Limit on Minorities Denied

Official Calls Study 'Misleading'

Harvard's director of admissions this week denied that the College limits the number of minorities it accepts, a charge made in a recent two-year study by a Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate.

The study shows that Hispanics and Asians have been applying and admitted in rapidly growing numbers to Harvard. But it also uncovers the "first concrete evidence of quotas that may be aimed at these groups in an effort to stem decreasing white enrollments," the study said.

Study statistics show a cap of 15 percent on all minority admissions for the years of 1981 through 1985.

Arthur Hu, 26, a software engineer at Mosaic Software in Cambridge, said that he intitiated the study because of rumors that Harvard was limiting the number of minorities admitted. In addition, Hu said he began the study because of controversies surrounding Brown and Princeton minority admissions caps.

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But Laura G. Fisher, director of the Harvard admissions office, said the study's conclusions were unfounded.

"This kind of a study doesn't take into consideration quality of the application pool and an individualized application policy," Fisher said. "Statistical data without looking at these considerations can be misleading."

Hu said he collected admissions data from the Harvard, Stanford and MIT admissions office for his study.

Hu said his study suggests such limits "cause the fastest growing and best prepared minorities to crowd out the weakest and least-prepared minorities, namely the Blacks."

The study concludes that "in the absence of discrimination, Asians and Hispanics will continue to have an increasingly disproportionate presence at elite schools because of immigration trends and the distribution of academic achievement within these groups."

"White and Black enrollments should continue to decline," unless quotas are indeed in place, Hu said.

Hu shows similar patterns at both MIT and Stanford as well.

Hu's study has not been published, but he said he was working on a book dealing with the study's results.

Denley Chew '87, president of the Harvard Asian-American Association, refused to comment.