Very interesting piece in the Crimson today about Harvard’s legacy preferences. A must-read!
Harvard College admissions should eliminate legacy preferences
“On average, legacies come from highly educated families and have better access to financial capital, networks, and other opportunities than most non-legacy students. Harvard alumni may know how to game the admissions process better than other parents. If, despite all of these resources, children of alumni still cannot gain admission on their own merit, it is illogical and unethical to offer them a spot based on their legacy status.”
“Legacy preferences are not a mere tiebreaker between equally capable candidates. Legacy status increases an applicant’s chance of admission by 19.7 percent for a given SAT score range. At the California Institute of Technology, which does not favor legacy applicants, legacies make up a mere 1.5 percent of the student body. At Harvard, 12-13 percent of students are legacies. Obviously, by virtue of having a Harvard-educated parent, legacies may be better qualified than the average high school senior. But it is safe to assume that more legacy students make the admissions cut than deserve it.”