After hearing from William Deresiewicz on Friday and reading his essay about the problems with Ivy League colleges, I started to wonder specifically about the topic of legacy admissions to Ivy League schools. I ended up finding some statistics that showed how unfair not only Ivy League but all universities can be when it comes to admission of students with alumni parents.
As we know from Mr. Deresiewicz's speech and essay, Ivy League colleges basically lead you on a path to success and wealth (but not necessarily happiness). Obviously this leads to many successful, wealthy alumni that have children who they want to be successful and wealthy as well. Turns out it's a lot easier to get into an Ivy League school, or any university for that matter, when your parents are alumni. In fact, at the thirty top colleges in the nation, students have a 45% higher chance of getting accepted if they are legacies. The advantage is equivalent to an extra 160 points on the SATs.
This is completely unfair. A kid who is not as smart and qualified as another kid may be picked over him/her just because their parents went to that same college; the unjustness of it seems obvious. Ultimately this is feeding into the strict class system of America, since already wealthy kids with Ivy League alumni parents are chosen over lower class kids who may be smarter and more qualified, thus rejecting the lower class kids from the path to wealth that is the Ivy League and keeping them stuck in the lower class.
This practice is very similar to discrimination and the opposite, affirmative action. All of these are a company or college factoring in other things besides how qualified someone is when deciding to hire/accept them. The only way a college can be fair in its acceptance is to only look at the person's test scores, essay, and all the other things that make a person qualified, not their race, family, heritage, or anything else that is in no way a deciding factor in if someone is qualified.