Harvard University's Incoming Class Has a Majority of Nonwhite Students

For the first time in 380 years, Harvard University is expecting an incoming class with a majority of nonwhite students, TIME reports. According to The Boston Globe, 50.8 percent of this year’s Harvard freshmen are considered minorities. 22.2 percent of these accepted minority students are Asian American, while the rest of the pool consists of African Americans, Latino and Native American or Pacific Islander.

The record appears after a report from earlier this month claimed that the U.S. Justice Department would investigate universities for discriminatory affirmative action admissions policies against white applicants. The account, showing President Donald Trump’s conservative influence on the nation’s civil rights work, was actually a job posting asking for someone to research one complaint about admission committees discriminating against Asian-American students. The admissions procedures of Harvard, along with other Ivy League schools, were mentioned in the complaint.

“To become leaders in our diverse society, students must have the ability to work with people from different backgrounds, life experiences and perspectives,” Harvard spokeswoman Rachael Dane said in a statement. “Harvard remains committed to enrolling diverse classes of students. Harvard’s admissions process considers each applicant as a whole person, and we review many factors, consistent with the legal standards established by the U.S. Supreme Court.”

While these statistics are definitely a step in the right direction in today’s society, GOOD Magazine pointed out that the students’ economic backgrounds were not revealed. Quoting writer Cord Jefferson, the article read, “While America’s most elite colleges do in fact make it a point to promote ethnic diversity on their campuses, a lot of them do so by admitting hugely disproportionate numbers of wealthy immigrants and their children rather than black students with deep roots—and troubled histories—in the United States.”

Although Harvard has an Undergraduate Minority Recruitment Program, the points made about both sides of this enrollment news are worth discussing.   

Kristen is a 2017 graduate of Siena College with a degree in English and minors in Writing & Communications and Journalism. Although she constantly pines for life in London after studying there for a semester, she calls New York home for now. In addition to previously working as a writer and Senior Editor for Her Campus Siena, she has worked for Her Campus as a News and Pop Culture blogger and a national editorial intern. Currently a Nights & Weekend Editor, Kristen has previously written for New York Minute, London's Health and Fitness, and Electronic Products. She makes far too many references to "Friends" and the British royal family. Her blog, where she talks about books, TV, and film, can be found at Bookworms and Fangirls. Follow her on Twitter @kperroney.

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