Legacy Students at Elite Colleges!

Dear Commons Community,

The NY Times had an article on November 4, 2011, on the chances of legacy students (children of alumni) being admitted into elite, Ivy League colleges.   I blogged about this last year.  The issue keeps surfacing as one of social justice in that legacy students get preferential treatment in the admissions process.  The recent NY Times article looked at this from the point of view of the legacy applicant who is under a good deal of pressure to follow in the footsteps of mom or dad and who faces the prospect of being rejected.

The NY Times has started an opinion blog on the issue. Here are differing perspectives.

“the legacy policy passes on a privilege, and predominantly whites enjoy the benefits. Indeed, it hurts minority diversity on campuses”   John Brittain, a professor of law at the University of the District of Columbia School of Law.

“it is foolish to ignore the benefit that appropriate prudently applied legacy admissions can serve in crafting a freshman class.”  Joel Tractenberg,  president emeritus and university professor of Public Service at George Washington University.

One of Yale’s most famous legacy admissions was George W. Bush who was quoted in 2004, as saying:  “colleges should do away with preferences for the children of alumni”.    His daughter, Barbara, graduated Yale in 2004.



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