Blum said that his team of attorneys includes many who possess statistical knowledge, but nobody with direct experience in college admissions.
Some admissions experts question Blum’s claim of an Asian American “quota” at Harvard.
“There are definitely not quotas,” said Parke P. Muth, a former associate dean of admissions and director of international admissions at the University of Virginia. “A quota is an exact number, and no school is ever going to have a quota because they know it is illegal. Now, they may have a goal, and a goal is not a quota. That is where you get into semantics.”
Muth added that while he considers it tangibly harder based on statistics for Asian American students to be admitted to top universities, he doubts that Blum’s choice to specifically focus on Harvard will be effective.
“Why would you want to target Harvard to begin with when you have nearly 40,000 people, virtually all of whom are tremendous students, and to say we can prove that this group has been discriminated against,” Muth said.
In 2011, the New York Times reported that demographic statistics for Harvard’s enrollment over nearly two decades may indicate an Asian “quota” in Harvard’s admissions policies. According to the Times, 20.6 percent of Harvard’s undergraduate enrollment in 1993 identified themselves as Asian Americans, but has remained around 16.5 percent over most of the last decade. However, the number of college-age Asian Americans nearly doubled in that same time period.
—Staff writer Theodore R. Delwiche can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on twitter @trdelwic.