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California legislator pushing to end legacy admissions practices

Is it time for private colleges and universities to end legacy admissions practices? A legislator thinks so and he wants California to join a handful of other states who have banned the practice. 

The state-run UCs and CSUs already rule out preferential treatment for children of alumni and donors. Now the bill focused on private campuses is making its way through the California senate. 

“We’re not saying you can’t admit alumni or children of donors what we’re saying is you can’t offer them preferential treatment, we think it’s time to even the playing field for everyone,” Assemblymember Phil Ting said.

He’s been working on a plan to end legacy admissions since the varsity blues scandal of 2019, when wealthy and famous parents were found to have bribed admissions officers and falsified credentials to get their children into top universities. 

He also led a study bill in 2022 which found, through self-reported data, that the university of Southern California, Santa Clara University, and Stanford, led the state with the largest portion of legacy students in their incoming freshman classes, between 13 and 14 percent.

“That 13-14% is almost twice as large as African Americans in their class and almost as large as Latinos in their class, it’s not a significant number of applicants or admissions, it’s a sizeable portion of their class,” Ting said.

The assembly bill calls for penalizing California’s private schools if they choose to continue preferential admissions for the applicants of donors and alumni.   

His bill would make them forfeit their Cal Grants funding.

“Ultimately this is just about fairness, we want to have a fair meritocratic process in every admissions process, what we don’t want is people buying their way into universities, that’s not fair,” Ting said.

To become law, the bill has until the end of august to pass the senate. After that, it would need the governor’s signature.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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