At Brown University, 17.6% of students strongly disagree with the consideration of legacy status in admissions decisions at the university. Additionally, 32.5% of students somewhat disagree with the consideration, 19.3% have no opinion, 24.5% somewhat agree, and 6% strongly agree. As stated in an article on Brown legacy admissions in “The Brown Daily Herald,” “Just over half of undergraduates disagree with the consideration of legacy status in the University’s admission decisions, according to the results of a Herald poll conducted March 3–4. About 30 percent of students agree with the use of legacy status — having a parent, grandparent or sibling who attended Brown — in admission, and 19 percent have no opinion. Legacy students and varsity athletes were more likely to support legacy status’ use in admission, while those receiving financial aid from the University were less likely to do so.”
Well that’s a real shocker — legacy students and varsity athletes were more likely to support the consideration of legacy status in admissions decisions at Brown while those who receive financial aid were less likely to support such consideration. Here’s a question we’d like to pose to those students strongly disagreeing with the use of legacy admission at Brown who receive financial aid: Where oh where do they think their financial aid is coming from? Much of it comes from donors. It does not come out of thin air. And, while we have argued in the past that legacy admission may actually be a violation of tax law since donors are in fact often receiving something for their tax-deductible donations (their children have higher odds of admission), it’s currently legal and to not give these students an advantage in the applicant pool risks a school’s financial security. That’s not a good thing!
We’d also like to point out that just as many students don’t want to acknowledge publicly that they had help from a private college counselor in getting into a highly selective college like Brown University, many students would not choose to acknowledge publicly that they support the notion of the children of rich people getting into college. In an age where college graduates often take jobs working for non-profits instead of high-paying jobs on Wall Street, it’s just not considered cool to express support for legacy admission. But that doesn’t mean they don’t really support it. Especially if they got into Brown with a little help from Mommy and Daddy’s donations to their alma mater.