Quick Telecast
Expect News First

Will The End Of Legacy Admissions And Affirmative Action Fix The Ivy League’s Diversity Problem?

0 25


On October 31, 2022, the Supreme Court will hear a case that ties together the fate of two college admissions practices seemingly at odds with one another: legacy admissions and affirmative action. Though equally controversial, the consideration of “legacy” status (relation to an alum) in college admissions decisions is frequently critiqued for heaping more privilege on predominantly white, wealthy applicants, while affirmative action has sustained criticism for allowing race to be a factor in colleges’ selection processes, unduly encumbering students of certain races in favor of others (primarily Black and Latinx applicants, critics allege).

Students for Fair Admissions, the nonprofit organization bringing the case against Harvard and University of North Carolina, alleges that the elimination of legacy admissions will likewise relieve the need for affirmative action. If colleges forego offering privileged status to a primarily white, upper class group of applicants, they argue, there will be no need to intentionally offset this trend by considering the marginalized status of another group of applicants. Clarence Thomas, one of the Justices who will rule on the case, has said as much—in his opinion in Grutter v. Bollinger, he critiqued the University of Michigan Law School for seeking to uphold both affirmative action and selective admissions practices, claiming that the school used “racial discrimination as a tool to advance the Law School’s interest in offering a marginally superior education while maintaining an elite institution.”

The premise appears straightforward, but would the termination of legacy admissions truly compensate for the lack of diversity on elite college campuses?

Despite mounting pressure to abandon legacy considerations in the admissions process, few elite schools have yet done so—14% of Yale’s incoming class had a legacy affiliation, an increase from last year’s 8%. Harvard, too, saw an increase in legacy admissions from 12% to 15.5%. Additionally, the relationship between race, socioeconomic background, and legacy status is apparent in the data—Harvard reports that 18.8% of white students in the Class of 2025 reported legacy status, as opposed to 6.1% of Black students and 9.1% of Latinx students. A 2019 memoranda from the policy group Education Reform Now also found that more white legacy students have been admitted to elite colleges than Black or Latinx students benefiting from affirmative action.

Some of these institutions have doubled down on the practice—Vincent Price, President of Duke University, defended the consideration of legacy status on the basis that Duke is a “family,” and Brown University President Christina Hull Paxton advocated for its continued use while minimizing legacy status as one of a plethora of factors considered in admissions.

However, other institutions (at times spurred by pressure from state legislatures) have taken steps to end legacy admissions, offering a glimpse into the effect that the termination of legacy considerations may have on the makeup of a student body. At the Association of American Law Schools Annual Meeting, the President Ronald Daniels of Johns Hopkins University addressed the college’s decision to eliminate legacy admissions, stating that “this preference is often conferred on children who typically have had every possible benefit before attending college—stable homes, safe neighborhoods to grow up in, excellent education, and ample extra-curricular experiences” and further noting that legacy students “comprise up to a quarter of incoming students each year.” Showing preferential treatment to the children of alumni undermines the credibility of the university as a bastion of liberal democracy, he argues, but he also emphasizes that correcting the stratified landscape of elite college campuses will take more than an alteration to legacy admissions.

Schools that have eliminated both legacy admissions and affirmative action have found this sentiment to be true. The University of California school system, which has a well-established policy against legacy admissions, is located in one of nine states in which affirmative action is banned from college admissions decisions. Despite the absence of legacy admissions inflating the number of wealthy, white applicants, the school system has struggled to diversify its student population. Black students make up only 3% of UCLA’s freshman class and 3.8% of Berkeley’s entire undergraduate student body. In an amicus brief filed last month in anticipation of the Supreme Court’s October hearing, the university notes that the diversity of the student body declined sharply, with the enrollment of Black students decreasing by nearly half in the wake of the 1996 Proposition to ban affirmative action. Though the numbers have buoyed only slightly, the UC’s expensive and resource-draining outreach programs have not compensated for the loss of affirmative action—particularly, the brief notes, on the most selective campuses, where “feelings of racial isolation persist and hinder UC’s efforts to provide the educational benefits of diversity.”

University of Michigan, which also does not privilege legacy applicants and is located in a state with an edict against affirmative action, wrote a similar brief to the court. The university also emphasized that diversity initiatives would not suffice without the help of affirmative action, stating that “despite persistent, vigorous, and varied efforts to increase student-body racial and ethnic diversity by race-neutral means, admission and enrollment of underrepresented minority students have fallen precipitously in many of U-M’s schools and colleges.” As in the UC system, UMichigan found that the absence of legacy admissions did little to counterbalance the immense impact of ending affirmative action.

The ACLU reports that only 27 of 100 top schools have foregone the practice of legacy admissions, despite the privileged status it confers to students who are least in need of it. While ending legacy admissions is one step toward a more equitable college admissions process, the repeal of affirmative action would only counteract the little progress that ending legacy would make. As the University of California and the University of Michigan emphasize in their respective briefs, diversity on college campuses is critical to the transformative, enriching experience of living and learning in a university setting—but pursuing true diversity will take more than just eliminating preferential treatment of legacy students.


