Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community polls, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

Does Legacy help?

wesgirl91wesgirl91 Posts: 26Registered User New Member
edited November 2011 in Columbia University
My dad went to graduate school there. I was really not considering Columbia until yesterday, when he told me to apply, just to see. I was originally only going to apply to one ivy league-brown, and then all liberal arts schools. i live in new york city. My grade average is an A/A-, at a crazy competitive private high school. i have dual citizenship france/usa. my sats are good, not incredible. do you guys know if legacy helps very much, or not at all, at columbia?
graciassss
Post edited by wesgirl91 on
«1

Replies to: Does Legacy help?

  • collegebound5collegebound5 Posts: 820Registered User Member
    To be considered a legacy one has to have a parent or sibling at the undergraduate school to which they are applying. Having a father for example who attended Columbia College when you are applying to Columbia College is considered a legacy. One is not a legacy if they apply to Columbia College and their father went to a graduate school there.
    If one has a grandparent who graduated from the undergraduate school and has been very involved in the school financially or in other ways over years, that is usually also considered a legacy even though Columbia indicates it is just siblings and parents.
  • collegebound5collegebound5 Posts: 820Registered User Member
    Also for one to use legacy as an advantage not only does their parent or sibling have had to go graduate from the undergraduate school, but the advantage is usually given only where one applies early decision
  • Columbia2002Columbia2002 Posts: 4,529Registered User Senior Member
    To be considered a legacy one has to have a parent or sibling at the undergraduate school to which they are applying.

    Completely wrong. CC and SEAS alums get legacy status for the kids applying to either school.
  • collegebound5collegebound5 Posts: 820Registered User Member
    I meant to say that one can have a parent who graduated from the undergraduate engineering school and apply to columbia college and be considered a legacy, or graduate from the undergraduate school of engineering and apply to columbia college and be considered a legacy.
    One is not considered a legacy however if their parent or sibling attended one of Columbia's graduate school. They have to have attended Columbia as an undergraduate. Either SEAS or CC.
  • columbiaSEAS:)columbiaSEAS:) Posts: 88Registered User Junior Member
    I think this legacy thing is unfair. This is just an outside opinion. I'm not from USA. What does the fact one's parents went to a certain college have to do with one's likelyhood of acceptance. ?
  • spazzityspazzity Posts: 333Registered User Junior Member
    I'm not sure about the difference between an CC/SEAS legacy versus a grad school legacy, but even if you were applying to, say, CC, and your father also attended CC, it's not too much help. Legacy doesn't mean what it once did. The only way it can help you is if it comes down to you and someone else with similar stats, essays, etc but you are the one with the legacy; in that instance, it may tip in your favor, but otherwise, it doesn't mean much.
  • collegebound5collegebound5 Posts: 820Registered User Member
    I agree. If one has a parent or sibling who attended the undergraduate school and has no involvement with the school over years, or minimal involvement, then being a legacy is only a slight factor that may give a little advantage to someone who applied early decision and was a competitive candidate. A lot of it has to do with schools hoping families may be financial contributors to the school in the future where there is a history of family members attending. It is also about building family connections. One really needs to apply early decision to get this advantage to show that they have a clear and strong interest in attending the school
    Where legacy has a greater advantage is where a sibling,parent or grandparent (even if grandparents are not considered legacies) have graduated from the undergraduate school and that person has had a strong connection to the school over years, perhaps even decades, and has made significant financial contributions to the school. That type of legacy is viewed differently than the typical legacy, and where the applicant is competitive, that legacy advantage will often be a greater advantage.
  • ShrafShraf Posts: 2,400Registered User Senior Member
    but the advantage is usually given only where one applies early decision

    you have no proof that this is remotely correct
    A lot of it has to do with schools hoping families may be financial contributors to the school in the future where there is a history of family members attending.

    its also a fear that an alum will feel slighted that his/her qualified son/daughter didn't get in and stop giving to the school.

    also from what i've seen most legacies are more than qualified to be at columbia....it just makes you stand out a bit above the crowd of equally qualified candidates.
  • DenzeraDenzera Posts: 3,371Registered User Senior Member
    I think this legacy thing is unfair. This is just an outside opinion. I'm not from USA. What does the fact one's parents went to a certain college have to do with one's likelyhood of acceptance. ?
    to answer the factual part of your question, not much. Legacy status has very little influence in today's admissions environment at top schools. In generations past, being a legacy somewhere often meant that you were easily admitted while less fortunate types were not. Today, every successful applicant is tremendously strong and compelling, and legacy status has only a tiny weight in marginal cases.

