Colorado’s Legacy Admission Law

Colorado just passed a law to eliminate the most common form of preferential treatment in college admissions. I’m Amy E. Feldman.

Most people who think of preferential treatment in the college admissions process think either of colleges’ targets of underrepresented minority students or the “Varsity Blues”-type outright bribery.  In fact, the group that has the highest admission rates at elite colleges and universities is legacy admissions—students with alumni family members. Legacy applicants at Harvard, for example, were five times more likely to be admitted than their non-legacy counterparts.

Last week, Colorado became the first state to do something about it by passing a law that forbids Colorado public colleges and universities from considering legacy status in the admissions decision.  Whether the law will have any effect on private colleges and universities or schools in other states—who are not affected by this law—remains to be seen. But for those pushing for meritocracy in the process, this is a win.

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