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Should legacy admissions systems be banned from Universities?

  • Admitting lesser-qualified students based on their family history of enrollment takes away space from those who actually deserve to attend.

    Imagine that a freshman at one of the nation's top universities was admitted due to her perfect standardized test scores, Her athletic merit, Her involvement in community service, Her constantly high GPA, And her commitment to lead the organizations that she was passionate about. She worked tirelessly to achieve the goals that she set for herself, And being accepted into her dream school was the reward that she deserved. Now imagine, On the other hand, A freshman that had an average GPA, A subpar standardized test score, And little to no experience in leadership or community service. She was accepted into the university due to one sole reason: her parents and her grandparents had gone to that university before her. On the first day of college, These two were placed in the same classroom of the same university, A place that hundreds of thousands of other students could only dream of seeing. In this case, The legacy admit was sitting in what was supposed to be the seat of someone like the high-achieving freshman but who was rejected because the college had to make space for legacies like her. Someone who was more deserving to be in that lecture hall was denied entrance just because someone has connections to the university. Someone who could have contributed to the prestigious research program or the award-winning theatre troupe was shut out of the university's door so that an average Jane could continue her family's presence at the institution. Not only does the legacy admission process turn away accomplished students, It also widens the gap between the haves and the have-nots. Average Jane used her parents' and her grandparents' Ivy League diploma to get into the same college, And she will, In turn, Use hers to send her kids there. On the other hand, The rejected student, Who held more accomplishments than Average Jane but did not have a lot of money, Will continue to suffer because legacy students will always be preferred over her. See the vicious cycle starting to form? This is what happens when institutions value money over merit. With that said, This isn't saying that legacy students are automatically uncompetitive. Many of them prove to have the same talents as their other family members, And they thrive in their chosen fields at these top universities. However, A select group of people should not get a free pass into college just because of a circumstance that they were lucky to be born into. Universities should accept the most deserving students regardless of whether or not their family members previously attended the school, And this is why the legacy preference admission system should be abolished.

  • Legacy helps people who don't need it

    Legacy admissions function as a form of "affirmative action" for ethnic groups in the United States that do not need the extra assistance to get in. Colleges would be better advised to dedicate spots reserved for such "legacy applicants" to empowering underrepresented minorities, who arguably need the spot as part of a national program designed to even out the playing field for all Americans. As upcoming lawsuits between Asian-American groups and Ivy League colleges will prove, the purpose of legacy admissions is really to ensure that alumni continue donating money to their alma mater, and not to empower students who need the Ivy league experience.

  • Yes it should!

    I believe it should be banned because it gives people who actually need to work hard in a competition that really isnt up for the competition. They just have alot of pocket money and mom and dad as his backup. I feel whenever the kid messes up the parents just throw money at the school and BAM its all normal.

  • It is extremely unfair for people to have advantage for something that certain people are BORN with. It is a modern version of nobility.

    It is simply unjust for a student to be rejected just because another one with similar stat has a legacy in a school.

    For personal account: There was one guy in my HS whose GPA was okay but not impressive at all. His ECs were bland(many Mock Trial kids I talked with said he is a very poor speaker, which I agreed), he wasn't particularly talented in anything, he didn't have something passionate about. He was just any other decent student with some AP courses and okay-but-not-great GPA you would see anywhere. However, he had active family members all over the Ivy leagues. Results? He got in 5 of them. When my friends heard them, they were far from being congratulatory, and guessed that his HUGE legacy network gave him extremely unfair advantages, which I think it did. I am sure that he is struggling with workloads, though.

    Second, the study suggests(I wish I had a link but lost it) that admitting more legacy kids don't necessarily increase the amount of donation being made to the school. However, rejecting the legacy applicant resulted in decrease of donation. Sure, the loyalty to the school may be important, but what is the point to have loyalty when it doesn't have a practical purpose?? It only creates aristocratic networks that other people don't get.

