His essay was on identity and race as someone mentioned earlier, maybe in the interview he went into it in more detail.
@Data10 I'm going to assume you interview for S but nonetheless I don't think you interview for P. I think institutionally schools will look at research achievements differently. I think P values most research equally as it assumes 70%+ of students are going to change majors based on what they thought they'd major in when they applied. Possibly M, S and others value more intense, passionate research as their major switch rate is lower.
The downside is that they're not getting the best students because of this policy.
The downside is that they're not getting the best students because of this policy
I think that athletes, legacies and wealthy donors add more to the campus than affirmative action recruits because the affirmative action recruits are the culturally same upper middle to upper class type of person like everyone else just with a different skin color.
That really depends on your definition of "best" --not the college's.
If too many of the best students are accepted, the overall atmosphere for the preference admits would become uncomfortable. No one wants to feel outclassed.
At Stanford, once an application indicates some sort of legacy connection, it is sent over to alumni relations, who then look to see if the legacy relation exists in their database. Once they pull up this information, the adcoms will be able to see everything about this legacy relation, from his or her graduation year and major to the amount that he or she has donated.
At some schools, if the legacy relation is a sibling of a similar age, the adcoms will actually pull up that sibling’s entire academic record and evaluate the applicant in comparison to his or her sibling. So here’s a heads-up: it helps to have similar (or better) stats as a legacy sibling, and it also helps if a legacy sibling is actually doing well in college.
If too many of the best students are accepted, the overall atmosphere for the preference admits would become uncomfortable. No one wants to feel outclassed. HYPS probably has this about right for their purposes.
Had they not considered legacy status, they would have admitted some unhooked students in place of some of these legacies (with the college's own standards other than their legacy preferences). Wouldn't they?
My point was that, however valued being a legacy is to the college, it is not a student-earned characteristic, as opposed to one acquired by inheritance. And since legacy correlates to existing advantage otherwise (higher SES, etc.), it is likely that legacies are more likely to be achieving at their fullest potential than other applicants who may be less advantaged in various ways, so that other applicants of comparable achievement are likely to have higher potential.
I agree that keeping legacy preferences benefits these colleges and they're surely doing it for their own benefit. The downside is that they're not getting the best students because of this policy. MIT and Caltech don't consider an applicant's legacy status because they believe, correctly I might add, that the qualities of their student bodies would suffer if they had incorporated legacy consideration into their admission processes.
They would have admitted some students who served some institutional goals in different ways, not necessarily "unhooked". And not necessarily with higher or better academic credentials or stats.
Regarding MIT and Caltech, so often cited here, if, as with them, the preponderance of your operating budget is met by research grants.