Opinion | Good Riddance to Legacy Admissions

In The News

October 31, 2022

From The Chronicle of Higher Ed

By James Murphy

October 31, 2022

Today is Halloween, not a bad day for the Supreme Court to be digging the grave of legacy preferences. The justices are hearing two cases brought by the organization Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA), which accuse Harvard University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill of discriminating against Asian American students in the admissions process. SFFA lost the cases in the initial trials and on appeal, but the Supreme Court is expected to reverse those decisions and overturn decades of precedent that states that the value of campus diversity is so high for all students that it justifies taking applicants’ race into consideration during the admissions process.

What’s all that got to do with killing off legacy preferences?

A Supreme Court ruling is not actually going to force colleges to drop legacy preferences, but a commitment to diversity and common decency should. How hypocritical and mercenary — how exposed — will colleges look next summer if the only preferences left in admissions are for wealthy, white applicants? If the justices are going to ban admissions officers from considering the impact race has on access to opportunity in America, then college presidents and boards of trustees will have little choice but to stop putting a thumb on the scale for the children of alumni.

Read the full story here.