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Legancy Admissions Essay

1420 words - 6 pages

Over the course of time many things change, sometimes for the better but other times for the worse. Among those many things are colleges and universities. Colleges and universities have been around for hundreds of years and have emerged with time. When first opened, only children of rich families attended. Now legacy admissions are doing the exact same thing.
In an article in Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum, titled “The History of Legacy Admissions” Cameron Howell and Sarah E. Turner state that “legacy” means the son or daughter of an alumnus or alumna, but the practical application of the word reveals how it has been derived from its original meaning of inheritance. Legacy ...view middle of the document...

In an article titled “Children of Alumni are Uniquely Harmed by the Admissions Preferences, Study Finds” found in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Peter Schmidt gives his thought on the issue. Schmidt tells us that researchers have found that students who had received extra consideration in admissions because they were black, Hispanic, or an athlete did not have the same academic problems as legacy students (28). This brings the topic of laws and the Constitution to the issue of legacy admissions.
Until 1954 public universities engaged in segregation. Segregation could be classified as the same thing as legacy admissions in my book. Legacy admissions are basically stereotyping people by their family background, instead of the color of their skin, which was the case of racism. Before the Civil Rights movement minority enrollment was very low in higher education. With the low amount of students able to go to school legacy admissions were not a major factor. Howell and Turner state that once laws were passed concerning segregation changes in the gender, race, and geographic representation of applicants increased the overall level of competition for admission to these institutions (227). With segregation beginning to decrease things seemed better, however there was still segregation going on. Now instead of segregation by race and gender it was done by legacy preferences. Being aware of the history of the issue can help in the admission process tremendously.
There is always that first child in the family that decides to continue their education after high school and become what they have always dreamed upon. Being the first person to go to school in a family can be very confusing and stressful. Parents love to help give advice but are truly unaware of what goes on inside of the admission process. DeKoven states, they are also unaware that many students on college campuses today are not there based entirely upon merit, but because a parent attended the university, or the family contributed money in the past or made a pledge to the school (224). With many families having no previous college education they know very little about what goes on. From a young age many people are taught to work hard and if they continue to do that good things will come of it. Debra Thomas and Terry Shepard wrote an article titled “Legacy Admissions Are Defensible Because the Process Can’t Be ‘Fair’” which appeared in Writing and Reading Across the Curriculum. But according to Thomas and Shepard, they ponder upon if “merit” can actually be determined in the admission process (223). Trying to be fair in the admission process is nearly impossible. DeKoven helps by stating that George W. Bush our former president received acceptance into Yale with a C average from high school (224). So why did they accept him if his average grade was a C? He was a third generation legacy, that is why.
Using George W. Bush for example he earned very low grades in...

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