Why does legacy matter?

<p>The only reason I could think of is that daddy who went to Princeton or Harvard still donates a lot of money there. But there are some people who went to a top school and donate a dime there. Do their kids still get advantages?</p>

<p>My guess is it is a case of the old adage "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree".</p>

<p>In other words, if a parent did it then their child should also be able to since intelligence is significantly controlled by heredity.</p>

<p>I'm not sure if this is what they actually do, but I feel like the weight of legacy on an application would depend on the parents' contributions to a school. If a parent were to donate time or money, I feel like his/her children have a slightly better chance than those who merely graduated.</p>

<p>Yale admits legacies at around a 30% rate, which is very high for an ivy. I agree with the statements above and also, I think that the idea of tradition and history is part of the cause.</p>

<p>Sent from my ADR6350 using CC</p>

<p>Yale admits legacy children of college and grad school alumni at about 20%, not 30%.</p>

<p>Why is legacy important? An involved alumni corps is an important constituency for any university. Yes for donations of money but also as volunteers, as public relations, and as a source of input and other support.</p>

<p>The truth on legacy admissions at top universities (anyone who doesn't know this is naive):</p>

<p>The number of admissions cases where a student's legacy status was a factor in admission is extremely small. I've explained this in depth many times, but I don't feel like doing it again, so I'll give you a short version: rich kids get in at high rates. It makes no difference whether their parents are graduates. The reality is that the higher the income you have, the higher the likelihood of admission (which is why so many college consultants are frauds who think they're "working their magic" when really the students would probably have gotten in regardless of the consultant's efforts). One past study estimate that three quarters of the students at the top ~150 colleges were from the top economic quartile, while only three % were from the bottom. That's not legacy admissions at work; that's privilege at work!</p>

<p>That's not to say that these well-to-do students don't deserve admission; they most certainly do. But think about this: legacy students are most exposed to the university growing up; they feel an allegiance because their parent(s) graduated from it; they are more likely to attend if admitted. For these reasons, legacy students are common in applicant pools, and their admission rate is perhaps bizarrely low. You think it's a scandal that the legacy admit rate at Harvard or whathaveyou is 2x the overall admit rate? I'd bet you quite a lot that if you blinded admissions officers to legacy status, these legacies would still get in at much higher rates. The reality is that the more money you have, the more opportunity you have - from ballet lessons to SAT prep to travel to a science fair. That's why rich kids dominate in higher education. And that's why legacies also dominate in admissions: their parents are (usually) successful graduates of an elite university and made themselves relatively wealthy, to the extent that they could ensure that their child would be a top choice among colleges.</p>

<p>For schools that care about yield (how many attend out of how many admitted) then legacies may attend at a higher percentage.</p>

<p>Post #6 is also borne out by the fact that legacy admits to HYP, who also cross apply to the others, also are admitted at a higher rate -- even though no legacy "preference" was conferred. This points to the fact that the individual legacies tend to be stronger applicants.</p>

<p>This article was posted in another thread, but relevant:</p>

<p>WSJ.com</a> - For Groton Grads, Academics Aren't Only Keys to Ivy Schools</p>

Selective universities justify favoring children of alumni and prospective donors on the grounds that tuition doesn't cover the entire cost of education. These schools say private gifts subsidize scholarships, faculty salaries and other needs. Children of celebrities, they add, enhance an institution's visibility. "I will certainly factor in a history of very significant giving to Stanford," said Robin Mamlet, admissions dean. She added that the university's development office each year provides her with names of applicants whose parents have been major donors.</p>

<p>Ms. Bass was far from the only child of prominent parents in the Groton class of '98. It included children of diplomats, international lawyers and famous writers, as well as other wealthy businesspeople. Harvard admitted a dozen members of the class -- more than any other Ivy League university. At least five of those accepted by Harvard were alumni children, including Matthew Burr. His father, Boston venture capitalist Craig L. Burr, gave his alma mater between $1 million and $5 million in the mid-1990s, according to Harvard records.</p>

<p>Matthew Burr ranked fourth in his Groton class but had an SAT score of 1240. Three-fourths of Harvard students have SAT scores of 1380 or higher. Mr. Burr applied to one other college, Williams, which rejected him. Now a Harvard senior, Matthew Burr says he took the SAT four times. "I just don't test well," he says. He acknowledges his father's Harvard ties aided his admission chances. "I don't think legacy is a fair criterion for people to get into college," he adds. "But for me, that was the way it was."</p>

<p>Craig Burr says his donation to Harvard had "absolutely nothing to do" with his son's acceptance. "Matthew did not need any help because he had phenomenal grades," he says. Harvard declines to comment on individual applicants.


<p>Even though the article is from 2003, nothing contained in your citation is a terrible injustice, is it? And Matthew Burr didn't get to be 4th in his class by not having phenomenal grades.</p>