What It’s Like To Apply To Ivy Leagues Under The Cloud Of The Harvard Admissions Lawsuit (HBO)

Three of the highest performing seniors at Glen Ridge High School in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, are involved in so many extracurriculars, they all lost count when asked to recite them. They’re ranked among the top 10 in a grade that’s placed over a third of its students in the National Honor Society.

Despite the students’ impressive qualifications, they began to worry about their applications to elite colleges. An ongoing lawsuit challenging the consideration of race in admissions could harm the use of affirmative action in education. And the seniors — Ryan Henry, Ethan Che, and Cadmus Cai — are all non-white.

The litigation, brought by a group called Students for Fair Admissions, argues that Harvard University has negatively stereotyped Asian applicants and held them to higher test standards and tougher personality assessments. The constitutionality and value of affirmative action has repeatedly held up in the courts, but if the lawsuit reaches the now conservative-majority Supreme Court, the decision could alter the way all colleges consider diversity in admissions.

VICE News documented the experiences of the three students as they grappled with the lawsuit’s potential effects and the stress of early action application deadlines.

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