Biden’s Department of Education (DOE) officially opened an investigation Monday into Harvard to determine whether or not the university’s use of legacy admissions violate the Civil Rights Act, according to a letter from the DOE.
The DOE’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) opened the investigation to determine whether or not Harvard discriminates on the basis of race by having donor and legacy admissions preferences after a complaint was filed on behalf of several activist organizations including The Chica Project, the African Community Economic Development of New England and the Greater Boston Latino Network, according to a letter from the DOE to Lawyers for Civil Rights.
“The students who receive this preferential treatment – based solely on familial ties – are overwhelmingly white. Nearly 70% of donor-related applicants are white, and nearly 70% of legacy applicants are also white,” the complaint reads.
The complaint accuses Harvard of violating federal civil rights law because it receives federal funding, and is therefore subject to the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits federally funded institutions from discriminating based on race.
“Harvard’s practice of giving a leg-up to the children of wealthy donors and alumni – who have done nothing to deserve it – must end. This preferential treatment overwhelmingly goes to white applicants and harms efforts to diversify. Particularly in light of last week’s decision from the Supreme Court, it is imperative that the federal government act now to eliminate this unfair barrier that systematically disadvantages students of color,” Michael Kippins, the attorney who filed the complaint, said in a press release.
We can’t do this without your help; visit our GiveSendGo page and donate any dollar amount; every penny helps.