The Justice Department is suing Yale University after prosecutors alleged the school illegally discriminated against white and Asian applicants.
The lawsuit, filed Thursday in federal court in Connecticut, alleges that the university "discriminates in admitting students based on race and national origin, and that race is the determining factor in hundreds of admissions decisions each year" .
Yale called the lawsuit "unfounded," adding that the approval protocols were fair and lawful. Yale added that it will not change its licensing practices as a result of the lawsuit.
"As our country grapples with pressing issues of race and social justice, I have never been more certain that Yale's approach to admission will help us fulfill our mission to make the world a better place today and for future generations," wrote President Peter Salovey in a statement to CNBC.
The lawsuit comes less than two months after the agency publicly accused Yale of discrimination. Research by the school found that Asian and white students “are only one-tenth to one-fourth the likelihood of being accepted as African-American applicants with comparable academic qualifications. ”
The investigation also found that Yale used race as a factor in several steps in the admissions process and racially balanced its classes. However, a profile of the school shows that in 2017 the racial distribution of students was 44.3% White, 13.9% Asian, 9.4% Hispanic or Latino, 5.67% Black or African American, 4.76% Two or more races and less than 1% Pacific was islanders.
During Trump's presidency, the Department of Justice went to great lengths to prove and stop the use of positive action guidelines in the college application process. Yale's first investigation came from a 2016 complaint filed against Yale, Brown and Dartmouth.
After the Justice Department announced that Yale was discriminating against prospective students, it urged the university to end the use of national origin or race as an admission criterion, but Yale declined and redoubled its belief that its admission procedures were not against the law.