Legacy Preference Gets Fresh Look Following College-Admissions Scandal

Douglas Belkin:

Some elite universities are walking back the practice of giving the children of alumni preferential treatment in admissions, in some cases reacting to the public distrust of college admissions that was laid bare last year in the nationwide cheating scandal.

The practice, called legacy preference, is out-of-step with many schools’ stated goal of attracting a more diverse student body, admissions officers say.

The custom, which dates back to the 1920s and disproportionately benefits wealthy, white families, has drawn increasing criticism in recent years. Some schools have done away with the practice.

“The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”