The U.S. Department of justice on Thursday accused Yale University of illegally discriminating against Asian Americans and white applicants in its undergraduate admissions process, in violation of U.S. civil rights law, Reuters reported Thursday.
In a statement, the Department said the findings were based on a two-year investigation into complaints by Asian American groups about Yale's actions.
If Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, does not take "remedial measures," the Justice Department said it would be prepared to file a lawsuit against Yale University.
A Yale spokesman said the school "firmly denies" the charges, but will fully cooperate with the investigation.
Yale also said the U.S. Department of justice reached the conclusion of its investigation before allowing Yale to provide the documents it requested.
"If the Justice Department is fully aware of the information and makes a fair balance of it, it will come to the conclusion that Yale's approach is fully consistent with the Supreme Court's decades of precedent," the spokesperson said
The U.S. Department of Justice said the elite school "considered race in many steps of the admissions process, resulting in a multiplier effect on applicants' chances of being accepted.".
The Department of justice has previously filed a legal document in support of lawsuits filed by Asian American groups accusing Harvard of discriminating against Asian Americans.
A federal judge in Boston ruled in favor of Harvard last year that the school's affirmative action program promoted the legitimate right to produce a diverse student population.
An appeal against the ruling is under way and the case may eventually go to the Supreme Court.
According to the report, the affirmative action program in American higher education was originally aimed at solving the problem of racial discrimination. The Supreme Court ruled that universities could use affirmative action to help ethnic minority applicants enter universities.
American conservatives say affirmative action can hurt white and Asian Americans when it helps black and Latino applicants.