Many debate whether or not legacy status should or shouldn’t help a college applicant’s chances for admission. And yet whether or not it should help, legacy status does indeed help applicants to highly competitive colleges by giving them a distinct advantage in admissions. But is this practice – is legacy admission – against the law? Well, maybe. You might be surprised by the type of law we think legacy admission is in violation of: tax law.
That’s right. Tax law. The practice of legacy admission gives advantages to the family of alumni – typically the sons and daughters of alumni. College admissions counselors afford particular benefit to the sons and daughters of alumni who donated money over the years. Yes, the applicant whose parents donated the new biology building gets special attention. It’s a way of saying thank you. It’s a way of encouraging future donations from that family. It’s a way of creating loyalty to an institution. It’s a way of fostering love for a college.
But these donors donate their money and these are tax-deductable donations. The donors get a tax write-off. They’re not supposed to be receiving anything in return for their charitable donations to non-profits and yet if it helps their children’s chances for admission to their alma mater, that’s exactly what they’re receiving. Should non-profit universities be removed from the list of eligible recipients of charitable donations? Should legacy admissions end? Do you think it will anytime soon? Let us know your thoughts by posting below.