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May 23, 2016

YuKong Zhao, president of the Asian American Coalition for Education, speaks at the National Press Club in Washington. (Kirk Carapezza/WGBH)

In Washington D.C. on Monday, a coalition of nearly 130 Asian-American organizations filed a complaint with the federal government claiming anti-Asian bias in admissions at several Ivy League institutions.

The Asian American Coalition for Education is asking the government to investigate admissions practices at Yale, Brown and Dartmouth.

“Asian Americans are known for working hard and playing by the rules and we deserve an equal chance to get ahead,” said Coalition president Yukong Zhao, speaking at the National Press Club in Washington.

Zhao says these elite colleges use racial quotas for admissions, and Asian Americans are required to score – on average – higher than white, black and Hispanic students on the SAT.

“This is clearly compelling example of how Ivy League admissions officers apply just for Asians high standard against Asian-American applicants," Zhao said.

Read the full complaint here.

Brown officials say they don't believe the complaint has merit.

"Our admissions practices are inclusive of diverse populations and do not discriminate against any racial or ethnic group," the university wrote in a statement. "Each year, we confront the challenge of admitting an entering class from among tens of thousands of excellent applicants. We consider each application individually based on many factors."

Last year, more than 60 Asian-American organizations filed a similar complaint claiming Harvard holds higher expectations for its Asian applicants. The Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights dismissed that claim, citing a similar pending lawsuit, and Harvard said its admissions policy complies with the law.

The group’s effort comes as the Supreme Court is expected to weigh in on affirmative action. The Court could release its decision in Fisher v. University of Texas as early as this week.

Earlier: Is Harvard Showing Bias Against Asian-Americans?

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