Legacy Student Status and College Admissions: Where Do You Fit In?
Does your family have a history of attending the same college? Maybe you’ve been wondering how this so-called “legacy status” affects your college admission status! Grandpa or grandma, mom or dad, bachelor’s degree or master’s degree, if members of your family graduated from your dream school, see what kind of impact (if any) that could make on helping you get “in!”
What is a Legacy Student?
A legacy student is a college bound student with parents or even grandparents that are college alumni of the very same college where a prospective student submits an admissions application. Some colleges also have grants or scholarships just for legacy students!
College Admissions and Legacy Status
Some colleges may have different legacy student policies regarding the type of degree an alumnus earned, like if the degree is an undergraduate degree or a graduate degree. They may favor an undergraduate degree and not count a graduate degree towards legacy status.
Other colleges will count any children or grandchildren as legacy students if the degree was earned at their institution – no matter if it was earned as an undergraduate or a graduate. Depending on your family history, that could be very good news for you!
Resources for Legacy Students
You can often easily judge if legacy status has any weight based on information found on the college website. Many will let students know if legacy status is something that they even consider as a positive factor towards college admission. A simple search on the college website should provide the information you are looking for!
Some colleges possess more legacy resources than others. The University of Pennsylvania, for example, possesses Legacy Advising Sessions so legacy students and their parents can find out more about their selective status with regards to UPenn admissions procedures.
Another UPenn program, Linking Legacies, is something that prospective legacy students should take advantage of! Linking Legacies connects current legacy students with prospective legacy students so they can ask their questions and get actual legacy student responses via mail.
Saint Joseph’s College and Michigan State University have a legacy program for current, prospective, and past graduates to easily network and keep in touch. Bucknell University is another college that lets not only children and grandchildren of college alumni claim legacy status, but also stepchildren, great grandchildren, and even great grandchildren — with special programs for prospective legacy students and then some!
Some colleges prefer to make their take on legacy status a bit more secret. Yale University is one college thought to put a bit of emphasis on legacy status – and have often admitted more legacy students than not! Dartmouth College, on the other hand, openly shares its legacy admission rates.
If you discover a high rate of legacy students then it’s probably safe to assume that it might just have a bit to do with a student’s offer of college admission!
If your school puts particular emphasis on legacy status, it doesn’t mean that you should stop studying and start slacking! Legacy student or not, any college is still going to prefer a hard-working, valuable member of society to one that doesn’t even meet the standard admission requirements.
On the other hand, should you get accepted into your dream school, your legacy status should never make you feel as though you didn’t make it “in” because of your hard work! Your legacy status is only part of the (rather large) college admissions puzzle: your GPA, class rank, standardized test scores, community service, letters of recommendation, college interview, and then some, make up the remaining pieces.