  • Drop Unfair Practices

    Schools like Middlebury and Vassar College give unfair advantage to legacy - children of alumni. The United States is based upon meritocracy. You are suppose to earn your own keep in life. Legacy is based upon aristocracy Mom & Dad were rich kids and went to Middlebury or Vassar now there child gets preference over better qualified candidates. I say colleges with legacy practices should have to pay full US, State & Local taxes like a business instead of making the tax payers foot their bills.

  • Legacy admissions is completely unfair its Affirmative Action for the rich!

    Legacy admissions probably violates that 14th Amendment of the US Constitution the right to due process, and the Civil Rights Act of 1966. It unfairly gives children from wealthy families and advantage over children from poor or immigrant families. Take me, my mother was born in Ireland and was a house wife with very little education. My Father had a high school diploma and was a construction worker. I was a poor child with 5 siblings. One of my close high school friends went to Middlebury College Vermont. I went to Middlesex Community College and paid my own way through college. My friends son now goes to Middlebury, and my son a Phillips Academy Andover A/B student leader and athlete got rejected to Middlebury. Middlebury alumni children have a 48% chance of admission, and all other applicants have 18% chance of admission. Add in affirmative action applicants and what white male can get admitted to Middlebury College? Legacy is completely unfair, and affirmative action is reverse discrimination. My family is from from Ireland where we were enslaved by the British, millions starved to death in a holocaust called "the Potato Famine", and Britain persecuted us for our Roman Catholic faith. The Irish received discrimination when they first came to America "no Irish need apply." This all changed when the Fighting Irish won the US Civil War for the Union. A Confederate Irish soldier summed it up best at the Surrender at Appomattox, Virginia in April 1865 "the Union only the won the war because they had more Irish fighting in blue then in gray." College admissions should be about meritocracy not your parents or grandparents aristocratic wealth. Take George W. Bush for example. His Dad George H. Bush went to Phillips Academy Andover and Yale, then became President of the US. The son followed suit on all 3 accounts!!! This is clearly legacy and wealth leading to privilege. By the way, I voted for both President George H. Bush & George W. Bush so my reference isn't about their politics or party.

  • Yes read this

    For every student that is put through based solely on their parents' means; a student who has considerably higher potential fails to make the cut. The problem arises when situations like this occur. Higher education institutions have a duty to extract the best talent and if they fail to do so, a problematic chain reaction occurs. I will explain why. Let's imagine that there are are two candidates for the same medical research post, one of which has considerably more potential but the other has a parent with close a financial interest. Let's say the supervisor decides to go with the student with a big bank account, what happens next? The rich kid goes on to have a reasonably successful career in research and the other student is limited to what he can achieve, due to a lack of funding at a lower budget university. Subsequently it may be assumed that the supervisor made the right decision picking the rich kid over the kid with better potential, because of the surface of things the rich kid is doing better. But why? Let's now imagine that the supervisor went against his better judgement and picked potential over pounds. Ten years later and the potential student is working within a lucrative research department and quickly developing a medical discovery that could change the face of disease as we know it. Now here's the problem with Legacy admissions, if you let one person in, you push one person out. And if that one person that didn't get the opportunity to live up to their full potential is infact the next big thing, we are all losing out!

  • Legacy is Un-American!

    America was founded on the principals that "all men are created equal," that no one is born into power or born with certain rights that others don't have. This idea of legacy allows children with no skills whatsoever to be born into the world already ahead of other children. They have a distinct advantage based solely on what their parents have done.

  • Based on Merit

    Admissions should be solely based. We live in a free market society where anyone who works hard can achieve great things regardless of where they were born, what color they are, what BACKGROUND THEY COME FROM and who they marry. Let the free-market work. All this legacy and affirmative action business is reminiscent of the old order with monarchs. Sure a kid might sweat a little harder if actually cares about following in his father or mother's footsteps. However, that is not the incentive we are trying to breed. We are trying to get students fired up about the fields they are passionate about, not the fields they feel obligated to go into because of what their parents want. The incentives are all screwed up.

