Legacy admission is a preference given by educational institutions to certain applicants based on their family relationship to alumni of that institution. The other category of admissions is based on meritorious applicants. The ongoing moral dilemma between the two types of admissions into universities is illogical.
A legacy admission is giving favored treatment to a college applicant because someone in the family attended the college. The common application for most universities ask where the parents went to college, it"„¢s because legacy status matters in the college admissions process. Most college admissions officers will state that legacy status is a insignificant factor in making the final admissions decision. Often some declare that in a borderline case legacy status might help an admissions decision in the student"„¢s favor. The actual reality is that legacy status is important. In some universities, studies have shown that legacy students are twice as likely to be accepted as students without legacy status. Legacy admissions are all about money. For example, a graduate from a prestigious university gives $10,000 a year to the school's annual fund. Now imagine that the graduate"„¢s child applies to the same prestigious university. If the school rejects the legacy student, the parent"„¢s good will is likely to evaporate, as will the $10,000 a year in contributions. The universities can be influenced at an even greater magnitude if the graduate is wealthy and could possibly give the school a very generous amount of money. When multiple members of a family attend the same college or university, the loyalty to the school is often enlarged, as with the money. When a legacy student is rejected from the school that the parents attended, anger and hard feelings can make the likelihood of future donations much less.
When a student doesn"„¢t have legacy status, it"„¢s easy to feel angry and hopeless in the face of the unfair preferential treatment some students receive. Merit admission is an applicant that doesn"„¢t have legacy status and has worked hard for their strong academic background. This is where the dilemma comes in. Should universities give preference to legacy students over those that are not? The position some try to argue is that admission decisions should be fair. The fact is admission judgments will never be fair. When fewer spots in a class are present than qualified applicants, it will be impossible to make admissions fair. Since spots in a class are limited, they have to limit the acceptable applicants. Therefore, the universities must make decisions on what they want to evaluate on applications and what they think the deciding factor should be to be accepted into their university. Should the universities favor in-state students? Should they consider race, academic background, or athletic career? What makes a student more qualified over another? The argument on fairness is all relevant. No matter what laws that could restrict the universities from making certain decisions, or how they decide who gets accepted, there will always be that majority that don"„¢t get accepted and will think the system is unfair.
Although some think the system is unfair, the universities just have to go by the preference on what most people agree is acceptable. The majority of the applicants today do not have legacy status. A few students have an unfair advantage, but the typical applicant"„¢s odds of being admitted change very little whether or not a university gives preference to legacy students. Unless a change to the amount of applicants a university can accept, that majority of the declined applicants will consider the universities as being unfair.