The Biden administration’s secretary of education has his sights set on taking down legacy admissions at colleges following the Supreme Court’s ruling against race-based admissions, according to Politico.
The Supreme Court ruled against race-based admissions in June, and several institutions, including Wesleyan University, Carnegie Mellon University and Virginia Tech, ended their legacy admissions or scaled them back after the ruling, according to Politico. Department of Education (ED) Secretary Miguel Cardona is now targeting colleges that have legacy admissions practices, which involve giving admission preference to children or grandchildren of alumni of a college, and said that if race can’t be considered, then legacy admissions shouldn’t be either.
“They said we can’t look at race, but the person’s last name is fine or if somebody writes a check,” Cardona told Politico, speaking about the Supreme Court’s recent race-based admissions decision.
A 2018 survey revealed that 42% of admissions directors at private colleges and universities said that legacy status is a factor in admissions, according to Inside Higher Ed. One paper from Harvard estimated the odds of admission for applicants with legacy status to be over 3 times as likely as those without legacy status.
“We shouldn’t be highlighting or valuing legacy if we can’t take into account other factors that we think would add value,” Cardona told Politico. Cardona said in July that removing legacy admissions would not be enough to ensure the diversity of students at colleges and universities.
The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in June that race-based admissions were unconstitutional in two lawsuits against Harvard and the University of North Carolina. The move prompted Democrats to go after legacy admissions, calling it “affirmative action for the affluent,” according to NBC News.
The ED opened an investigation into Harvard in July, looking into whether or not their legacy admissions constituted race-based discrimination. “I think it’s time in our country that we’re honest about college admission processes and check ourselves. Does this reflect the values of what we want our higher education institutions to be?” Cardona told Politico.
Cardona did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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