In a seemingly knee-jerk reaction to the Supreme Court’s affirmative action decision earlier this month, the move to end legacy admissions has shifted into high gear. So far, Occidental College and Wesleyan University are the two highly ranked colleges that have announced an end to their legacy admission policies since the Supreme Court decision.
The argument is that legacy admissions primarily benefits wealthy and white applicants and is no longer counterbalanced by affirmative action. In fact, the US Department of Education opened an investigation into Harvard University‘s use of legacy admissions after a complaint filed by a civil rights group in the aftermath of the recent affirmative action decision.
It is worth noting that legacy admissions was “on the outs” well before the this month’s affirmative action ruling. Johns Hopkins ended its use of legacy admissions several years ago. MIT and Caltech ended their legacy admission programs some years ealier than JHU. Additionally, Amherst College ended its legacy admissions almost two years ago.