DOJ investigating Harvard’s admission policies: report

DOJ investigating Harvard’s admission policies: report
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The Department of Justice is probing how race factors into Harvard University's admissions process and says the Ivy League school is not cooperating, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The Journal reported that the Justice Department is investigating similar allegations to a 2014 civil lawsuit filed by Students for Fair Admissions, which said the university admissions practices were in violation of U.S. civil rights law and discriminated against Asian-Americans. 

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The department wrote in a Nov. 17 letter that the school was being probed under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 due to allegations that the school was using race as a deciding factor in its admissions decisions, according to the Journal.

The department said the school had failed to meet a Nov. 3 deadline to show documents related to the university's admission procedures and policies. 

The Justice Department said it "may file a lawsuit" to force Harvard to comply if it does not hand over documents by Dec. 1.

Harvard has reportedly provided the documents being sought by the Justice Department to the plaintiffs in the suit.

"The Department of Justice takes seriously any potential violation of an individual’s civil and constitutional rights," Justice spokesman Devin O’Malley told the Journal.

Harvard has said in the past that its admissions policies on race have lined up with legal precedent set over the past 40 years by the Supreme Court, which has allowed for race to be a factor in the admissions process. 

However, the issue of affirmative action on college campuses has been a longstanding debate in courts across the U.S.

Schools that are in violation of Title VI can be cut off from federal funds.