Legacy preferences operate in the shadows of college admissions, according to this report from Education Reform Now. They serve the students who need the least help in gaining access to a high-quality education and exclude the students most likely to benefit from attending a highly selective institution. Colleges that continue to maintain legacy admissions are showing their limited commitment to social mobility and diversity. At the very least, these colleges, which put alumni ahead of first-generation students and students of color and sacrifice fairness and the public’s trust in order to increase their endowments, should be forced to come out of the shadows and be held accountable.

The study calls on the U.S. Department of Education to begin collecting and publishing disaggregated data on legacy admissions. That exposure, combined with state and federal legislation and civil rights complaints, could finally bring a shameful chapter in college admissions to a close, the report concludes.

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