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How much do legacies count for?

Hcos12893Hcos12893 Registered User Posts: 810 Member
edited January 2010 in Princeton University
if i have four generations of my family that went to Princeton would that factor in at all into how they look at a candidate. for example my mother, her father, his father, and his father all went to Princeton. if i have slightly sub-par grades Bs/B+s at an extremely competitive private school, will this give me an edge in admissions
Post edited by Hcos12893 on

Replies to: How much do legacies count for?

  • randombetchrandombetch Registered User Posts: 1,079 Senior Member
    Same as a double legacy. It helps a lot. Even better than URM advantage.

    If you have great grades, great test scores, great extracurriculars, good LORs, and good essays, you're in.
  • german_cargerman_car - Posts: 89 Junior Member
    You have a great chance. Princeton is full of legacies with B averages.
  • Silly PuddySilly Puddy Registered User Posts: 127 Junior Member
    In case you didn't know already, german_car's our local disgruntled-Princeton-reject on CC ;)

    Princeton's about 10% legacy, but it's also the case that far far more legacies get turned down than get in. If you buy what the admissions office says (and here, I do), it's more a tie-break/tipping-factor than a welcome-to-Princeton card, but still a nice thing in a tough applicant pool. Anecdotally, I'd say most of the legacies I've met on campus have been very sharp students, at least as strong as the non-legacies.

    As for your specific grades, it's hard to tell how Princeton will interpret that without knowing more about your school, etc. A B+ at Stuyvesant is different from a B+ at a HS where many students graduate with straight A's.
  • samedifferencesamedifference Registered User Posts: 316 Member
    Anecdotal evidence, but: last year, I knew 3 students who applied to Princeton. Two were valedictorians (our school grants valedictorian status to everyone with a 4.4+ GPA), one of which was also a class officer and very active in our school, the second an award winning debater. Both had SATs above 2250s. The third was a legacy, with good, not great, stats and ECs. He was admitted. The valedictorians were not.
  • tjan91tjan91 Registered User Posts: 746 Member
    it definitely helps, but youre definitely not a shoo-in if youre a legacy. the advantage is hardly as pronounced as the post by samedifference above implies.
  • randombetchrandombetch Registered User Posts: 1,079 Senior Member
    Legacy kids are admitted at 4 times the regular rate... You only need to be in the top 40% of the legacy kids to get in - and a lot of legacy kids who apply are just doing it because they're legacy (they wouldn't have a shot at all if they weren't legacy, but think they have a chance because they are legacy). Overall, the quality of legacy kids applying is higher than the regular pool, but I don't think it's 4 times better. I think it is a huge advantage.
  • Silly PuddySilly Puddy Registered User Posts: 127 Junior Member
    Anecdotal evidence, but: last year, I knew 3 students who applied to Princeton. Two were valedictorians (our school grants valedictorian status to everyone with a 4.4+ GPA), one of which was also a class officer and very active in our school, the second an award winning debater. Both had SATs above 2250s. The third was a legacy, with good, not great, stats and ECs. He was admitted. The valedictorians were not.

    Sure, but you see this sort of thing even with non-legacy applicants. I can tell you that people from my high school whom I considered more talented than me didn't get into Princeton when I did*. To some extent, this is a result of the fact that admissions staff can only judge applications, not applicants themselves, and to an extent, it's the result of a messy process where different schools and different people evaluate applications differently.

    Look, I'm not discounting the value of being a legacy. I've heard those types of stories in my high school, too. But while the bar for legacies may be lower in the admissions process, nothing I've seen suggests it's much lower.

    *Of course, they all ended up okay anyway. Princeton's a great place but fortunately not a requisite for success or happiness.
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