Harvard Statement on Department of Justice brief

August 30, 2018

We are deeply disappointed that the Department of Justice has taken the side of Edward Blum and Students for Fair Admissions, recycling the same misleading and hollow arguments that prove nothing more than the emptiness of the case against Harvard. This decision is not surprising given the highly irregular investigation the DOJ has engaged in thus far, and its recent action to repeal Obama-era guidelines on the consideration of race in admissions.

Harvard does not discriminate against applicants from any group, and will continue to vigorously defend the legal right of every college and university to consider race as one factor among many in college admissions, which the Supreme Court has consistently upheld for more than 40 years. Colleges and universities must have the freedom and flexibility to create the diverse communities that are vital to the learning experience of every student, and Harvard is proud to stand with the many organizations and individuals who are filing briefs in support of this position today.

On the personal rating:

The DOJ’s characterization of the personal rating, which unsurprisingly mirrors that of Students for Fair Admissions, is wrong. The personal rating reflects a wide range of applicant information, such as personal essays, which Harvard uses to understand the applicant’s full life story, for example, where the student grew up, what opportunities or challenges they faced in their families and communities, and what impact they might have both at Harvard and after they graduate, as citizens and leaders out in the world.

See also: Statement