Author: Christian

Why Harvard’s Affirmative Action Policy Is Still a Boon to Asian Students

Why Harvard's Affirmative Action Policy Is Still a Boon to Asian Students

Op-Ed: I’m an Asian American Harvard grad. Affirmative action helped me succeed. But it also gave Asian Americans a bad name. Here’s why.

With the 2015 graduation season upon us, it should be no surprise that Harvard’s admissions policy of using affirmative action has received a lot of attention. For years, the policy was seen by many as a tool of diversity and a boon to Asian students. But in recent months, it has come under fire for its potential anti-Asian bias, its lack of transparency and its alleged under-representation of women and students of color.

Yet despite the criticism, Harvard officials have insisted that affirmative action in admissions is still justified.

In my experience with the policy in the short time I have been at Harvard, I have found that every Asian student who has been admitted has found acceptance into one of the three elite universities of the world to which they were admitted. I have met many students, including young Americans, who are of Chinese, Korean, Japanese and other Asian descent, who have been accepted into the top-tier of academic institutions.

That’s because the policy has helped me succeed.

As an Asian American Harvard graduate with a science degree, I was among the first to receive the Hasty Pudding Scholarship. In the past four years alone, my first choice schools in the U.S. for my education included Harvard, Stanford and Cal. At each school, I received the most competitive offers.

My undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia in the early 1990s, with the highest GPA in the school’s history, qualified me for the Hasty Pudding Scholarship, also known as the Harvard Early-Entry Fellowship Program, where the University of Georgia would cover the full cost of my undergraduate education for the next four years. I was selected by Harvard University with the highest overall number of applications, and I was one of only 20 applicants who were accepted into its undergraduate program.

During Harvard’s Hasty Pudding Program, my admission application included my high school transcript and the school I had attended. I wrote

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