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Legacies, full pay and donors. Misguided anger?

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Replies to: Legacies, full pay and donors. Misguided anger?

  • privatebankerprivatebanker Registered User Posts: 3,055 Senior Member
    edited March 3
    @ucbalumnus Agreed 100 percent. But who is going to pay the bills for the others who are qualified but can’t afford the cost.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 31,169 Senior Member
    edited March 3
    Ordinary legacies get in or not based on their own apps. Whether or not they get a little extra read or can win a tie, they must have the stuff and show it. The app package is long. The whole of it matters.

    I hate the use of the word "preference," as if adcoms prefer to admit legacies. They prefer to admit matches. I've seen tons of legacies make no positive impression- and not get in. We go over the numbers on many of these "preference" threads. Despite, eg, the number of legacies at H, the number of legacy applicants not admitted is high.

    And in case someone starts saturating the thread with quantitative facts, I need to emphasize this is a qualitative process.


    And if one's kid didn't get in somewhere, it's not necessarily slanted. (Heck, mine got rejected where I'm connected, I know what a perfect match she would have been. But it was her app and she did what she wanted. And the big block of not having the stats.)
  • privatebankerprivatebanker Registered User Posts: 3,055 Senior Member
    edited March 3
    @lookingforward and @ucbalumnus

    I guess my premise poses a different question.

    Even if legacy, mega donors and full pay applicants receive a “bump, hook, preference, thumb on the scale or is a tie breaker”, isnt that actually ok.

    As long as it’s in a reasonable percentage of the whole, is it not worth it for the economic benefits it provides to the larger social picture ?

    The broader initiative to make many top schools available to undeserved American kids. Through aid and merit. Including the middle class.

    And this spreads the educational advantage more broadly. And makes us more competitive long term, as a country.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 31,169 Senior Member
    edited March 3
    Merit, in the top college context, is NOT hierarchical. It's not the 1600 or the kid who runs several clubs or raised some big amount for some charity. It's both broader and more specific. And again, this CC thinking tha certain tippy tops inevitanly lead to great wealth and educational privilege. In fact, many tippy top grads are making their mark without being 1%. Not necessarily offering their kids the pinnacle of what money can buy.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 31,169 Senior Member
    PB, there are lots of resources contributing to top colleges. The guy who gives 200 mil on one side. But add back "Corporations and Foundations." It's the old 80/20 principle- 20% are giving 80% of the funds. I'm not even sure 10% are the biggest donors.

    I get your point that some good comes of donations. But most endowments are paying out at a small amount annually. Development at a tippy top is a big machine.
  • privatebankerprivatebanker Registered User Posts: 3,055 Senior Member
    edited March 3
    What about the top schools but not the Uber elites. Fordham or UMiami or Tulane?
    Whose endowments without ongoing commitments couldn’t fund the fa, professor sweepstakes, buildings, programs and merit pools so desperately needed. To compete. But to also help middle class and lower income families.

    Don’t they need these carrots in the right percentage to help keep it all going ?
  • privatebankerprivatebanker Registered User Posts: 3,055 Senior Member
    And maybe it all was needed for years at the Uber elites. Now with 10 20 and 40b on hand it’s time to turn off the preference. But maybe not beneath that level of endowment assets.
  • SJ2727SJ2727 Registered User Posts: 1,068 Senior Member
    “But who is going to pay the bills for the others who are qualified but can’t afford the cost.”

    Exactly. I’m less sure about legacies than full pay and donors here. I don’t really get why there is anger against full pay families - some of whom saved up long and hard for their kids’ college fees - and against donors who choose to, you know, actually donate money to those who need it rather than just buy another yacht or whatever. I understand the rationale behind legacy but it’s far more tenuous imo - possibly reflected in a few angry threads we’ve seen here about legacies being denied admission. I would understand all this anger far more if there were no hooks for disadvanged kids. As you point out, someone needs to fund them.
  • privatebankerprivatebanker Registered User Posts: 3,055 Senior Member
    Maybe it’s less so regarding full pay. But there is a lot of discussion around needs blind versus need aware. And somehow this is wrong. Which it may be.

    I
  • privatebankerprivatebanker Registered User Posts: 3,055 Senior Member
    edited March 3
    I also feel that perhaps I am once again pivoting back to thinking financial preference at any school with a 5b endowment or greater is not necessary. Big donors. Keep those folks coming. If it’s 1 percent of spots and 100 percent of the “new gyms” it makes sense.
  • wisteria100wisteria100 Registered User Posts: 4,052 Senior Member
    You say your anger was directed at Ivies and top 10 privates. But being full pay at those doesn’t provide a bump, as those schools are need blind. So for those, the anger is indeed misguided.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 31,169 Senior Member
    One of the learned major points in someone's willingness to give turns out to be satisfaction with one's own experience at the college. So yes, it's a viscious cycle. Get more funding, so the experience is enhanced, one way or another, so alums will be willing to gift.

    And for Corp & Fdn gifts, yes, one important stats is "percentage of alums giving," which is seen as a measure of that satisfaction.

    I'm a firm believer in the opportunities for lower SES, have seen their drives, efforts, accomplishments. Many times, better than more comfy kids. There's irony in that.

    I don't see "financial preference," my connection is a need blind. Many times, when quoting the number of wealthy kids at elites, some forget those are usually the ones who choose to matriculate. Meanwhile, poorer kids with local interests may be choosing to stay local, for various reasons.

    Yeah, I have a hard time when someone gives 200 or 400 mil to H, when they could be going more grass roots.

  • privatebankerprivatebanker Registered User Posts: 3,055 Senior Member
    edited March 3
    @wisteria100 That was my personal component to the thread. Not the question.

    And I am a full pay parent. My issue was legacy preference at some non ivies.

    There were three categories in the question. Not sure why you jumped on one and ignored the other two.

    No need to personalize against me. The question is a broader one than my personal situation.
  • wisteria100wisteria100 Registered User Posts: 4,052 Senior Member
    On legacies- I think there are some schools where the community component is an important part of their mission. And so legacies for those schools can be an important part of their community build.
  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 Registered User Posts: 4,573 Senior Member
    I think you have a very valid point OP. Schools need full pay students, large donations, and money coming in from high profile/profitable sports to be able to maintain the level of university education we have come to expect in this country. Even my daughter's state flagship is already canvassing us for donations (not going over particularly well with lots of parents).

    I think the bigger question is do we need all the frills to have high quality education but that's another discussion.

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