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
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.
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.
Legacy admissions have historically benefited white applicants because they tend to make the majority of the legacy pool. Legacy preferences can take the spot of well-deserving students of color who do not have the luck nor privilege of being born to parents who are alumni.
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.
It would jeopardize financial support
The legacy preference is needed for fundraising. Alumni offer generous support to their alma mater. Financial support is essential for colleges and universities to retain their positions as leading institutions and legacy preferences make alumni more willing to give.
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.
When it comes to choosing among equally strong candidates, one consideration can be the natural affinity for the university that often emerges among children of alumni. Legacy students often have a stronger desire to attend and engage with the institutions their parents went to.