Little Ivy Amherst College Bids Bye-Bye to Legacy Admissions

Devastating news for the teenage IIIs and IVs of the world

Amherst, Massachusetts, USA - July 3, 2015: Daytime view of the the Johnson Chapel standing at the c...
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Higher Ed

Amherst College is getting rid of legacy admissions, meaning it will no longer favor the children of alumni in the admissions process, the private liberal arts school announced on Wednesday. Our hearts go out to all the bluebloods out there, who may now have to resort to pulling an Olivia Jade to get into their dream college.

Amherst, located in Massachusetts, has about 1,850 students and boasted an acceptance rate of 8.5 percent this year; approximately 11 percent of its admitted students are legacies, according to the Wall Street Journal. The college is known for its classes that are “characterized by spirited interchange among students and acclaimed faculty skilled at asking challenging questions” (per the school) and for being an institution that fellow Gawker writer Claire Carusillo, who is not a legacy, really wanted to attend but was waitlisted for.

“We are doing what we’re doing because we can and because we should,” said Biddy Martin, the president of the college, likely referring to Amherst’s endowment of nearly $3.8 billion, which makes this financially risky yet morally sound decision possible. Universities typically allow legacy admissions because alumni are motivated to donate to the school in order to give their children a leg up during the application process, otherwise known as buying your way in. Per the Journal: “At some universities, legacies outnumber those who are first-generation college students and are admitted at a rate at least two to three times higher than the rest of the applicant pool.”

With this move, Amherst joins a handful of other top schools, including Johns Hopkins, MIT, and CalTech, that do not consider legacy status, ostensibly in an effort to diversify the upper strata of higher education. Now all that remains is to eliminate student debt forever, increase taxes on the wealthiest schools, and most importantly of all, retroactively let Claire into Amherst! She would look great in the campus brochure.