The US Department of Education has dismissed a complaint filed by a coalition that accused Harvard of discriminating against Asian-American students in its undergraduate admissions process, one of the group's leaders said on Tuesday.
The complaint had alleged that Harvard effectively put a cap on admissions of Asian-American students by holding them to a higher standard and rejecting a disproportionately high number of their applications.
The Department of Education did not immediately respond to requests for comment, but Bloomberg reported that the complaint was dismissed because there is a federal lawsuit that covers the same ground.
Yukong Zhao, one of the leaders of the coalition that presented the complaint, said the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights had decided not to investigate the matter.
"We're very disappointed but we are not changing course. We are going to expand our complaint, potentially targeting more Ivy League schools," Zhao said in a telephone interview.
The complaint was filed in May and was dismissed in early June, he said. His group did not get notification of the dismissal until recently, he said.
Zhao said the motivation behind the complaint was that the Department of Education had not investigated complaints by individual Asian-American students that had been filed against Harvard and other elite universities.
Harvard, one of the most selective universities in the United States, this year accepted 1,990 of the record 37,307 students who applied. The admissions process is highly secretive and the university says it balances many factors, including race.