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Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin Signs Bill Banning Legacy Admissions

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Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin signed a bill Friday banning legacy admissions at public colleges in the state.

Several states have moved to eliminate legacy admissions, which are admissions based on prior familial attendance to a school, after the fall of race-based admissions at the Supreme Court in June 2023. The bill passed the Virginia Senate with bipartisan support, 39-0, and passed the state’s House of Delegates 99-0, and has now been signed by Youngkin.

“Governor Youngkin has consistently advocated for merit-based admissions to Virginia’s colleges and universities. In Virginia, students can be encouraged to know their hard work and academic career will be recognized on its merit,” a spokesperson for Youngkin told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“No public institution of higher education shall provide any manner of preferential treatment in the admissions decision to any student applicant on the basis of such student’s legacy status or such student’s familial relationship to any donor to such institution,” the bill reads.

“It’s about fairness. It’s about higher ed being available to everybody,” Virginia Democratic state Sen. Schuyler VanValkenburg, the bill’s sponsor, said in an interview before the Senate vote, according to The Associated Press.

The Connecticut legislature’s education committee said it plans to look into legacy admissions during this upcoming legislative session, according to the Connecticut Mirror. Federal legislation was also introduced in November to eliminate legacy admissions in Congress by Indiana Republican Sen. Todd Young and Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine.

Nearly 56% of the top 250 colleges and universities in the U.S. used legacy admissions in the enrollment process.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to include comment from Youngkin’s office.

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