Asian-American Harvard Admits Earned Highest Average SAT Score of Any Racial Group From 1995 to 2013

Rose Lincoln/Harvard file photo

CAMBRIDGE, MA–Over an 18-year period stretching from 1995 to 2013, Asian-American students admitted to Harvard scored higher on the SAT than did their peer admits from other racial groups, according to data released in the admissions trial last week, reported the Harvard Crimson.

“A Crimson analysis of the previously confidential dataset — which spans admissions cycles starting with the Class of 2000 and ends with the cycle for the Class of 2017 — revealed that Asian-Americans admitted to Harvard earned an average SAT score of 767 across all sections. Every section of the SAT has a maximum score of 800,” the Crimson said. “By comparison, white admits earned an average score of 745 across all sections, Hispanic-American admits earned an average of 718, Native-American and Native-Hawaiian admits an average of 712, and African-American admits an average of 704.”

The same general pattern held true for Harvard applicants belonging to these racial groups in this time period. Asian-American applicants on average scored highest on the SAT and African-American applicants scored lowest, the Crimson said.

Harvard’s lead lawyer William F. Lee ’72 presented data on the demographic breakdown of applicants and admits’ SAT scores as part of his questioning of Dean of Admissions William R. Fitzsimmons ’67. Lee’s quizzing of Fitzsimmons on Oct. 18 marked the fourth day of the high-profile trial and the last day of the long-serving dean’s marathon testimony, according to the Crimson.

The case, which could decide the fate of affirmative action in the United States, kicked off four years ago when anti-affirmative action advocacy group Students for Fair Admissions sued Harvard over allegations it discriminates against Asian-American applicants. The suit went to trial on Oct. 15 in the John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse in Boston.


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