Asian Americans Advancing Justice - LA

Building upon the legacy of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center

Competition is Fierce

High SAT scores and good grades don’t guarantee admission into elite schools.

At most, SAT scores and grades serve as a minimum threshold for admission. Beyond that threshold, there are so many overqualified applicants that admissions decisions may as well be a lottery.
Recently released documents in the Harvard case provide a unique window into a process that is typically opaque.  According to a 2014-15 Alumni Interviewer Handbook:
  • “Few successful candidates rank below the top 10 to 15 percent of their high school classes” and “the overall pattern of the students’ academic performance and quality of their courses are far more important than their rank.”
  • “Students admitted to the College represent a range of scores from roughly 600 to 800 on each section of the SAT and on the SAT Subject Tests. Candidates with scores lower than 600 are less likely to be offered admission unless they provide compelling evidence of other unusual talents or accomplishments. At the same time, the Committee does not admit hundreds of applicants who have 700+ scores … because other candidates appeared stronger in other important ways.”
  • “Once the Committee determines that an individual is capable of thriving academically at Harvard, a judgment made considering test scores, grades, and recommendations, we are most interested in the person behind the scores.”

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For Legal Help

Advancing Justice - LA’s hotlines prioritize assistance to low-income persons in the following areas of law: family, immigration, consumer, public benefits, employment, housing, and civil rights.

English: 888.349.9695
需要協助嗎: 800.520.2356
हिंदी 855.971.2552


도움이 필요하십니까?: 800.867.3640
Tagalog: 855.300.2552
ต้องการความช่วยเหลือ: 800.914.9583
Cần sự giúp đỡ: 800.267.7395


Our mission is to advocate for civil rights, provide legal services and education, and build coalitions to positively influence and impact Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders and to create a more equitable and harmonious society.