10 things you need to know today: July 4, 2023

Civil rights groups file federal complaint against Harvard, Putin claims Russia is united 'as never before,' and more

A Harvard student holds a sign during a protest against the Supreme Court
(Image credit: Craig F. Walker / The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

1. Advocacy groups challenge Harvard's legacy admissions policy

Three civil rights groups filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education on Monday, saying that Harvard University's practice of giving priority to legacy admissions — the relatives of alumni — discriminates against students of color. The complaint was filed by Lawyers for Civil Rights on behalf of the Chica Project, the African Community Economic Development of New England, and the Greater Boston Latino Network. Close to 70% of Harvard's donor-related and legacy applicants are white, and being a legacy student makes an applicant about six times more likely to gain admission. This is a "substantial boost," Lawyers for Civil Rights said in a statement, which "has nothing to do with an applicant's merit." Instead, it is "an unfair and unearned benefit that is conferred solely based on the family that the applicant is born into." The filing comes just days after the Supreme Court issued a ruling limiting the ability to consider race in college admissions.

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Catherine Garcia, The Week US

Catherine Garcia is night editor for TheWeek.com. Her writing and reporting has appeared in Entertainment Weekly and EW.com, The New York Times, The Book of Jezebel, and other publications. A Southern California native, Catherine is a graduate of the University of Redlands and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.