Any person.
Any study.
Any Cornelliana.

An alumni
blog about Ezra's
University. (more)


Suggestions? Tips?




[+] Cornell News

[+] Higher Ed News

[+] Campus Pubs

[+] Alumni Interest

[+] Diversions

[+] Blogs

[+] Sports

[+] Other Places


[+] By Month

[+] By Author

Why Legacies Are Given Preference

It’s long been acknowledged that under-represented minorities, athletes, and alumni children are given preference in the admissions game at top colleges and universities. But it has never been clearly documented just how much institutions benefit by accepting the sons and daughters of their alumni.

A new paper by economists at Princeton and Stanford sheds some light on the role that legacy admits has on alumni giving. Mining over 30 years of data from a prestigious, private four-year undergraduate college (Princeton, I suspect), the authors take into consideration such factors as the undergraduate record of the alum, his or her current occupation, and whether or not they have a graduate degree.

And the results are striking.

In the year following the rejection of an alumnus’s child, the probability that the alum will donate money drops by close to 25 percentage points. And if the child is accepted? The probability increases by 10 percentage points.

So the lessons to an admissions committee should be fairly obvious. If you are on the fence between deciding to accept a “legacy” admit or an equally qualified candidate with no connections to the school, take the legacy admit every time. The director of alumni affairs and development will thank you for it.

Matthew Nagowski | Posted on June 15, 2007 (#)

blog comments powered by Disqus

Other Recent Posts

-- WSJ: Cornell Wins NYC Tech Campus Bid (EBilmes)

-- Barrier Update: City Approves Nets (DJost)

-- Big Red Cymbal Guy (Nagowski)

-- New York Times Survey on Campus Recruiting is Flawed (KScott)

-- Barrier Update: Legal precedent suggests City of Ithaca will not be held liable for gorge suicide (DJost)

-- Despite MSG Loss, Big Potential for Big Red Hockey (EBilmes)

-- City Council Will Vote on Suicide Nets (DJost)

-- An Encounter on the Upper East Side (Nagowski)

-- Showing Off Your School Spirit (Nagowski)

-- Chipotle Ithaca? (KScott)

-- Cornell at the ING NYC Marathon (KScott)

-- Crossing Over a Fine Line: Commercial Activity on Campus (KScott)

-- Milstein's Downfall (Nagowski)

-- Can any Cornell-associated organization really be independent of the University? (Nagowski)

-- Slope Media Revisited (EBilmes)

-- Slope Media Group Approved for Byline Funding (KScott)

-- Occupy AEM? (KScott)

-- New campus pub to be good for both Greeks and non-Greeks (Nagowski)

-- Gagging the Election (Nagowski)

-- The Changing Structure of Rush Week (Nagowski)

-- Ivy League Humility in the Midwest (EBilmes)

-- Of Median Grades and Economics Minors (Nagowski)

-- Homecoming Recap (Nagowski)

-- My Cornell Bookshelf (Nagowski)

-- The Sun's Opinion Section Has Suddenly Gotten Good (Nagowski)

-- Remembering the 11th (Nagowski)

-- Cornellian Tapped as Top Economic Advisor (Nagowski)

-- Cutting Pledging, and the Good Which Comes With It (EBilmes)

-- Why Cornell Should Not Close Fall Creek Gorge (Nagowski)

-- Welcome to the Class of 2015 (Nagowski)