Michael Hurwitz, a doctoral student at the Harvard School of Education, has found that children who apply at their parent’s alma mater are given a significant advantage in the admissions process.
Legacy admissions have become an increasingly touchy issue for colleges. Admissions officers mostly play down the impact of legacy status. But a growing body of research shows that family connections count for a lot — and Mr. Hurwitz’s study found a larger impact than previous studies.
And not without criticism:
“It’s fundamentally unfair because it’s a preference that advantages the already advantaged,” said Richard D. Kahlenberg, a senior fellow at the Century Foundation, a nonprofit research organization. “It has nothing to do with the individual merit of the applicant.”
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