College Legacy Admissions

Some people might believe that legacy admissions are unfair.

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College Legacy Admissions

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Scholarships, applications, stress and acceptance into a dream college, this is the cycle of a senior getting ready to end the year and continue their future beyond high school. Imagine getting an edge on acceptance just because a family member graduated from the same college. That’s exactly what a legacy admission is.

Many universities including Auburn University, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Indiana University, Bloomington, the University of Alabama and Stanford University etc. do place higher value on applicants who are related to alumni.

We attempted to contact the University of South Carolina about legacy admissions.The Admissions Officer declined to comment. 

With the school year coming to an end, seniors have spent all their winter season applying to college after college in anticipation of receiving that letter in the mail telling them that they have made it into their dream college.

Photo provided by Makayla Wilson
Wilson sharping her photography skills.

Makayla Wilson, a senior at Central Kitsap high school, applied to and plans to attend Eastern Washington University. Wilson says, “Yes I applied to multiple colleges and they asked if I had family members who attended the school or work for the school”. Legacy admissions are popular among more prestigious colleges, but they still appear in many other, less prestigious colleges.

Wilson stated, “Yes I am familiar with legacy admissions, I think it is a very old school American Way of the education system¨. Wilson’s father attended NC State, making him a ¨legacy¨ however, Wilson stated that her sister applied there and did not get in even with her dad donating money (because he’s an alumni).

The states can have influence and do something it about it, Wilson said that she thinks “government would keep a closer eye on shady admissions with legacies but people are always gonna find a way to get what they want”.    

Another senior at Central Kitsap high school, Drew Diefendorf is planning to attend Arizona State University starting next school year. Diefendorf thinks that the government should keep a closer eye on legacy admissions because some institutes may abuse the system.

As far as applications go, certain questions help the admin with the acceptance process. Diefendorf stated, “Yes, most of the schools that I had applied to had the option to tell the school if your relative had attended the college”.

Photo provided by Drew Diefendorf.
Diefendorf taking his dog on scenic walk.

According to Inside Higher Ed 18% of legacy students are below standards for what the college is looking for. The acceptance rate for legacy applicants was above average for 52 institutions and below average for 12. It is evident that schools do use that system. Diefendorf says, “Yes, I am familiar with legacy admissions. I believe that legacy admissions has a negative connotation surrounding it, however, I feel that legacy admissions should hold a place in the admissions process. I also feel that legacy admissions should only be put to use as a tiebreaker between students with the same credentials”.

Legacy admissions play an important role in the application and acceptance process of college. Students and administrators have different views on the issue and legacy admissions can make a huge difference on who gets accepted into which college.



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