Phi Beta Cons

USA Today on Legacy Preferences

Very odd editorial <a href="http://blogs.usatoday.com/oped/2008/08/our-view-on-col.html“>here. I agree with the bottom line — the government shouldn’t forbid colleges to use legacy preferences — though I wish they’d made the point that colleges should ban them on their own. The piece highlights a recent study showing that legacy-admitted students tend not to do as well as other students.
Also, the crux of their anti-ban stance is this:

It’s easy to appreciate the unease about legacy admissions. But depriving colleges of the ability to shape their freshman classes as they see fit, as long as they abide by anti-discrimination laws, amounts to denial of an important academic freedom.

At the very least, this is a weird interpretation of “academic freedom.” Schools aren’t even claiming to do this for academic reasons, just financial ones, and in some (certainly disingenuous) cases, maybe to maintain traditions of family-school ties.

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