Legacy at Georgetown University?

Hey, everyone. I’m currently a rising junior in high school. I have a question about legacy at private schools like Georgetown. My grandmother attended the School of Nursing in the 1950s. Ever since, she’s donated a few hundred bucks.

Just to give you a sense of where I stand academically, I have good grades (4.1+ GPA by the end of Junior year) with plenty of APs, Honors, and high level courses. I have good ECs with personally led clubs and 200+ volunteer hours. As for the SAT, I’ve been workin incredibly hard this summer preparing. After weeks of hard work, I just earned a 1450 on my PSAT two days ago. I’d like to get it to about a 1460.

I’m curious as to what this would do for me in the admissions process? I know that it won’t drastically change anything, especially if my grades didn’t make the cut. However, would it serve as somewhat of a boost to my admissions chances? I am VERY interested in attending Georgetown and it’s been my dream school ever since I was about 7. I’ve visited plenty of times and plan on attending the summer business academy this upcoming summer (if the pandemic permits) on campus.

If anybody has any information on what a recommendation from an alumni (lawyer at a big firm, director of fundraising at the MoMA, and a close friend who’s been with me throughout my high school years every step of the way) would do, i’d greatly appreciate it.

In advance, I appreciate it. Please stay safe and healthy!

Hi, your grandmother’s legacy will help a bit, her donation of a few hundred dollars will not do anything. The summer business academy, do it if you want to do it, but it also won’t help your chances that much. As for this alum recommendation, usually these things don’t help too much, but if it’s someone who really knows you well then go for it, it could be a nice to have.

Your stats overall sound fine, your grades seem fine but it would depend on what your unweighted GPA is (ie do you have a whole bunch of B’s in AP/Honors classes).

Make sure you can explain why Georgetown is your dream school in essays/ the interview.

Hey, thanks for replying. I appreciate it. My school actually doesn’t give an unweighted GPA. It’s definitely not very low. The lowest grade I had this year was a B+ in a pretty difficult AP. This year, my junior year, I’ll most likely receive an A, A, A-, and B+ in the 4 APs I’m taking. My school is very competitive and AP classes are incredibly difficult. I had a B in my freshman year in an Honors class but hopefully they won’t look into that too much if I’m pulling a 4.6 my junior year.

I was thinking of writing about my experiences at the business academy because one of the essays asks about why the McDonough School of Business is the best fit. I’d also include how Georgetown’s divestment in the use of fossil fuels is very important to me and how the school appeals to me because they’re one of the few schools to do so. I have some clubs and charity donations to back up this passion.

As for showing that Georgetown is my too choice, how would I do that? I figured that they didn’t want to really hear about that in an essay or statement. Thanks!!

You should be able to calculate your unweighted GPA on your own. A = 4.0, B = 3.0, etc. The unweighted GPA and class rank is what they will use to determine your standing.

Regarding legacy benefit - I have some experience with how Duke handles this. They acknowledge legacy benefit from all of the Duke schools, and even residency programs. But they weight legacy from the undergrad colleges more highly. At Harvard College, I believe they don’t even consider if your parent attended one of the grad programs.

But I have no idea if Gtown does the same thing or not.

Thanks so much for giving me this information! I’ll definitely calculate my unweighted GPA but my school also doesn’t rank.

Do the admissions officers not factor your weighted GPA as heavily? I’d figure that they would because it’s an acknowledgement of the high level class credit you’ve earned. I was under the impression that they sort of recalculate every applicant’s GPA on their own baseline scale in order to see where everybody stands. For example, my school is technically out of a 5.0 GPA, however, we can’t take APs our freshman year and barely any our sophomore year. Therefore, i’d think that our actual maximum gpa by the end of junior year wouldn’t be even close to a 5.0 GPA. For schools that operate of a GPA scale of a 5.5 or something, they’d recalculate it. Not sure, though.

The first thing you need to do is to find out if having a grandparent who graduated from Georgetown fits their definition of legacy.

I have tried looking before but I couldn’t find much online. There are plenty of sites and threads telling me that legacy is important at private schools like Georgetown and so I was curious about my secondary legacy. Do you know where I’d be able to find that information? I sort of just assumed it fit their definition of legacy.

An admissions person would be able to tell you. You could do a virtual admissions session and ask anonymously.

Perfect. I was going to do a virtual information session/tour soon. Are these virtual sessions formal? Will I need to turn on a camera and look presentable? lol

Thanks for your help!

Not sure how GU is doing their sessions, but even if the video functionality is enabled, you can choose to not use it and/or cover the computer’s camera with a sticky/piece of paper.

I appreciate your help. Stay healthy!

All you can do is apply and hope they consider your application. You’re probably aware that the school has a very low admissions rate, which means they routinely turn down people with practically perfect grades/scores.

The one thing I tell students that have a dream school is this. It’s not a dream. For every “dream” school, there are at least 3 you would like even better than the one you’re stuck on right now. Doctor, lawyer, engineer, etc…those are dreams, because they directly convert into fruitful occupations.

I just saw your question about letters from alumni/friends/etc. These are known as nepotism letters. I would steer completely away from them. The only situation where it might help is if a prominent alumni/faculty knows you from an academic angle. And this for an extended period of time. These types of letters can back-fire big time, as they are seen as ways to pad your application. The admissions people tend to resent having to read these letters, as they are often from well-heeled applicants.

Yeah, I’ve definitely heard about that. There are VERY close family friends that we’ve known forever that are prominent in the alumni program at BC, for example. I was thinking that a letter from him wouldn’t be seen as a nepotism letter as we’re close with him. I wouldn’t ask for a recommendation from any random alumni as I would figure that letters like those can be seen as padding an application. Thanks for your response. I appreciate it a lot.

If your family friends are that connected, ask them if they have any contacts in the Development Office. This is the office designated for the wealthy donors and other big-wigs. The development office is the best way to get a message to admissions.

The other option is to have your contact call anyone that they know well from the admissions office. A phone call is seen as less pushy than a letter. If they can reach the admissions officer responsible for your region, even better.

I will totally do so!! Thanks so much for your help. I really appreciate your time.