  • Makes no sense

    A person who comes from a less distinguished background should not have less of an opportunity to get in than a person who has all the resources and tools to succeed. It makes absolutely no sense! The universities should be trying to accept the poorer people so that the poor people have a chance of escaping poverty. The "legacy" kids do not deserve an advantage because it was their parents who succeeded, not them.

  • Admission should be based on test scores/merit alone? Ridiculous

    For those who say that it is unfair, - why? Universities look at everything, and family history just happens to be one of them. I agree it'll be unfair if the admitted kid is an idiot, but why do you all assume that legacy children are stupid? The schools could regulate/have standards when picking. And those who say admission should only be based on grades alone, see this. If there are two students with the same grades, everythings the same, but one kid is from a country in Africa and the other from, say, Korea, I'm more than 99% sure the African kid will get the scholarship. Now how is THIS fair?

  • Legacy Students are usually more competent

    A number of top universities, including Princeton, Dartmouth and Middlebury, have released statements on the subject; Legacy students tend to have better, not worse credentials than their non-legacy peers because they are usually raised in a culture that values education to a higher degree. Furthermore, legacy students, having been raised by alumni themselves, are likely to commit to the university and to continue on the family tradition, thus providing the university with a healthy matriculation rate and in most cases, ample financial donations. The idea, however, that legacy admits somehow clash with the meritocracy that America's universities so espouse is erroneous.

  • They consider everything about a person

    Grades, extracurriculars, and race are considered. If they can see your ethnicity, I don't see the merit in hiding one's history for the school. If one donated a library system due to their child's admission, then that child has added value to the college community in a different way than someone who is underprivileged has.

  • No.

    If I get into an ivy league because of legacy, I'll be thrilled. You people better not ruin that for me with your sense of "fair play" and "justice".

  • Legacy systems should be adjusted for fairness, but not completely abolished, because private universities should have the right to admit or reject any student they choose for whatever reason they choose.

    Private universities should have the right to admit or reject any student they choose for whatever reason they choose. Public universities should be allowed to take a family's connection to the institution into consideration. But, I agree that the issue is probably given too much weight in the current form. It should be a factor, but not such a strong one.

    Posted by: LivingJimmy
  • I feel that being offered the opportunity to follow a parent's educational path increases the child's chance for academic success.

    If a student wants to attend a school where a parent graduated, I think that the school should give this student first-pick priority. Many families view attending a certain school as a key to the success of their children. If the parents, or sometimes the grandparents, went to a school, that institution should consider familial loyalty, assuming the student is qualified to attend.

    Posted by: MeatyMario87
  • No, because students should be allowed to attend only on their own merit.

    I feel that every student should be subject to the same admittance practice. Just because a student's father or grandfather attended the college, it should not automatically guarantee that they should be allowed to attend. I feel that this is not fair to other students. I feel this is wrong, and it is not a fair admittance practice.

    Posted by: SlipArnal
  • Just because someone's ancestors were successful or assets to a university doesn't mean their predecessors will be.

    Allowing someone admission to a university simply based on the fact that they are a "legacy" is not a good practice because they may not possess the skills and intelligence that some of the other people trying to be admitted into the university do. Legacies should still have to pass the normal admissions process to keep it fair to everyone.

    Posted by: jaamata
  • Legacy admissions systems should be banned from Universities. They are nothing but affirmative action for the rich.

    Legacy admissions systems should be banned from Universities. Students should be admitted based upon their academic performance, not based on their parents' income or reputation. Legacy admissions systems are nothing but affirmative action for the rich and affluent. Children of affluent parents should work their way up, the same as every one else.

    Posted by: lachika
  • Legacy systems convey privilege, but laws are like a spider web, barely able to contain the weak not no barrier to the strong. They will be turned the wrong way by the strong.

    When families control schools they want to control quality as well as make slots for their own children. They will create unfair situations through restriction of access, but adding laws will not help and possibly will make things worse. A way to combat legacies and the exclusivity they bring is to create more universities for more types of people.

    Posted by: groovybox

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