Legacy preferences are indefensible

Affirmative action is attacked when it applies to race but not if it applies to privilege (“American colleges practicing structural racism,” New York Daily News, Jan. 20).  That’s what legacy preferences are because they automatically give a huge leg up to applicants whose parents graduated from the same school.

According to the College Board, legacies increase their chances for admission by 45 percent. That’s a huge advantage that unfortunately does not receive the same attention as racial preferences. Although some colleges have ended legacy preferences, they still exist because it is thought that their existence results in greater fundraising.

It’s time to rely strictly on merit in deciding admission.  If that results in a lopsided student body, so be it.  We don’t demand racial diversity in sports.  So why do so in admissions?

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