Legacy students compose about 14% of the incoming class of Yale, Princeton, and Dartmouth. The truth is that legacy students have an advantage when it comes to admissions. Who are legacy students, and how does being one help with the admissions process?
Legacy students are people who have a close family member who has attended the same college. This category of people often gets preference during the process of admission. In most institutions, legacy counts only for people who have had at least one of their parents enrolled in the school.
Several schools use the legacy status during admissions because they feel legacy admissions increase loyalty to the institution. Also, they feel it encourages the alumni to donate. Furthermore, legacy students will be more likely to accept an admissions offer.
What Is The Level Of Influence Legacy Has On Admissions?
In some schools, the legacy status influences the admissions process. A study conducted in 2011 shows that legacy students had a 45% higher chance of being admitted than other applicants.
For instance, at a school like Stanford, legacy students have three times as high a chance of being admitted. Aside from the elite schools, some public schools also offer some form of legacy preference. For instance, during the admissions process, out-of-state children of past graduates may get in-state status, which boosts their chances of being admitted.
What Colleges Consider Legacy?
Not all colleges give legacy students an advantage. Although most selective schools often factor in the legacy status before admission, the less selective ones do not. Legacy status matters in most Ivy League schools, although not all of them. For instance, MIT does not factor in legacy when it comes to admissions.
Also, private colleges will likely consider legacy status more than public colleges. Note that legacy status does not guarantee admission for the applicants.
What Is the Story Behind Legacy Admissions?
There is a controversial history behind legacy college admissions. Over a hundred years ago, some elite schools came up with the legacy status to prevent Jewish students from being admitted.
As of 1922, Jewish students made up over 20% of the students in Harvard. The school president was concerned that white Protestants would stop applying to Harvard if there were too many Jews there, so the legacy criterion was created to attract such students.
Recently, there has been a drop in the number of schools that use legacy admissions. Back in 2004, 63% of the top 250 schools in the country admitted legacy students. By 2020, this number had declined to 56%.
One thing is sure about legacy students – their days are coming to an end. From the look of things, a lot of students will be happy it ended.