.
Drawing on data from the research institute’s well-known freshman survey — with responses from more than 360,000 Asian and Asian-American first-time, full-time students at four-year institutions from 1971 to 2005 — it bills itself as the “largest compilation and analysis of data on Asian-American college students ever undertaken.”
Asian-American students tend not to take full advantage of financial-aid opportunities, instead relying on parents, relatives, and employment to pay for college, one of the report’s authors said in a written statement. The study found a significant increase in students who planned to work full time during college to cover costs.
The report also says that Asian-American students are more than twice as likely as their peers to apply to six or more colleges. But fewer Asian-Americans — 51.8 percent in 2005, compared with 69.8 percent nationally — were attending their first-choice institution.



10/17/07 The Daily Bruin (UCLA): “Report analyzes Asian American students,”
By Rotem Ben-Shachar
Asian American college students are facing more obstacles in higher education than in previous years, according to a UCLA report.
The report, “Beyond Myths: The Growth and Diversity of Asian American College Freshmen, 1971-2005,” states that Asian Americans do not enjoy universal academic success in higher education, contrary to popular belief. Fewer students are attending their first-choice schools, and more face problems in financing their education, according to the report.
The data analyzed were compiled from 361,271 Asian American incoming freshmen students who took the Cooperative Institutional Research Program Freshman Survey, administered by the Higher Education Research Institution at UCLA from 1971 to 2005.
“There is no comparable survey about incoming freshmen,” John Pryor, the program’s director, said.
“This report provides the largest and most comprehensive analysis of data on Asian American college students. It was a project that we (at the program) were fully behind.”
Oiyan Poon, one of five co-authors of the report and a graduate student at the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, said the report debunks popular beliefs about Asian Americans.
But she stressed that the data are skewed because they include information about incoming freshmen students only from four-year colleges, not community colleges.
“The largest segment of Asians are actually at community colleges and are not included in this study,” Poon said. “But we think these students reflect the trends in this report. There is a myth that Asian Americans do not benefit from affirmative action, but we have found this is not true.”
The number of Asian Americans attending their first-choice colleges has declined and is lower than the national average.
“If students were not benefiting from affirmative action, then there would not have been a large decrease in students attending their first-choice colleges after the University of California ended affirmative action with Proposition 209 in the mid-1990s,” Poon said. “But there has been a larger decrease than many other ethnic groups.”
In 2005, 51.8 percent of Asian American freshmen reported they were attending their first-choice institutions, compared to 68 percent in 1974, according to the report. The national average in 2005 was 69.8 percent.
But the aspirations of Asian Americans are higher than average, said Don Nakanishi, a co-author of the report and director of the UCLA Asian American Studies Center.
The percentage of Asian American freshmen who have applied to six or more colleges has increased from 10.7 percent in 1980 to 35.9 percent in 2005, more than twice that of the national population. In 2005, only 17.4 percent of freshmen nationally applied to six or more colleges, according to the report.
Furthermore, incoming Asian American freshmen aspire to more advanced graduate degrees and intensive careers than average students, Nakanishi said.
“Asian Americans aspire to be doctors, engineers or business executives – very, very high positions. These careers also reflect a search for financial security and a desire for a clear display of merit, a right versus wrong answer,” he said.
These aspirations reflect their backgrounds, Nakanishi said, since many come from low-income families.
The report identifies discrepancies in income of Asian American student households compared to the national average. In 2005, 30.9 percent of Asian American students came from families with a household income of less than $40,000, while the national percentage was 22.7 percent.
Asian American students depend more heavily on parents and relatives and employment instead of loans to finance their education, according to the report.
“Parents do not want their children to be burdened by loans,” Nakanishi said.
Therefore, financial aid has become a more important factor in determining where a student goes to college, and an increasing number of students work while going to school.
The report also states that Asian Americans’ self-confidence is increasing. Entering Asian American college students are more likely to rate themselves above average in areas of social self-confidence, public speaking and leadership abilities, according to the report.
But the report stresses not to take these gains for granted.
“It is important to recognize the discrepancies among Asian American ethnic subgroups in their educational attainment and to address the challenges that especially low-income or first-generation Asian American students face in higher education,” the report reads.

10/17/07 The Daily Bruin (UCLA): “By The Numbers: Asian American college students,”
A new UCLA report that illustrates trends of Asian American first-year college students from 1971 to 2005 shows that these students have high aspirations, but they face financial obstacles.
30.9%: Portion of Asian American college freshmen with a household income of less than $40,000 in 2005
22.7%: Portion of the national population of freshmen with a household income of less than $40,000 in 2005
10.7%: Portion of Asian American students who applied for admission to six or more colleges in 1980
35.9%: Portion of Asian American students who applied for admission to six or more colleges in 2005
68%: Portion of Asian American students attending their first-choice school in 1970
51.8%: Portion of Asian American students attending their first-choice school in 2005
SOURCE: “Beyond Myths: The Growth and Diversity of Asian American College Freshmen, 1971-2005”


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