Legacy Admission

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After graduating from high school many graduated seniors face the difficult challenge of applying to a university or community college to attend to in the fall. With applying to college, students compare their likes and dislikes with each school, determine which school environment suits them best, and where can they receive the best possible education for their potential major. Searching for a school to attend is an important part of a student’s life and applying to one should be performed very carefully. Before students are admitted to a school, Universities must determine whether a student is applicable during an admission process. Admission is a crucial step to being accepted into an elite college or major university. There are a few ways which the admissions process can take place, and the legacy admission is one to name out of the few. Many controversial issues have arisen through out the past few years, stating that this type of selection is not fair to other students who do not qualify under the legacy status. It is unethical to choose a student for superior reasons, because it is not fair to other students who are not of superior status, but deserve to attend a school. Legacy admission is the process in which a student is admitted because of a wealthy, educated, or important relative or close friend; who once attended a certain university in which that particular student has applied to. The Economist in “_The Curse of Nepotism_” describes legacy admission as “using admission systems as tools of alumni management—let alone fundraising” (Economist 366), while Lowell and Turner in the “_The History of Legacy Admissions_” describe it as “the son or daughter of an alumnus or alumna” (Turner 375). Legacy admissions have been present for a number of years, and continue to be used through out many major universities today. Legacy admission is most commonly seen amongst Ivy League and elite schools across the nation. In the 1920’s institutions like Yale, Harvard, and Princeton formalized their policies that favored children of alumni in order to appease graduate fathers (Turner 375). During the earlier years of this practice schools admitted, “All alumni students who could demonstrate a minimum level of ability” (Turner 375), but now the constant debate of whether this is ethical or not has led to a decline in students being admitted this way. Although many see it is unethical to accept students into school based off of alumni and the money they can contribute to the school, some feel that admitting students through a legacy does have a positive aspect on admission and to the university.
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