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Three groups in Boston—the Chica Project, the African Community Economic Development of New England and the Greater Boston Latino Network—have asked the Education Department to investigate Harvard University’s practice of operating a legacy admissions program, in which the children of alumni are favored.

According to Lawyers for Civil Rights, nearly 70 percent of Harvard’s donor-related and legacy applicants are white, and they receive a substantial boost based on their status. Donor-related applicants are nearly seven times more likely to be admitted than non-donor-related applicants, and legacies are nearly six times more likely to be admitted.

For the Class of 2019, about 28 percent of the class were legacies with a parent or other relative who went to Harvard.

A spokeswoman for Harvard, Nicole Rura, said the university would have no comment on the complaint, but she reiterated to The New York Times a statement from last week: “As we said, in the weeks and months ahead, the university will determine how to preserve our essential values, consistent with the court’s new precedent.”