26 May Legacy and College Admissions
Legacy admissions – giving priority admissions consideration to children of alumni – may be one of the most controversial aspects of college admissions. Some universities, like MIT, have never considered legacy as a factor in college admissions and others, like Johns Hopkins, have more recently dropped it as part of its admissions review. Other universities, like Vanderbilt, have recently reinstated legacy as a consideration in admissions. While most colleges that do consider legacy note that it is only one factor in their admission review, critics argue that legacy admissions privileges the privileged and runs counter to a college’s mission to increase access and diversity. Clearly a topic that generates strong opinions, students should be aware of the legacy policy at the colleges to which they are applying, and, if the college their parents attended is an otherwise good fit, should understand how their legacy status may affect their application. For a brief primer on legacy and college admissions, this article from U.S. News offers a good overview.