On October 31, 2022, the Supreme Court will hear a case that ties together the fate of two college admissions practices seemingly at odds with one another: legacy admissions and affirmative action. Though equally controversial, the consideration of “legacy” status (relation to an alum) in college admissions decisions is frequently critiqued for heaping more privilege on predominantly white, wealthy applicants, while affirmative action has sustained criticism for allowing race to be a factor in colleges’ selection processes, unduly encumbering students of certain races in favor of others (primarily Black and Latinx applicants, critics allege).

Students for Fair Admissions, the nonprofit organization bringing the case against Harvard and University of North Carolina, alleges that the elimination of legacy admissions will likewise relieve the need for affirmative action. If colleges forego offering privileged status to a primarily white, upper class group of applicants, they argue, there will be no need to intentionally offset this trend by considering the marginalized status of another group of applicants. Clarence Thomas, one of the Justices who will rule on the case, has said as much—in his opinion in Grutter v. Bollinger, he critiqued the University of Michigan Law School for seeking to uphold both affirmative action and selective admissions practices, claiming that the school used “racial discrimination as a tool to advance the Law School’s interest in offering a marginally superior education while maintaining an elite institution.”

The premise appears straightforward, but would the termination of legacy admissions truly compensate for the lack of diversity on elite college campuses?

Despite mounting pressure to abandon legacy considerations in the admissions process, few elite schools have yet done so—14% of Yale’s incoming class had a legacy affiliation, an increase from last year’s 8%. Harvard, too, saw an increase in legacy admissions from 12% to 15.5%. Additionally, the relationship between race, socioeconomic background, and legacy status is apparent in the data—Harvard reports that 18.8% of white students in the Class of 2025 reported legacy status, as opposed to 6.1% of Black students and 9.1% of Latinx students. A 2019 memoranda from the policy group Education Reform Now also found that more white legacy students have been admitted to elite colleges than Black or Latinx students benefiting from affirmative action.

Some of these institutions have doubled down on the practice—Vincent Price, President of Duke University, defended the consideration of legacy status on the basis that Duke is a “family,” and Brown University President Christina Hull Paxton advocated for its continued use while minimizing legacy status as one of a plethora of factors considered in admissions.

However, other institutions (at times spurred by pressure from state legislatures) have taken steps to end legacy admissions, offering a glimpse into the effect that the termination of legacy considerations may have on the makeup of a student body. At the Association of American Law Schools Annual Meeting, the President Ronald Daniels of Johns Hopkins University addressed the college’s decision to eliminate legacy admissions, stating that “this preference is often conferred on children who typically have had every possible benefit before attending college—stable homes, safe neighborhoods to grow up in, excellent education, and ample extra-curricular experiences” and further noting that legacy students “comprise up to a quarter of incoming students each year.” Showing preferential treatment to the children of alumni undermines the credibility of the university as a bastion of liberal democracy, he argues, but he also emphasizes that correcting the stratified landscape of elite college campuses will take more than an alteration to legacy admissions.

Schools that have eliminated both legacy admissions and affirmative action have found this sentiment to be true. The University of California school system, which has a well-established policy against legacy admissions, is located in one of nine states in which affirmative action is banned from college admissions decisions. Despite the absence of legacy admissions inflating the number of wealthy, white applicants, the school system has struggled to diversify its student population. Black students make up only 3% of UCLA’s freshman class and 3.8% of Berkeley’s entire undergraduate student body. In an amicus brief filed last month in anticipation of the Supreme Court’s October hearing, the university notes that the diversity of the student body declined sharply, with the enrollment of Black students decreasing by nearly half in the wake of the 1996 Proposition to ban affirmative action. Though the numbers have buoyed only slightly, the UC’s expensive and resource-draining outreach programs have not compensated for the loss of affirmative action—particularly, the brief notes, on the most selective campuses, where “feelings of racial isolation persist and hinder UC’s efforts to provide the educational benefits of diversity.”

University of Michigan, which also does not privilege legacy applicants and is located in a state with an edict against affirmative action, wrote a similar brief to the court. The university also emphasized that diversity initiatives would not suffice without the help of affirmative action, stating that “despite persistent, vigorous, and varied efforts to increase student-body racial and ethnic diversity by race-neutral means, admission and enrollment of underrepresented minority students have fallen precipitously in many of U-M’s schools and colleges.” As in the UC system, UMichigan found that the absence of legacy admissions did little to counterbalance the immense impact of ending affirmative action.

The ACLU reports that only 27 of 100 top schools have foregone the practice of legacy admissions, despite the privileged status it confers to students who are least in need of it. While ending legacy admissions is one step toward a more equitable college admissions process, the repeal of affirmative action would only counteract the little progress that ending legacy would make. As the University of California and the University of Michigan emphasize in their respective briefs, diversity on college campuses is critical to the transformative, enriching experience of living and learning in a university setting—but pursuing true diversity will take more than just eliminating preferential treatment of legacy students.

FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS

Read original article here

Denial of responsibility! Quick Telecast is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Leave a comment
buy kamagra buy kamagra online
Ads Blocker Image Powered by Code Help Pro

Ads Blocker Detected!!!

We have detected that you are using extensions to block ads. Please support us by disabling these ads blocker.

Powered By
Best Wordpress Adblock Detecting Plugin | CHP Adblock