The question is for any country any universities or high school or any education or certification. So if you now that university A have say, 20% Asian students, and if they use only test scores, say 80% of their students will be Asians. So if you know any such info that's a legitimate answer for this question.

A sample is that the best high school in US had 73% Asian students and is lowering it to 54%.


So basically I want answers with clear number. If we just use standardized tests, this much people from this group attend. If we put "effort for diversity" then we got this much.

For example, I've heard that engineering department in Berkelely has 80% Asian students when they are color blind and don't discriminate against Asians. On the other hand, other universities discriminate against Asians and have lower admission for Asian students.

The thing is that statement is a bit controversial. Harvard, for example, could argue that they don't "discriminate" Asians but just take into account holistic factors like race or diversity and stuffs. Conservatives would say that holistic factor is just subjective and an excuse for diversity.

So there is no way to know whether any universities discriminate against Asians or not because the definition of "discriminate" is vague.

If counting only on standardized test scores, what percentage of admitted students will be Asians?

The same goes for public universities in Indonesia. There are rumors, almost open secrets, that chineses are discriminated to go to public university in Indonesia. If there is no discrimination against Chinese, what percentage of students in Indonesian's public university will be chinese?

What percentage of Singapore university students are chinese (with or without discrimination)?

Note: What I mean by objective criteria is a criteria that can be measured objectively. For example, a school may use eye color, or armpit hair length to decides admission. It's pretty obvious for everyone that it doesn't have any effect whatsoever on whether students with certain eye color or certain armpit hair length will be more successful at college. However, we can also agree that tests for eye color and armpit hair length can be done objectively and comparably.

So if some schools use say, armpit hair length to admit students and somehow that changes some groups end up being more or less likely to be admitted that would count.

Grade in high schools, for example, however, is not objectively comparable. An A in some high schools may be equivalent of an F in other schools.

This question does not question whether SAT is a good predictor of academic performance. Some say yes. Some say no. I don't care about it. All I want to know is if schools use, say, SAT only, how many asians are admitted, and how many are not, which schools, do you have data, etc.

If they have other standardized tests, like armpit hairlength, or being able to do 3 points shot in basket ball, that'll count too.

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    There is debate as to how objective standardised tests are. One of the best predictors for SAT score is family income, for example (how many prep courses your parents can afford to send you to).
    – user141592
    Jul 17, 2021 at 5:03
  • 2
    As asked, your question is too broad, and I agree with the comment by user141592 that "objective" test scores are hardly that.
    – o.m.
    Jul 17, 2021 at 5:07
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    @user141592: or...not. Our eldest daughter got 2400 on the SAT (when the SAT had the extra "written" component or whatever it was called). We never sent her to a single prep course. Sometimes being smart and well-read is sufficient. Jul 17, 2021 at 14:26
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    @BobJarvis-ReinstateMonica ...That's a nice anecdote. "Predictor" refers to the statistical sense, where when you look at a population of say everyone in the US who takes the test a given year, high scores tend to share a specific trait. Individual exceptions like your daughter do not disprove a general trend.
    – user141592
    Jul 17, 2021 at 14:31
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    @user141592 I'm quite sure that the parent's educational history and upbringing is also one of the best predictor for family income - something that is obviously passed on to their children. You make it look like you can buy your way up, without studying and learning things.
    – pipe
    Jul 17, 2021 at 15:08

2 Answers 2


Your question cannot be answered because there are no objective measurements of academic achievement or potential.

In Germany, where I live, there have been much-debated studies where teachers were asked to grade papers and it turned out that the name of the fictitious student had a measurable impact on the grade (here the brief summary in the English wikipedia). One might think that computer-administered tests might avoid this bias, but computers need training data. See this Washington Post article on problematic google results. Both questions and accepted answers might be biased towards or against a cultural or ethnic group. (Who discovered America? "Columbus" is a very eurocentric answer.)

And since we're on Politics SE, keep in mind that the purpose of schools and universities is not only the transmission of academic skills. These institution are also used for the transmission of the values and traditions of the society in question. Whose values, exactly? Well, that's where bias comes in. And even academic skills cannot be defined without cultural value judgements. Do the tests focus on memorization or reasoning ability? Are students expected to apply values during their reasoning or just "hard" logic?

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    I am not asking for objective measurement of academic potential. In other word, if a school do standardized test in swahili language, or eye color for admission, we can all agree that it's very irrelevant on academic potential. However, we can also agree that eye color can be tested objectively.
    – user25908
    Jul 17, 2021 at 9:05
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    If the American/German universities somehow discriminate based on hidden cultural bias, how come that asians outcompete the native population? I don't think this answers the question, just tries to deflect the underlying question.
    – pipe
    Jul 17, 2021 at 15:12
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    @pipe, which Asian minority in Germany are you talking about? The Kazhaks? The Chinese? The Vietnamese? And yes, I'm trying to "deflect" the question because it poses exam scores as some sort of objective measure, which they objectively aren't.
    – o.m.
    Jul 17, 2021 at 15:39
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    @pipe It could be that asians study what kind of answers are expected, allowing them to bypass the cultural bias. Similar to how one would study how to answer specific questions in a job interview.
    – Ray
    Jul 18, 2021 at 0:39
  • "Who discovered America? "Columbus" is a very eurocentric answer." Clearly the correct answer is "Lief Ericson". ;)
    – nick012000
    Jul 18, 2021 at 9:46

Kansas State University is a university that guarantees places based on a SAT score of 1060.

Kansas State has 1.7% Asian-American students, slightly underrepresented compared to the State as a whole which is about 2.95% Asian. Note that "Asian" includes many different ethnicities.

Alternative approach:

The SAT test has a standard deviation of 211 and the means for different ethic groups are known

This means (assume a normal distribution) that 78% of Asian students would reach the required standard for K-State, compared with 50% of non-asian students. If 2.95% of applicants were Asian, then from 100,000 applicants, 2300 would be successful Asian applicants and 48525 would be successful non-Asian applicants. This would be 4.5% of the school.

The difference (1.7% v. 4.5%) is principally due to Asian students not applying to K-State, for various reasons.

  • 1
    Why would an ambitious student of any ethnicity apply to a college which admits anybody who meets a low-threshold criterion? The obvious conclusion is that Asian students have above-average ambition, whatever their ability might be.
    – alephzero
    Jul 18, 2021 at 11:40
  • Do they track applications from asians, or just population of students vs population of state?
    – JonTheMon
    Jul 20, 2021 at 16:08
  • @alephzero Yes absolutely.
    – James K
    Jul 20, 2021 at 21:09
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    @jon You can repeat the analysis with the demographics of the USA. K-state tracks applications of Asian-Americans (international students are grouped separately) SAT tracks the test results by ethnicity, international students may not be using SAT based entries.
    – James K
    Jul 20, 2021 at 21:11
  • This is a great answer. This is the kind of answer I want. However, Kansas State University seems a very low rank university. Any sample of high rank universities?
    – user25908
    Jul 23, 2021 at 7:35

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