Petition Closed
Petitioning U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

Stop reverse age discrimination in admissions for graduate studies

168
Supporters

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtyGNMbJa8M

Reverse age discrimination at the university level is an issue that must be taken seriously, and has affected many advanced students such as myself. Currently, there are no clear laws that prohibit universities from discriminating against younger students based on their age, because the scope of "age discrimination" is understood as protection directed towards older individuals.

Unfortunately, this issue is one that does not have a strong backing, as the number of young students entering universities is quite low.

The educational system is run by the antiquated mentality that believes in maintaining the status quo, at the expense of holding back bright students in order to do so. Educational institutions resist the idea of accelerating students with the unfounded excuse that it may cause possible "social trauma" and "psychological harm" that such an acceleration may cause.

In 2009, when I was 14 years old, I became the youngest student to ever be admitted to the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). However, this was only made possible because of hard work done by our current State Senator, who worked with me to change legislation in order to lower the age requirement for admittance to UIUC from 17 years of age, which had previously been used to prevent my otherwise qualified admittance.

In 2011, At 17 years old, I became the youngest student to have ever graduated from UIUC, and have received my Associates Degree (GPA 4.0) and my Bachelor's degree (GPA 3.7) in Psychology. However, I also became the youngest student to have been discriminated by the University based on my age, when the Psychology Department graduate committee denied me admittance to the program, stating that I was not "old" or "experienced" enough to continue my education at the University. Less qualified students, with lower GPA and GRE scores than myself, were admitted to the program because, as one committee member informed me, “age matters when applying to graduate school”, and suggested that I should go "backpacking through Europe for a year" before re-applying to the program. The director of admissions also informed me that she agrees with the statement that "age does matter" while applying to a PhD program at UIUC.

I need your help to try and enlarge the scope of the “reverse age discrimination” laws that would ban practices of this kind by institutions of higher learning, such as UIUC. This is needed in order to protect young students, like me, from having their civil rights violated in this manner.
Please help by signing a petition that would stop universities from discriminatory practices against students applying into their graduate programs due to their young age.

Sincerely,

Kelsey Caetano-Anolles

Letter to
U.S. Commission on Civil Rights
I just signed the following petition addressed to: U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

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Stop reverse age discrimination in admissions for graduate studies

Reverse age discrimination in universities is a serious problem
affecting many students like me. There is no clear law that
prohibits universities from discriminating against these younger
students because the scope of age discrimination is understood
as the protection of only the older students. There may be also a
reason of why there is no record indicating that younger students
are complaining about discrimination in favor of older students:
there are not yet many young students entering universities. The
education system is run by the antiquated mentality that believes
in holding back bright students. The status quo resists the idea of
accelerating students with the excuse of the possible social trauma
and psychological harm that the acceleration may cause.

In 2009, when I was 15 years old, I was the youngest student ever to
be admitted in the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). However, this was only possible because our State Senator worked with me to change a legislation to lower the age requirement for admission to 15 years of age. Before this legislation was passed no student was admitted before the age of 17.

Now, I am also the youngest to graduate at 17. However, at the same time I am also the first one to be intentionally discriminated against because of the Psychology Department graduate committee members' perception that I am not old or experienced enough.

I need help to try to enlarge the scope of “the reverse age discrimination” laws that would ban practices of this kind by Institutions such as UIUC. This is needed to protect young students like me from having their civil rights violated.

I will be receiving my Bachelor degree in Psychology next week with a GPA of 3.7. I applied to the Graduate Program in Psychology at UIUC on 2011 and I was denied admission, while other students with lower GPA and GRE than myself were admitted into the program. One of the committee members stated that, “Age does matter when applying to graduate school”, and suggested that I should go backpacking through Europe for a year before re-applying to their program in two years. The director of admissions told me that she also agrees with the statement that age does matter.

Please help by signing a petition that would refrain universities from discriminatory practices against students applying into their graduate programs due to their young age.
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Sincerely,