Legacy admission is the practice of giving preferential treatment to a college applicant because someone in his or her family attended the college. If your reaction is a skeptical raise of the eyebrow, join the club. At Harvard, one-third of students offered admission have Crimson lineage. Fellow Ivies, The University of Pennsylvania and Brown also admit upwards of 33% of legacies, more than double their overall admit rate. Legacies don’t just exist in historical dramas. What Science Courses Are Needed for College Admission? Schools consider legacy status for a number of reasons. One may ask, why do schools care if your mom or dad graced their campus decades ago? While there are cases where applying as a legacy can boost your applicant profile, on the other hand, if your academic profile is not as strong as the middle 50% of admitted applicants, legacy status probably won’t be enough to keep you from the “no” pile. That being said, because their family attended a prestigious institution, legacy students often benefit from additional resources, making the admissions process bearable. But be sure to keep legacy status in perspective. If you start listing third cousins twice removed, you're going to look both silly and desperate. Other prestigious schools including MIT, UC Berkeley, and CalTech also do not consider legacy status in their admissions process. Legacy status in college admissions can be a confusing avenue to travel, but there can be some benefits – and drawbacks – to applying to college as a legacy. Should You Put Effort Into PSAT Preparation? Admissions offices will look at the alums history of financial contributions, service on boards, alumni interviewer. Check now.
On most school’s application forms, including the common app, there is a place to list your parents’ educational background. On the other hand, the college accepted another legacy student of the same graduating class. Read on to learn more about this traditional method of admitting students. A much smaller number of highly-selective schools openly oppose granting favor to legacy status. How Much Does Legacy Status Matter in College Admissions? If you are claiming a secondary legacy, you’ll have to do so on the individual institution’s supplemental forms. Some schools only consider parents when assessing legacy status, while others consider grandparents or siblings. 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Of course, most legacy students still need to have competitive applications to be considered. If you're wondering why the Common Application asks where your mom and dad went to college, it's because legacy status matters in the college admissions process. On the surface it can seem like applying to highly selective colleges as a legacy can give you a real leg-up in the admissions process. It is estimated that three-quarters of the top 100 research institutions and liberal arts colleges in the United States factor legacy status into their admissions decisions. By clicking, I agree to the Other schools, such as Stanford University and UNC, only take primary legacy into consideration. The case against legacy admissions is that it flies against the notion that the college application process is about merit, and instead, offers advantages to the children of alumni. The answer is simple: Money. Honoring the reputation of quality craftsmen. Foreign Language Requirement for College Admissions, Application Deadlines for Top Colleges and Universities. Legacy refers to a student whose family member attended a college or university. College admission is a zero-sum proposition — for every legacy admitted, another promising applicant is denied the career and economic opportunity that a top degree can provide. You'll often hear that in a borderline case, legacy status might tip an admissions decision in the student's favor. “Intergenerational continuity” is a term that has been thrown around by defenders of the practice. The Class of 2021 figure was 29%. While admissions decisions are not made in smoke-filled backrooms, “who you know” can certainly aide your son or daughter’s chances of receiving a bulky envelope come spring. Colleges will almost never admit a truly unqualified applicant even if that person is a legacy student. Colleges want to build well-rounded classes made up of specialists, but they also care about their yield, and therefore want to also admit qualified students who will enroll. Some colleges don't consider legacy status at all, and for those that do consider it, legacy status is just a small factor in admissions decisions, Colleges know that being a legacy is a rather dubious distinction. If you indicate that your parents or siblings attended college, you'll be asked to identify the schools. I know multitudes of non-legacies who entered their dream school. A study of thirty elite colleges, found that primary legacy students are an astonishing 45% more likely to get into a highly selective college or university than a non-legacy. A college applicant is said to have legacy status at a college if a member of the applicant's immediate family attends or attended the college. Legacy typically is associated with preferential treatment by an admissions office. Not only are early admission rates often higher than regular admission rates, applying early also demonstrates interest, and identifying as a legacy can further demonstrate your commitment to attend if admitted. However, I am slightly annoyed that I might be denied in favor of another student who lacks credentials, but has connections. If the school rejects the legacy student, the parent's good will is likely to evaporate, as will the $1,000 a year in gifts. MIT, CalTech, and Cooper Union are all on record as openly opposing hereditary privilege in the admissions process. I certainly do not carry a grudge against those who carry a legacy.
