Featured in the news coverage of the discrimination complaint filed by a coalition of Asian-American organizations against Harvard University is an Eph: Michael Wang ’17, who was denied admission to Stanford and six Ivy League universities despite his credentials:

Academically, he was ranked second overall in his class and graduated with a 4.67 weighted grade point average. He scored a 2230 on his SAT, placing him in the 99th percentile of students who took the exam.

He also stressed that he was not just academically driven, but also a well-rounded applicant who maximized his extracurricular activities. He competed in national speech and debate competitions and math competitions. He also plays the piano and performed in the choir that sang at President Barack Obama’s 2008 inauguration.

Wang had previously filed complaints with the Department of Education against Yale, Stanford, and Princeton, and spoke out against California’s Senate Constitutional Amendment 5 (SCA-5) in an op-ed in the San Jose Mercury-News:

Applying to college is an anxiety-filled rite-of-passage for students and parents alike. For Asian-American families, however, the anxiety is mixed with dread. They know that their race will be used against them in admissions, and there is nothing they can do but over prepare. I experienced this when I applied last year…

My disappointment [in rejections] turned into anger when I learned that Asian-Americans are being held to higher admissions standards by the selective schools. We have been the fastest growing minority group in America, and yet our presence on some Ivy League campuses has declined in the last 20 years…

Many [Asian-Americans] now appreciate the fairness of race-blindness. We have been driven to this understanding because the race-plus factor, which is supposed to help increase black, Latino and Native American enrollment, is being used as a minus-factor against us.

Wang deserves credit for standing up for his views and speaking out publicly, despite the press of conformism and the strictures of political correctness. Still, I wish he hadn’t said this:

[W]hile Williams consistently ranks near the top if not No. 1 in the US News and World Report’s rankings of liberal-arts colleges, Wang still feels as if he was unfairly rejected from the Ivies.

“I think I deserve better than what I got,” he said.

As EphBlog regularly extols, “Choose Williams Over Harvard.” As an Eph, Wang is being taught by professors who know his name and give feedback on his work, can continue his life as a well-rounded person rather than focusing on one thing, and focus on managing his own affairs as a student, rather than surrendering all control to the Harvard bureaucracy. I hope in the next two years, Wang will come to recognize that no Eph should ever give the impression that an undergraduate education from an Ivy League school would somehow be “better” than four years in the Purple Valley.

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