Category Archives: Update

Annual Report of Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA)

Linked below is our Annual Report, reviewing all legislative activities in the past year. Please feel free to share this letter with friends and family.

Thank you to all of our members and donors for your new and continued support this year. As always, we will continue to provide you with regular updates of SFFA’s activities throughout the coming year. Membership participation is critical to SFFA’s success. We will again be holding members-only conference calls. Your ideas, comments, and suggestions about the future of our organization and our movement are vitally important. I encourage all of you to join these calls and to converse with me and our Board of Directors.

You may find our full annual report here.

Students for Fair Admissions Files New Federal Lawsuit Against the Univ. of Texas-Austin

(Arlington, VA) Today, Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) announces that it has filed a new lawsuit in federal court challenging the race-based admissions policies of the University of Texas at Austin.

SFFA sued the Univ. of Texas in Texas state court in 2018 on behalf of some rejected students alleging the school was not permitted under the Texas Constitution to use racial or ethnic classifications or preferences in the admissions process. This lawsuit was dropped on July 10, 2020.

The new complaint can be found here.

In 2016, the Supreme Court in Fisher v. University of Texas found that UT-Austin’s race-based admissions policies—as implemented in 2008—were lawful under the Equal Protection Clause. But the Supreme Court warned that “affirmance of the University’s admissions policy today does not necessarily mean the University may rely on that same policy without refinement.” UT‑Austin had an “ongoing obligation to engage in constant deliberation and continued reflection regarding its admissions policies,” including whether “changing demographics have undermined the need for a race-conscious policy.”  

Things in Texas have changed dramatically since 2008 when Ms. Fisher filed her lawsuit. In 2008, the majority of those admitted to UT-Austin were white. By 2018, however, barely a third of those admitted to UT-Austin were white. Texas’s race-neutral Top Ten Percent Plan has driven this increased diversity.

Edward Blum, President of SFFA, said: “The Supreme Court did not give the University of Texas a blank check to use race-based preferences in perpetuity, and the university has failed its obligation to reexamine its policies. This blatant failure to follow the Court’s instructions is confirmation that Grutter will need to be overruled in order to restore the Equal Protection Clause’s command of racial neutrality.”  

SFFA’s lawsuit alleges that the university’s race-based admissions policies violate federal and state law. The lawsuit seeks an injunction forbidding the university from using race in the admissions process.

SFFA is a nonprofit membership group of more than 20,000 students, parents, and others who believe that racial classifications and preferences in college admissions are unfair, unnecessary, and unconstitutional. Current SFFA litigation includes lawsuits against Harvard and the Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Asian American Discrimination at Harvard –Data Analysis

Detecting racial discrimination using observational data is challenging because of the presence of unobservables that may be correlated with race. Using data made public in the SFFA v. Harvard case, we estimate discrimination in a setting where this concern is mitigated. Namely, we show that there is a substantial penalty against Asian Americans in admissions with limited scope for omitted variables to overturn the result. This is because (i) Asian Americans are substantially stronger than whites on the observables associated with admissions and (ii) the richness of the data yields a model that predicts admissions extremely well. Our preferred model shows that Asian Americans would be admitted at a rate 19% higher absent this penalty. Controlling for one of the primary channels through which Asian American applicants are discriminated against—the personal rating—cuts the Asian American penalty by less than half, still leaving a substantial penalty.

Read the whole study here.

The Attack on Asian-Americans

Asian-Americans have finally made it in America. How do we know? Not from their wealth or educational achievements, but from the way progressives now target those in the community who believe people shouldn’t be judged by skin color. For in so doing, these Asian-Americans have exposed a growing fault line in affirmative-action orthodoxy.

More from the Wall Street Journal here.

Important New Study of Harvard’s Admissions Policies

Legacy and Athlete Preferences at Harvard

The lawsuit Students For Fair Admissions v. Harvard University provided an unprecedented look at how an elite school makes admissions decisions. Using publicly released reports, we examine the preferences Harvard gives for recruited athletes, legacies, those on the dean’s interest list, and children of faculty and staff (ALDCs). Among white admits, over 43% are ALDC. Among admits who are African American, Asian American, and Hispanic, the share is less than 16% each. Our model of admissions shows that roughly three-quarters of white ALDC admits would have been rejected if they had been treated as white non-ALDCs. Removing preferences for athletes and legacies would significantly alter the racial distribution of admitted students, with the share of white admits falling and all other groups rising or remaining unchanged.

Read more here