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This Week in Admissions News | Week 4

FEB 11, 2021

1. The US Justice Department withdraws lawsuit against Yale University claiming discrimination against white and Asian-American applicants

In the fall of 2018, the US Justice and Education Departments jointly opened an investigation based on a complaint filed in 2016 alleging that Yale, Brown and Dartmouth were holding Asian-American and white applicants to a higher standard than other applicants for the sake of racial balancing. Last week, the Justice Department dropped the corresponding lawsuit against Yale and withdrew its notice of noncompliance; however, the underlying investigation remains open.

Crimson’s Take: At Crimson, we believe every qualified student should have a fair shot at a top-notch education regardless of their racial, cultural or socioeconomic differences. We’ve helped hundreds of students from more than 20 countries get accepted to the most prestigious universities in the world, and we know the rich diversity of their student bodies contributes immeasurable value to their campuses. We’re glad to hear that the US government has found Yale to be in compliance with civil rights legislation and fair admissions practices.

2. Stats released from last year show that Oxford University offered a record number of British students from ethnic minorities in 2020

According to figures recently released by UCAS, a record 23.6% of undergraduates admitted to Oxford from the UK in the last admissions round were from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds — up from 22% in 2019. Early counts for 2021 reportedly suggest Oxford offers to UK minority students are in line with last year. In addition, the ratio between acceptances of students from the most- and least-socially advantaged groups is also trending downward.

Crimson’s Take: We’re always glad to hear that universities are making strides toward building more inclusive and diverse communities. Many competitive universities have developed a reputation for favoring students from privileged backgrounds in terms of race, ethnicity, class and other factors out of their control. In recent years, there has been substantial effort in the world of college admissions to eliminate this shortcoming and we’re thrilled to see that pursuit coming to fruition at an institution as selective as Oxford.

3. Ivy League Universities move into new phases of activity and athletics in the new semester amid ongoing COVID limitations

Despite continuing uncertainties surrounding COVID circumstances in the US, some Ivy League universities are pressing onward toward returning to some semblance of normalcy on their campuses. Brown announced its transition into Level 2 Activity Status, permitting students to socialize and eat unmasked within pods consisting of five people or less and shortening the duration of quarantine for personnel exposed to the virus from 14 to 10 days. In the athletic realm, the Ivy League announced sports teams are now permitted to practice according to Phase I of its plan for the resumption of athletic activities — an update that Yale and Princeton are already taking advantage of.

Crimson’s Take: We know what a challenge it has been for students, athletes, and their respective universities to navigate the difficult and often frustrating circumstances posed by the pandemic. It’s promising that the Ivies have seen enough improvement in the situation to proceed into new phases of their COVID management plans and we hope these developments set the stage for continued progress. We would be thrilled to see US college campuses able to safely welcome students back to their campuses in 2021 and are optimistic about the improvements we’re seeing already.

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