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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?

Yes, colleges should end legacy admissions Show more Show less

Legacy admissions preferences should be ended immediately. They perpetuate harm towards minority students, students of lower-income, and lesser means. They give more privilege to those already privileged and reduce college admissions into unethical financial transactions.
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Most legacy kids are already privileged

The legacy preference is a preference that is given to children who typically grew up in the most favorable circumstances. These students have been afforded every luxury and benefit that their non-legacy counterparts have most likely not.

The Argument

Colleges should end legacy admissions because most legacy kids are already privileged; they do not need the extra advantage. Admission offices who consider legacy status as a criterion for admittance give preferential treatment to those who already have had every necessity met and every luxury available to them. Legacy admission is offered to children who typically have had every possible benefit growing up. Stable homes, opportunities to take part in extracurriculars, top-notch educators, safe neighborhoods, and a steady stream of support- all these are benefits that most legacy students enjoy and the same cannot be said for non-legacy kids.[1] On average, legacies come from highly educated families and have better access to financial capital, networks, and other resources than most non-legacy students.[2] Parents who went to the institutions their children are applying to know how the admissions process works and can utilize their alumni network to help increase the chances of their child’s admission. If despite all of these resources, children of alumni still cannot gain admissions on their own merit; it becomes stupendously unfair and unethical to allow them admission based on who their parents were. Legacy admissions should be put to an end; it is a policy that privileges the privileged.

Counter arguments

Colleges should not end legacy admissions because the advantage legacy students have is not due to legacy preference policies themselves. Legacy students do have a small upper hand, but it is usually due to the circumstances that allow them to be outstanding applicants; their legacy status does nothing to change this. Legacy students are often the children of wealthy alumni; they often grew up with every benefit available to them such as tutoring and an array of extracurriculars. This is the reason why legacy admissions are at an advantage; it is because their parents are able to create circumstances and opportunities for them that allow them to be qualified applicants. Very few applicants who are legacies have no chance of getting in.[3] Colleges do not give legacy students admission to their school just because their parents are alumni, they give legacy students admission because they tend to meet and exceed the necessary requirements for admission.

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://president.jhu.edu/meet-president-daniels/speeches-articles-and-media/association-of-american-law-schools-annual-meeting/
  2. https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2011/12/9/bloom-legacy-admissions/
  3. https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2011/5/11/admissions-fitzsimmons-legacy-legacies/
This page was last edited on Monday, 23 Nov 2020 at 02:53 UTC

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