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Legacy Admissions

Does it help to be a Legacy when applying to college?

Sure, it helps to be a legacy if you’re applying to the college to which your parents attended.

But it also helps if you’re an athlete.

It also helps if you’re a musician.

It also helps if you’re an artist.

It also helps if you want to study Portuguese and the college is desperately looking for students to fill Portuguese classes.

You get the idea.  Being a legacy is just one hook amongst many when it comes to applying to college.

Being a legacy at the top ivies, aka, “the holy trinity” – Harvard, Yale, Princeton) – isn’t what it used to be.

According to the New York Times November 6th Education Issue,

“Admissions offices have long defended legacy consideration as merely a tie-breaker among equally high-qualified applicants.”

In 1980 24% of Yale’s freshman class were legacies, but in the class of 2014, 13% were legacies”.

And if you are a legacy of UCLA or University of Michigan or SUNY Binghamton, don’t think that will help you to get accepted at those schools just because your parents went there. Why?  Because public universities don’t keep track of legacies.  Why?  Maybe they’re just too big.

Also, since they’re public institutions, they’re not allowed to play favorites.  Not unless you’re an athlete, a musician, an artist…..

Juliet Giglio

Educational Consultant in Syracuse, New York

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