The Trump administration on Thursday accused Yale University of illegally discriminating against white and Asian American applicants and threatened to file a civil rights lawsuit against the school if it refused to change its admissions practices.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) sent a letter to the university's attorneys stating that "Yale’s oversized use of race favors some applicants because of their race and correspondingly disfavors other applicants because of their race, with most Asian American and White applicants unduly bearing the brunt of the preferences Yale grants to its racially-preferred applicants."
"Yale grants racial and national origin preferences in favor of African American, Hispanic, and certain other applicants and disfavors most Asian American and White applicants," wrote Eric Dreiband, assistant attorney general for the DOJ's Civil Rights Division.
Yale denied the allegations and said it would refuse to alter its admissions process, escalating the likelihood of a high-profile court battle.
"Given our commitment to complying with federal law, we are dismayed that the DOJ has made its determination before allowing Yale to provide all the information the Department has requested thus far," Karen Peart, a spokeswoman for the university, said in an emailed statement.
"Had the Department fully received and fairly weighed this information, it would have concluded that Yale’s practices absolutely comply with decades of Supreme Court precedent," she added.
The Trump administration opened an investigation into the school two years ago after receiving a complaint from an Asian American civil rights activist.