Amherst College Won’t Give Preference to Legacy Applicants Anymore
(Bloomberg) -- Amherst College will eliminate the preference given to legacy applicants for the first time.
“Now is the time to end this historic program that inadvertently limits educational opportunity by granting a preference to those whose parents are graduates of the college,” Carolyn “Biddy” Martin, Amherst president, said in a statement Wednesday.
Well-qualified children of alumni will be considered using the same criteria as the rest of the applicant pool, Amherst said. Legacies have accounted for about 11% of each class.
The liberal arts college in Massachusetts also said Wednesday it will expand financial aid to $71 million, a $4 million increase. The change takes effect in the 2022-2023 academic year.
Amherst, which admitted 8% of 14,000 applicants this year, is among the first private universities to remove the factor from admissions decision making. John Hopkins University in Baltimore formally ended the practice in 2019.
Preferential enrollments have faced criticism by parents of modest means and without connections. The college admissions scandal also demonstrated how rich parents used their wealth to subvert the application process, particularly at top-ranked and Ivy league schools.
Amherst’s new financial aid initiative will allow students from families earning less than the median U.S. household income to receive a scholarship covering full tuition, housing and meals, the school said.
The Wall Street Journal earlier reported the news.
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