The following chart pretty much gives the punchline. The first line shows admissions by race under the current system at Harvard (24% of admits are Asian). If they removed racial, legacy, and athlete preferences (last row), Asian representation in admits would move up to 37%. That’s more than 50% increase!!
Full study from Sept 2019 here: http://public.econ.duke.edu/~psarcidi/legacyathlete.pdf
Commentary by Tyler Cowan at Bloomberg: https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-09-23/harvard-s-legacies-are-nothing-to-be-proud-of
My personal take is that educated Asians have known about this a long time. We talk about it a lot since our own brothers/sisters, kids, nieces/nephews are all studying their asses off in middle school and high school since education is a priority and getting into a good university is regarded as the holy grail. But the discussions tend to be behind the scenes and private. We don’t speak out much in public and make enough noise about how unfair the treatment is.
This seems particularly true for my friends who went to these prestigious, private universities. They are very reluctant to be seen as against affirmative action (in the wider public sphere, less so in private among family or other Asians). Part of it is that they have been brainwashed to be politically correct and they have (some legit) concerns about pitting Asians against other minorities. They’ve also gotten into these top schools personally, despite the handicaps, so don’t feel aggrieved as it all worked out for them. (And their kids will be legacies.)
Make no mistake about it guys. This situation shows in a crystal clear way how established and institutionalized the bias against Asians runs in the US. Need to speak up about this for the status of Asians to continue rising in the US.