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Harvard’s freshman class is more than one-third legacy—here’s why that’s a problem

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Replies to: Harvard’s freshman class is more than one-third legacy—here’s why that’s a problem

  • studentathlete18studentathlete18 Registered User Posts: 234 Junior Member
    I am a non-legacy and non-hooked student at Harvard and I do not see what is wrong with giving legacies special preference if they apply Early. It makes sense to increase yield and maintain a long-term Harvard community. I am glad my kids will one day (hopefully) benefit from legacy status and they should not have to feel bad about that in my opinion.
  • lostaccountlostaccount Registered User Posts: 5,409 Senior Member
    studentathlete18, Legacy preference is an English 1800s thing, not a USA 2019 thing. It won't persist for long. Maybe your kids will have to achieve at high levels if they want to attend a highly selective school.
  • DeepBlue86DeepBlue86 Registered User Posts: 1,027 Senior Member
    edited May 5
    Every year Harvard admits the 2,000 kids that it thinks will be most valuable to Harvard, based on the many needs Harvard has and the constituencies it needs to satisfy. Some of those admitted are legacies; who they and their families are, and how important they are to Harvard, are factors that help push them into the admit pile, but everything in the app matters, and the vast majority of legacies are denied.

    Harvard’s probably in the best position to judge which applicants are most valuable to Harvard, it’s a private institution that can admit who it likes so long as it does so in accordance with the law, and unless the value of applicants’ family connections to Harvard declines to zero, or the government imposes a (probably unconstitutional) requirement that legacy status not be considered, being a legacy is going to continue to provide an admissions boost for the foreseeable future, IMO.
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