Jon Wang, an accomplished 18-year-old Asian-American student, is shedding light on the fairness of affirmative action policies after being rejected by multiple prestigious universities. Despite his impressive academic achievements, which include a near-perfect SAT score of 1590 and a high school GPA of 4.65, Wang received rejection letters from MIT, CalTech, Princeton, Harvard, Carnegie-Mellon, and U.C. Berkeley.
Seeking justice, Wang has become part of the plaintiff group that is suing Harvard University and the University of North Carolina over their admissions practices, which are allegedly based on race. These cases are currently under review by the Supreme Court, and the outcomes will significantly impact the future of college admissions.
The lawsuit against Harvard questions whether the university violated the Civil Rights Act by discriminating against Asian-American applicants, while the case against UNC examines the school’s refusal to implement a race-neutral alternative. If these cases result in changes to admissions practices, they could potentially overturn the precedent set in the 2003 Grutter v. Bollinger case, which deemed the use of race as a factor in admissions to be constitutional if it aimed to achieve educational benefits through a diverse student body.
Wang’s experience echoes the concerns raised by The Princeton Review in its book “Cracking College Admissions.” The book suggests that the high success rate of Asian-American students may lead to worries about overrepresentation and, consequently, put them at a disadvantage when applying to elite institutions.
The Supreme Court’s decision in the ongoing cases of Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina and Students for Fair Admissions v. President and Fellows of Harvard College is expected to be delivered before July 4. This ruling will have far-reaching consequences for affirmative action policies and the college admissions process as a whole.