Calling Out Colleges on Legacy Preferences

I was interviewed recently for a Razorcake podcast that will be available next week. Candice Tobin conducted the interview and she asked some questions about what people can do to confront class bigotry in college admissions.

I mentioned one suggestion I made a while ago. If you applied this year to a college that offers preferences to legacies (children of alumni, especially rich ones), and you got rejected, write the person in charge of admissions.

Here are some questions to ask.

1. Did any legacies get admitted with records weaker than yours?

2. How can the college justify admitting applicants who have had every advantage, yet would not be able to get in on merit?

3. Do legacy preferences constitute invidious discrimination?

4. Is the college tax exempt?

5. If so, why do college administrators believe that taxpayers should subsidize practices that place most applicants at a disadvantage, relative to the rich?

You can post the questions and answers on a blog or social media. Feel free to send them to me, if you like. I’ve created a hashtag on Twitter: #endlegacybias

Incidentally, if you want a graphic representation of legacy preferences, and other biases in favor of the rich, here is a great Tom The Dancing Bug cartoon by Ruben Bolling.

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