When someone applies for college admission, there is often a box or section on the application that asks about any family members who have attended college – maybe a parent. or a cousin. It’s called “legacy,” and for decades it has given American applicants a head start in admissions. But more at Colorado public colleges.
Colorado became the first state to remove that increase in admissions on Tuesday when Democratic Governor Jared Polis signed a ban on the practice into law. The governor also signed a bill that removes the requirement for public colleges to take SAT or ACT scores into account for first-year students, although the new law still allows students to submit their test results. ‘they wish.
These two measures aim to make access to higher education more equitable. By law, 67% of middle-to-high-income Colorado students enroll in bachelor’s degree programs directly from high school, while 47% of low-income students do. There are also major differences when it comes to race, with white students being much more likely to enroll in college.
Legacy admissions have long been a target for reform. In a 2018 survey of admissions directors conducted by Inside Higher Ed, 42% of private institutions and 6% of public institutions said they viewed inheritance status as an admission factor. Some of the largest public universities in the country ignore legacy, including the University of California and California State University systems. However, private colleges in California have reported using inheritance as a way to encourage giving and philanthropic giving.
During the pandemic, many colleges gave up using SAT and ACT scores in admissions. Research has shown – and lawsuits have argued – that tests, long used to measure college ability, are much more tied to family income and do not provide meaningful information about a student’s ability to. succeed in college. Wealthier families are also more likely to pay for test preparation classes or attend schools with exam-based programs.
As pandemic restrictions relax and in-person testing resumes, some universities have started to reinstate SAT and ACT into their admissions. But others made the temporary changes permanent. That includes Washington state public universities, which announced earlier this month that their schools would no longer require admission test scores.
This spring, the University of California system agreed to continue a no-test admission policy until 2025. California sends the highest number of high school students to US colleges, and if the UC system does No longer uses the tests, it is not clear if these students would be interested in applying to other schools that need it.