    To answer the spirit of your question, if your parents went to a school, and they take you, (1) you're more likely to attend once admitted, and (2) you're more likely to donate once you graduate. it sounds a little crass but it does make a little difference. As a recent grad, I already know I'd be thrilled for my future children, many years hence, to attend Columbia. I donate yearly as it is, but that would psyche me up unbelievably. Is that going to get my lazy unqualified kid in the door? No, but if it makes a very marginal difference around the edges, it may have a little weight.
  • Columbia2002Columbia2002 Posts: 4,529Registered User Senior Member
    Everyone who says legacy doesn't help very much is speculating. Columbia does not release legacy acceptance rate data for legacies -- and won't even tell it alums whose kids are applying. (They do strongly encourage your kid to apply ED if he wants to maximize the legacy benefit.) I'd bet the legacy admit rate, especially for ED, is shockingly higher than what we'd guess. But I have no basis other than my own speculation.
  • DenzeraDenzera Posts: 3,371Registered User Senior Member
    That's fair enough. But the justification for it - higher matriculation rate and alumni-giving rate - will never be heard to escape an admissions officer's lips, so they might as well hear it from us.

    There's also some selection bias in there, in that children of alumni are likely much stronger applicants as a pool, for a variety of perfectly legitimate reasons.
  • collegebound5collegebound5 Posts: 820Registered User Member
    There is no way to know for sure if Columbia does not say what the acceptance rates are for legacies. I do agree it may be higher than one thinks. Because it is a school that is lacking a little bit in school spirit because the campus is in the city and many go outside the city for their social life, I would think that Columbia is interested in building a sense of community and spirit. I would think it was important to Columbia to build connections to families. I know they do things to get the parents of students involved. I would imagine that they also have an interest in building traditions of children, siblings and parents who attend Columbia. I do not think they would take someone who was a legacy who was not qualified. But if someone applied and was a competitive candidate,and there was a family history there of attending the college or the undergraduate engineering school, I do think admission officers would give that applicant a little more consideration. Even if it is just minimal, it may tip the edge regarding someone who they were deciding if they were going to admit
  • rushandcrushrushandcrush Posts: 96- Junior Member
    Rah Rah, Ah Ah Ah Ah
    Roma, roma ma ma
    Ga ga, ooh la la

    Columbia University's View on Legacy in Admissions
    "Applicants are considered to be “legacies” of Columbia only if they are the children of Columbia College or the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science graduates."

    Nothing is explicitly stated about giving preference in Early Decision or Regular Decision. Although it is generally treated that one applies to a university with a legacy status and gains maximum consideration in Early Decision because of a seemingly true, committed interest, rather than one that may be influenced by a family member. Applications & Admission Process | Columbia University Office of Undergraduate Admissions


    Whereas...

    University of Pennsylvania's View on Legacy in Admissions
    What is a "Legacy"?
    The children and grandchildren of Penn alumni are considered legacies in the Undergraduate Admissions process. It doesn't matter whether the parent or grandparent received their undergraduate or graduate degree from Penn — we include anyone with any degree from Penn. Penn Alumni: Alumni Council on Admissions

    Legacies receive maximum consideration when they apply to Penn under the Early Decision Plan. Penn Alumni: Alumni Council on Admissions


    And need I say that Princeton University takes so many legacy applicants who are less qualified in respect to the nonlegacy pool. A bitter way to put it: 2100+ SAT, B+/A- GPA, 1 or 2 standard ECs with standard leadership and involvement, and legacy = admit.
  • wifey99999999wifey99999999 Posts: 381Registered User Member
    If one of your parents obtained Master or PhD degree from CC or SEAS (but can not be other schools like SIPA, Law,... etc), then you are considered "legacy". It deson't have to be undergraduate degree only.
  • ComaPrisonComaPrison Posts: 348Registered User Member
    Forgive my confusion, but since when does Columbia College award graduate degrees? Are you perhaps confusing it for the "Graduate School of Arts and Sciences"?

    It was my understanding that CC is strictly an undergraduate school.
«1
Sign In or Register to comment.