I mean it will help but you have to be a decently qualified applicant on your own first. Definitely put it down though because it can give you a boost. It's just that what they don't like is the student who slacks off, etc. and feels that he is worthy and deserving of going just because they have a family member who did.
Source: Personally don't have legacy at Penn but a friend of mine is a 4th generation legacy at Penn from both sides so I know through him.
No, it doesn't. Donation history is irrelevant for purposes of legacy status in Penn admissions (as opposed to a so-called "developmental admit," which in admissions parlance is an applicant whose family has made MAJOR donations--think 6 or 7 figures--to the relevant school). If you have a parent or grandparent who attended Penn, you are a legacy for admissions purposes (regardless of donation history), and it's just an additional factor that is taken into account during the ED round. It won't get you admitted if you are not an otherwise competitive applicant, but it can certainly help all else being equal.
And just to emphasize, it only really counts during the ED round.
Up until recently, Penn used to state that more than 60% of legacy applicants were NOT accepted. I suspect that the legacy rejection percentage is even higher now (I'd guess around 65-70% or so), as Penn admissions in general have become consistently more competitive.
I disagree. The notion that donation history of legacies doesn't matter is naive at best. Large donations help just as being arecruited athlete helps.If you are at least in the ball park you will get a significant bump from either of these factors.
^ You are conflating two different concepts: legacy admissions and developmental admits. As an involved alum of Penn for decades, I have paid fairly close attention to Penn admissions, including attending events where legacy admissions were discussed by Dean Furda and President Gutmann.
Again, as I attempted to explain in my last post, the legacy bump during the ED round is NOT dependent on the level of donations made by the legacy applicant's family--this has been explicitly asked and answered at these alumni events. Whether the applicant's family has donated $10, $100, or $10,000 over the years is irrelevant to how legacy status helps that applicant during the admissions process. On the other hand, at virtually ALL schools, an applicant (legacy or otherwise) whose family has donated hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars to a particular school can definitely be helped in the admissions process by that fact. As I indicated, there is even a term for that in the admissions biz: a "developmental admit." But that is NOT the same as legacy admissions. They are two separate and distinct concepts, and shouldn't be confused with one another.
^ Do you have any direct evidence of that? Because all of the direct evidence I've been privy to over the decades (both in written materials issued by Penn and, as I previously indicated, as stated orally at meetings by both Dean Furda and President Gutmann), is to the contrary.
The amount of money donated is NOT a factor with respect to legacy. With respect to "developmental admits"--whether legacy or not, and at most other selective schools in addition to Penn--it certainly is. But all of the reputable information I have seen and heard over the years (including attendance at Penn legacy admissions sessions on campus) indicates quite strongly that Penn admissions officers do NOT consider--or even ascertain, for that matter--how much a legacy applicant's family may or may not have donated to Penn when they evaluate that applicant. And unless you have direct, credible evidence to the contrary, I think I'll go with what I've been told directly both in writing and orally by Penn officials.
^ I DO have evidence, as I've indicated in several posts now (as well as in previous threads over the years). I'm a knowledgeable--and active--Penn alum who has followed this for DECADES (and has been involved in the legacy admissions process, by the way).
You're currently a high school student, if I'm not mistaken. Believe what you want, but I can assure you that the admissions office generally does NOT compare the relative size of family donations when deciding whether to accept legacy applicants during the ED round. And it would make no sense for Penn officials regularly to communicate that fact to alumni if it weren't true, since telling them the opposite would encourage larger and more frequent donations.
I have to agree with 45 percenter. I have attended many alumni events- husband is penn grad- and was told same. Further evidence is that my son was accepted last night and our record of giving runs to a couple hundred bucks every few years. He was qualified and his legacy status probably differentiated him from the many other qualified candidates from our region. And further evidence is that the child of a generous prominent alum was rejected despite those six figure donations discussed above. That student was not a qualified candidate by any measure.