BOSTON, Nov. 17 (UPI) -- A group representing high school students rejected from Harvard University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have filed a lawsuit accusing the schools of discriminating against Asian-American applicants.
Students for Fair Admissions, Inc., filed lawsuits against both schools, alleging the Asian applicants competed only against themselves, not the whole applicant pool, for a limited number of designated spots.
"They are competing only against each other, and all other racial and ethnic groups are insulated from competing against higher-acheiveing Asian Americans," the Harvard suit, filed in the U.S. District Court in Boston, says.
The suits allege the universities' application process violates Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in several ways.
"Harvard's remarkably stable admissions and enrollment figures over time are the deliberate result of systemwide intentional racial discrimination designed to achieve a predetermined racial balance of its student body," the lawsuit says.
The group also alleges Harvard uses race as a defining characteristic of applicants.
Edward Blum, director of the Project for Fair Representation, said the Harvard and UNC lawsuits were the first of several challenges coming.
The plaintiffs in both cases are asking for court orders barring the universities from using race as a factor in admissions.