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Connecticut Lawmakers May Consider Legacy Admissions Ban

Connecticut could become the first state in the country to ban legacy admissions, reports CT Insider.

State Sen. Derek SlapState Sen. Derek SlapLegacy admissions gives priority to students whose family members once attended. But key legislators are likely to introduce a bill to do away with the practice they deem fundamentally unfair.

"This landscape is shifting very quickly on legacy" admissions, said Sen. Derek Slap, who chairs the legislature's Higher Education Committee. "I really don't think there's a good defense of it."

Senate Minority Leader Kevin Kelly, said he welcomes the conversation but will not commit to banning legacy admissions until hearing from the schools in question.

"This is really about fairness," Kelly said. "There's certainly something to look at here, to at least have the conversation on whether or not that practice is holding back a lot of good students that happen to be from poor, working- and middle-class families who haven't had the privilege of an ancestor who has gone to one of these private institutions."

Increased scrutiny on the fairness of legacy admissions at universities stems from the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College that limits schools in how they consider race in admissions decisions. The court’s June 29, 2023, ruling did not eliminate the consideration of race entirely.

“Nothing in this opinion should be construed as prohibiting universities from considering an applicant’s discussion of how race affected his or her life, be it through discrimination, inspiration, or otherwise,” wrote Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. in his majority opinion.

As such, some universities have been revisiting policies concern legacy admissions. For example, the University of Virginia planned to rework its legacy admissions policy such that an applicant’s familial ties to alumni would no longer be conveyed to admission officers directly via checkbox, UVA officials said. Instead, they will be able to write about a “personal or historic connection” with the school and how that influenced them.

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