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Should colleges end legacy admissions? Show more Show less
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At many colleges a tradition of legacy admissions, accepting the admission of students with parents or other relatives who previously attended, is still an active practice. But is this fair? And should it be continued?

No, colleges should not end legacy admissions Show more Show less

Legacy admissions contribute to the strength of the college community. It helps keep alumni engaged and active in their financial donations. The legacy preference often serves as reasonable tiebreakers and never benefits a student who doesn't deserve admittance.
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Legacy admissions tend to be more than qualified

Children of alumni tend to be better candidates for the schools at which they have legacy status. This is a side effect of having well-educated parents and growing up with advantageous circumstances. Legacy students tend to be the most qualified students regardless of their legacy status.

The Argument

Colleges should not put an end to legacy admissions because they are used as a mere tiebreaker among otherwise equally qualified applicants.[1] Legacy admissions do not favor any student who is not already completely qualified to attend the institution they are applying for. Most legacy admissions are admitted because they are great candidates who are deemed fit to meet the expectations of their desired institution. Students of alumni may even be better candidates than the average. They tend to have well put-together applications and have a deeper knowledge and appreciation of the institutions they are applying for because of their familial ties. [2] Legacy admissions is not a process that helps to admit students who are not qualified to be admitted or to give an unfair advantage that is not deserved. The natural benefits of having a parent who is an alumnus tend to help legacy students and tend to make them more qualified candidates. Thus, legacy admissions just end up being a mere tiebreaker to help decide between candidates who are all equally great and well qualified.

Counter arguments

Colleges should end legacy admissions. If legacy preference serves as a tiebreaker among candidates who are both equally and well qualified for admission, then using legacy status as the tiebreaker is the wrong thing to do. Michale Dannenberg of Education Reform Now says, “No two applicants are the same, and the ‘tie’ rarely exists...And regardless, if there were a tie, you’d want to break it in favor of the person who’s overcome more and had fewer advantages along the way.”[3] Legacy admissions break the tie in favor of the student who has already had every benefit afford to them.[4] Instead, it should instead be going to the student who has had fewer advantages to be considered an equally qualified candidate.

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2018/02/when-affirmative-action-benefits-the-wealthy/553313/
  2. https://www.npr.org/2018/11/04/663629750/legacy-admissions-offer-an-advantage-and-not-just-at-schools-like-harvard
  3. https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2019/04/legacy-admissions-preferences-ivy/586465/
  4. https://president.jhu.edu/meet-president-daniels/speeches-articles-and-media/association-of-american-law-schools-annual-meeting/
This page was last edited on Monday, 23 Nov 2020 at 03:20 UTC

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