A review of Princeton University’s undergraduate admission process by the U.S. Department of Education has determined that the school did not discriminate against Asian applicants on the basis of race or national origin.
The review was based on information provided by the school following two complaints made in 2006 and 2011. The complainants alleged that they were denied admission because of their race and national origin.
In a 20-page letter to President Christopher L. Eisgruber regarding the results of the review, The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights said Princeton University “pursued a broad definition of diversity, for which race and national origin were among many other factors that were considered in the University’s effort to assemble broadly diverse classes of students.”
The Office for Civil Rights found that Princeton University “weighed multiple factors in assessing applicants” and that it “treated each applicant as an individual, without making an applicant’s race or national origin a defining characteristic.”
“Accordingly, OCR found no evidence of the different treatment of Asian applicants,” reads the report.
The Office for Civil Rights also said Princeton University’s use of race and national origin in admissions is consistent with the strict scrutiny standards established by the U.S. Supreme Court. The University sometimes considers race and national origin as factors in admissions, but OCR found no evidence that the school does so in a discriminatory manner. The school, when it does consider race or national origin in admissions, “does so in a narrowly tailored manner in pursuit of that interest.”
Princeton University President Christopher Eisgruber issued a statement about the findings, saying: “I am very pleased that the OCR has concluded this investigation not only with a finding that Princeton did not discriminate on the basis of race or national origin, but that the University’s holistic review of applicants in pursuit of its compelling interest in diversity meets the standards set by the Supreme Court.”