DOJ drops lawsuit challenging Yale College’s admissions practices

February 3, 2021

Dear Members of the Yale Community,

I write to share with you the welcome news that the U.S. Department of Justice has dropped its lawsuit challenging Yale’s undergraduate admissions practices. I wrote to you about this matter last August, when the department wrongly alleged that Yale College’s admissions process discriminates against Asian American and white applicants. Even though Yale had cooperated with the department and provided data and facts to correct these misconceptions, the department filed suit against Yale in October.

I am pleased that the department has decided to drop its lawsuit and has withdrawn its notices of violation of Title VI and of noncompliance. Instead, the department will resume the compliance review that it set aside last fall in favor of litigation. Yale welcomes the chance to share information with the department, confident that our admissions process complies fully with decades of Supreme Court decisions.

Today’s news comes at the start of a new semester, which is a time of reflection and recommitment to Yale’s mission of educating future leaders who will serve all sectors of society. Our ability to realize this shared mission relies on an admissions process that looks at the whole applicant: where applicants come from, what they have accomplished, and what they hope to achieve at Yale and after graduation. In this way, we create an incoming class that is richly diverse—with invaluable benefits to our students, faculty, and community.

As I think of our students, each of whom had a unique journey to Yale, it is clear to me that they are a diverse group of talented individuals who have so much to contribute to our university, to our country, and to the world. Their stories—and their hopes and dreams—underscore the importance of our unwavering commitment to maintaining an academic environment built on a wide range of strengths and backgrounds.

With best wishes for health and safety in the new semester,

Peter Salovey
Chris Argyris Professor of Psychology