Study Reveals that South Asian American Applicants to Elite U.S. Schools are 50% Less Likely to Enroll Compared to Their White Counterparts

Credits: The New York Times

A recent study published in the science journal Nature has highlighted potential disparities in the admission odds for South Asian American students applying to prestigious universities compared to their white peers.

The research focused on Ivy League and other prestigious institutions, comparing Asian American and white applicants with similar academic credentials.

The study revealed that Asian Americans had 28% lower odds of admission compared to their white counterparts, while South Asian students faced an even more significant disparity with 49% lower odds.

Havard University Students (Credits: The Harvard Crimson)

To assess the admission outcomes, the investigation considered factors such as grades, test scores, and extracurricular activities. The study also examined the impact of legacy admissions, where applicants with familial ties to the university may receive preferential treatment.

According to Josh Grossman, a Ph.D. candidate in computational science at Stanford University and one of the report’s authors, legacy admissions could significantly contribute to the observed disparities.

The study found that South Asian students, among the four groups analyzed, were the least likely to have a parent who attended an Ivy League school.

This suggests that the prevalence of legacy admissions, which often benefits those with familial connections to the institution, may disadvantage South Asian applicants.

The research also highlighted that East and South East Asian applicants both had a 17% lower chance of admission compared to white applicants with similar academic achievements.

The findings shed light on potential inequities in the college admissions process, raising questions about the impact of various factors, including legacy admissions, on the admission outcomes of different racial and ethnic groups.

The study’s authors emphasize the need for ongoing examination of these disparities to promote transparency and fairness in the college admissions process.

The study comes amid broader discussions about diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education, with institutions facing scrutiny for their admission practices.

The research contributes valuable insights into the experiences of South Asian American students in the college admissions landscape, urging further exploration of potential systemic biases that may influence admission outcomes.

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