Columbia

The Butler Library at Columbia University. An Asian-American student has filed a complaint over being 'unfairly' rejected by Columbia and Cornell, prompting a coalition to seek a probe over allegedly discriminating against him and an Indian American. (wikipedia.com photo)

WASHINGTON — An Asian-American student has filed a complaint over being 'unfairly' rejected by Columbia University and Cornell University, prompting a coalition to seek a probe over allegedly discriminating against him and an Indian American.

Hubert Zhao, an Orlando, Florida-based Asian-American student, was unfairly rejected by the two universities, the Asian American Coalition for Education said in a letter to Catherine Lhamon, Assistant Secretary of the Office for Civil Rights, Department of Education.

"It is worth pointing out, in his high school of 700 graduating students, only Hubert and another Indian American student qualified as National Merit Semifinalists," the letter said.

"However, neither of them was accepted by any of America's top 20 ranked universities. Other students from different racial groups in his high school, with objectively and often significantly lower academic and extracurricular credentials, were admitted by some of those top 20 universities, the letter claimed.

The Indian American student has not been identified in the letter nor has he or she filed a complaint against the alleged discrimination.

"What happened to Hubert Zhao is another example of the widespread and systematic illegal discrimination against Asian American students by many colleges," said Jack Ouyang, vice-president of AACE.

"The very fact that Hubert is the son of YuKong Zhao, the president of AACE, and that Hubert was rejected by all three Ivy League schools he applied to, raises a serious concern if Hubert was evaluated unfavorably by those Ivy League schools because of his father's courageous act of leading Asian Americans' fight against Ivy League schools' discrimination on college admissions," he said.

"The members of AACE are outraged by such blatant discrimination. Yukong Zhao's child is not alone — tens of thousands of talented Asian American children are treated as second class citizens who are less 'diverse' solely because of their race," the letter said.

"OCR must launch an impartial investigation into the admissions processes of Colombia University and Cornell University to ensure that Hubert Zhao's equal rights under the law are protected. Asian American communities demand an answer," it said.

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