Are you familiar with Harvard’s Z-List? We’ve written extensively about the Harvard Z-List over the years but if you haven’t read our blog every morning for the last decade, well, you’re excused. The Harvard Z-List is a comprised of a select set of deferred applicants to the university each year. But not just anybody makes the famed Z-List. The Z-List is often reserved for legacy candidates. In fact, as part of the discovery process of the lawsuit against Harvard University brought by Students for Fair Admissions, it has come out that nearly half of Z-Listed students have parents who attended Harvard. Z-Listed students are also overwhelmingly white. And the Golden State Warriors won the NBA title again. It’s all so shocking, we know.
Eliminating the Z-List Would be ‘Inimical to Objectives’
As reports Jamie D. Halper for “The Harvard Crimson” in a piece entitled “‘Z-List’ Students Overwhelmingly White, Often Legacies,” “According to SFFA’s filings, the Z-list is well over half white students — at 70 percent of the Z-list admits for the classes of 2014 to 2019, white students made up more of the group than Asian, Hispanic, and black students combined. Black students comprised only 2 percent of those admitted through the deferred admission program. The filings also show that children of Harvard alumni made up a significant portion of the Z-list in recent years; 46.5 percent of students on the Z-list in the classes of 2014 to 2019 were legacies, according to the documents.”
Halper continues, “The filings also say that those admitted to the Z-list have pre-college academic records more comparable to rejected students than to those of other admitted students. ‘Academically, Z-listed admitted students perform far worse than other admitted students,’ the documents read. Harvard’s filings, in contrast to SFFA’s, refer to the program only as the practice of ‘deferred admission,’ and reference information about it from a report of the University’s Committee to Study Race-Neutral Alternatives. The filings include the committee’s finding that if the school were to eliminate deferred admission along with a number of considerations—including a student’s status as a legacy, a recruited athlete, or the child of an employee—the number of black, Hispanic, and ‘other’ students in the resulting class would be cut in half. The school called this possibility ‘inimical to its educational objectives.’
Does Harvard Really Need a Z-List?
Do our readers think that eliminating the Harvard Z-List would be inimical to the school’s educational objectives, as the school suggests? Is the Z-List necessary to offset the costs of financial aid for low-income admits? If Harvard’s endowment is the biggest among all universities — and it sure is — should that matter? Couldn’t the school just dip into their ginormous endowment to subsidize the cost of educating low-income students without having to continue the Z-List? Let us know your thoughts, your concerns, your deepest and darkest secrets, as well as what you ate for breakfast by posting a Comment below. We look forward to hearing from you!
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