In the end, applying as a legacy student can help bolster an overall strong application, but it isn’t sufficient to warrant admission on its own. UVA created its own Admission Liaison Program where children of alumni can attend special events, webinars, and even schedule a one-on-one transcript consultation with the director of the organization at any point throughout high school. Legacy applications undergo the general review process, just like all other applications. Dr. Allen Grove is an Alfred University English professor and a college admissions expert with 20 years of experience helping students transition to college. Not only do I love the film for its superb action sequences, but I also find the semi-accurate story of a power struggle quite compelling. College Admissions Guide for U.S. Students, U.S. By using ThoughtCo, you accept our, Understanding Legacy Status for College Admissions. Information such as this has put a lot of pressure on elite institutions to address legacy practices that clearly contradict an institution's claims of valuing diversity and merit more than privilege. Yes, a few students have an unfair advantage, but the typical applicant's odds of being admitted change very little whether or not a school gives preference to legacy students.
Now imagine that the graduate's child applies to Prestigious University. Legacy refers to a student whose family member attended a college or university. Applying as a legacy is one way to demonstrate interest and can be a signal to colleges that, if admitted, you’re likely to attend as you already have strong emotional ties to the institution. If not, it’s still important to be aware as you enter the admissions process that not every decision to accept or reject is driven solely by merit. While I really can’t read the minds of those college admissions counselors, I think that they just might agree with my assertions. Harvard applicants with legacy status were over five times more likely to be admitted than non legacy applicants. The scenario is even more problematic if the graduate is wealthy and a prospect for giving the school $1,000,000. How Much Does It Cost to Apply to College? Licensed & Insured Applying as a legacy can also impact your application strategy because some institutions, like the University of Pennsylvania and Cornell University, only consider legacy status if a student applies in the early round. A direct parental connection means that you are designated as a “primary legacy” which can be a major boost to your admissions prospects. Publicly, institutions typically defend legacy admissions as a way to respect tradition and acknowledge those who helped to lay the foundation on which the university is built. At some selective colleges and universities, legacy status can significantly increase an applicant's odds of being admitted. While legacy status can be a compelling piece of information, colleges really do not spend too much time asking about it. Additionally, legacy students who are accepted are more likely to commit to that school, incrementally increasing the number of admitted students who accept offers. First off, most colleges will take more time reviewing legacy applications. Most college admissions officers will state that legacy status is only a tiny factor in making the final admissions decision. Legacy status in college admissions can be a confusing avenue to travel, but there can be some benefits – and drawbacks – to applying to college as a legacy. When a college has holistic admissions, several pieces of the application will almost always carry more weight than legacy status. But they may take a few detours here and there depending on the specific college’s legacy policies. This includes all of the Ivies and many other ultra-elite private schools such as Georgetown, Duke, Swarthmore, Middlebury, Amherst, Tufts, and countless others. Does the PSAT Matter? As I relax during my deeply cherished winter break, I watched one of my favorite films, Gladiator. The modern-day prospective college student is also up against legacies – students who sometimes receive priority admission if their parents are alumni of the school where they are applying. In general, parents and siblings are the only people who matter when it comes to determining legacy status. If you are considering applying to college as a legacy student, or want to know more about how IvyWise’s team of expert counselors can help you best position yourself during the college admissions process, contact us today for more information on our college counseling services. Colleges and universities also care about alumni engagement and development, and offering admission to qualified students of alumni can help bolster alumni giving. Why Do Colleges Care About Legacy Status? Every semester, Fastweb helps thousands of students pay for school by matching them to scholarships, grants, and internships, for which they actually qualify.