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A new report by Education Reform Now strongly criticizes legacy admissions.

“Legacy preferences provide a birthright advantage to the children of alumni in the college admissions process,” the report said. “They represent a textbook example of systemic racism, since most beneficiaries of legacy preferences are white, while students of color and students from low- and middle-income households are much more likely to be the first in their families to go to college. After a century of use, eliminating legacy preferences is long overdue, but it will be absolutely necessary for them to end should the Supreme Court bar the consideration of race in admissions, as it is expected to do.”

The report noted that there is strong opposition to legacy preferences in the world of college admissions, and among the general public.

The colleges that continue legacy preferences tend to be on the East Coast. While most colleges that offer legacy preferences are private, the report noted that 80 percent of Virginia’s public colleges do so.

“Many highly ranked universities and colleges enroll more legacies than Black students,” said the report. “If the Supreme Court bans the consideration of race in college admissions and colleges do not end the use of legacy preferences, these enrollment gaps will likely grow even larger.”