Son of anti-affirmative action group head files complaint toward Ivy League schools

After being rejected for admission to Ivy League universities despite a weighted 5.3 GPA, a Chinese American student has filed a complaint via a letter to the U.S. Department of Education requesting investigation, according to AsAm News.

Hubert Zhao – a National Merit Scholar and president of numerous academic teams at his high school – has collaborated with the Asian American Coalition for Education (AACE) to file against Cornell and Columbia Universities.

Zhao’s father, Yukong Zhao, is the president of AACE, the same group that gathered 130 Asian American organizations earlier this year to rally against affirmative action. The group has a history of filing complaints against Ivies with the Education Department, including accusations of discrimination directed toward Yale University, Harvard University, Dartmouth College and Brown University.

Zhao alleged he was denied admission due to his father’s activism. “What happened to Hubert Zhao is another example of the widespread and systematic illegal discrimination against Asian American students by many colleges,” the AACE wrote in the letter. “The members of AACE are outraged by such blatant discrimination. Tens of thousands of talented Asian American children are treated as second-class citizens who are less ‘diverse’ solely because of their race.”

Zhao and the group also pointed out that, of his class of 700 students, only he and another person, an unnamed Indian American student, were recognized as finalists for the National Merit Scholarship. Neither of them were accepted to any top-20 school in America, while other students of other racial groups in their class did.

The organization, as well as anti-affirmative action advocates like Yunlei Yang (who argued in a Los Angeles Times opinion piece, “Asian Americans would lose out under affirmative action,” that field data of surveys may be flawed due to how the questions are phrased), have said affirmative action “allows admissions officers to apply negative stereotypes based on racial and cultural biases and misunderstanding to justify discrimination against individuals of an undesired ethnic group.”

In a 4-3 decision in June, titled Fisher v. University of Texas, The United States Supreme Court ruled that race-based affirmative action, which is a race-conscious admissions policy, is constitutional. The case involved Fisher, a white student, who filed a lawsuit against the University of Texas alleging discrimination on the basis of her race.

According to a survey conducted by APIAVote, AAPI Data and Asian Americans Advancing Justice, about 70 percent of the overall AAPI community supports affirmative action. During Fisher vs. University of Texas, a coalition of 160 Asian Pacific American organizations, in opposition to AACE’s views, filed amicus briefs and signed an open letter in favor of including race as a consideration in determining applicants’ qualifications.

APA orgs praise Supreme Court affirmative action ruling