Although a growing number of academic institutions, politicians, and policy experts argue against the practice, the Ivy League and the majority of other elite institutions have not yet done so.
How does Stanford define ‘legacy?’
Stanford defines legacies as “the children of Stanford graduates at either the undergraduate or graduate level.” It’s a pretty straightforward definition. However, they track something else in tandem which is a little more unique… or rather it’s more unique than they admit it. They also track non-legacy donors. They say, “With respect to philanthropy, Stanford does not document in admission files the donor status of all applicants’ families. However, some applicants’ files may contain a notation about their family’s giving.” We know it sounds a bit like an oxymoron, but they need to say that they do this given a 2019 California law that deals with college bribery because they consider donations as a factor (at least when it is for large amounts.) However, they also say in their materials the vast number of tracked donors are also alums.
How many legacies are on campus?
Stanford withheld information about the number of legacy students until the Class of 2023. Mostly, because they weren’t forced to. Since they are now required by California law, we will receive a lot more data after 2019.
However, they consistently include two other interesting points with this data. They consistently demonstrate that their percentage of first-generation college students is comparable to or (typically) higher than the sum of the preceding two figures. The phrase “The number of applicants who did not meet the institution’s admission standards that apply to all applicants, but who were offered admission: Zero” is also consistently posted. ” (More on what that means later. ).
These numbers are pretty standard in the industry, but we have a feeling that they might start to try to keep them closer to 12% than 16% This is because they are now legally bound to release this information and keeping it around 13% looks better in their reports since it is fairly industry standard
What is the acceptance rate for legacies?—possibly the most frequently asked question by parents—is not addressed by this, though.
This is a harder question to answer than we would like. Schools really guard this information. Mostly because legacy admissions can be controversial and colleges like to keep this information under lock and key. We talk to admissions officers all the time and they rarely share this kind of information. The last time Stanford even hinted at what their legacy acceptance rate was in 2013. This data is thus slightly too old for us to trust currently, but at the time the Stanford Mag said, “The percentage of alumni children admitted to Stanford is roughly three times the overall percentage of acceptance: somewhere in the mid to high teens. Nevertheless, there are many more nos than yesses each year.” At the time, Stanford had an acceptance rate of around 5.5% meaning the legacy acceptance was around 16-17%. Now the acceptance rate is around 3.9%.
Ok, but will my kid get in?
The short answer is maybe. Even in 2013, not all legacies got in%E2%80%A6 most didn%E2%80%99t if only 16% got in That means, around 84% didn’t. It’s an incredibly high number, and Stanford’s competition has only increased. The only option if your child is serious about attending Stanford is to submit an outstanding application. Being a legacy will aid their application in being as effective as possible, but it is insufficient.
This is saying that no legacy or donor status will get an unqualified applicant a bid, citing the statistic “applicants who did not meet the institution’s admission standards that apply to all applicants, but who were offered admission: Zero.” If a student is already a strong candidate, being the child of an alumnus or a significant donor (or both) may help their chances, but if they are not qualified, it won’t.
Stanford has a holistic review process that “considers all of the achievements and attributes presented by each applicant to the university, including academic excellence, intellectual vitality, extracurricular activities, and personal context.” This means even kids of legacies and donors need to have great grades, test scores, activities, and essays. Most legacies don’t get in, so your child needs to have a great application amongst the legacy pool. In our professional opinion, we always advise, with a school like Stanford, to work with a counselor. We work with legacies every day and often even alumni parents don’t know what makes a great application.
Great applications aren’t easy. You should encourage your students to write engaging essays and learn how to polish their resumes. These special touches will help them stand out in one of the nation’s most competitive applicant pools.
We understand that this is a stressful time, and we just informed you of how something you may have assumed was finalized isn’t. (We’re sorry, but we wouldn’t deceive you. (Because Stanford is a great school, so many deserving candidates apply there. Regardless of legacy status, we assist all of our students in standing out in that crowded field. But we’d be lying if we said that legacy status doesn’t help, even a little, at elite institutions.
We assist students with their Stanford applications every season, so contact us here.
Students who used Caroline’s admissions consulting service were able to enroll at Columbia, Harvard, Stanford, and Penn. Learn more about Caroline here.
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How Do Legacy College Admissions Work? ft. Stanford Legacy
Do legacy students have a higher acceptance rate?
One reason: children of alumni. These students, referred to as legacy students, are allegedly up to eight times more likely to be admitted to selective universities.
Does Sibling Legacy help at Stanford?
One or both of the applicant’s parents must be alumni for some institutions, like Stanford and UNC, to consider “primary legacy” status. But most institutions will also give preference to “secondary legacies” who assert a grandparent, sibling, or other non-parental familial affiliation with the institution.
Is it easier to get into a college if you are a legacy?
The short answer is that having a legacy will almost certainly increase your chances of being accepted to a specific college or university, especially a very elite one. In comparison to non-legacies, the estimated admission rate for Harvard as of last year was more than five times higher!
Does legacy matter for Ivy?
According to estimates, seventy-five percent of the top 100 U S. factor legacy status into their admissions decisions. This includes every Ivy League institution as well as a large number of other extremely selective private schools, including Georgetown, Duke, Swarthmore, Middlebury, Amherst, Tufts, and countless others.