The Virginia General Assembly recently passed a groundbreaking legislation that would put a stop to admissions favoritism for the offspring of alumni and donors when applying to the state’s public universities. This significant measure is on its way to Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s desk for approval, and conservatives are cheering in triumph!
Virginia is a signature away from banning legacy admissions at public universities:https://t.co/qiprAoBJtB
— GaryBowings (@GBowings) February 1, 2024
Spearheaded by Democratic state Sen. Schuyler VanValkenburg and state Del. Dan Helmer, the bill gathered strong support and made its way through the state Senate and House, ultimately landing on the governor’s desk. But, fear not! Despite the Democratic sponsorship, this legislation is a win for all Virginians who believe in a fair and merit-based approach to college admissions.
The discussions surrounding the factors influencing college admission decisions gained significant momentum after the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling against affirmative action in June 2023. This time, the spotlight landed on legacy admissions—giving preferential treatment to children of alumni—which many found to be fundamentally unfair and twisted.
Even before this landmark legislation, some Virginia universities had already taken matters into their own hands to diminish the influence of alumni and donors in the admission process. Cheers filled the air when Virginia Tech decided to bid farewell to legacy admissions, signaling a step in the right direction toward fairness and equality in the college application process.
A study from Education Reform Now in fall 2022 revealed that most Virginia public universities were guilty of providing preferential treatment to legacy students. This eye-opening report further fueled the fight for a level playing field in college admissions, drawing attention to the unjust practices that have long favored the privileged few at the expense of talented and deserving applicants.
The push to end legacy preferential consideration isn’t confined to Virginia alone. Reports suggest that Colorado has already taken a stance against this unfair practice, and other states like Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York are contemplating similar measures. It’s clear that the momentum is building across the country to restore fairness and meritocracy to the college admissions process.
Democratic state Sen. Jeremy McPike voiced his strong opposition to allowing special privileges to dictate college admissions, emphasizing the need to eliminate preferential treatment based on family connections and donor status. Likewise, state Del. Dan Helmer passionately stood against legacy admissions, calling out the injustice of granting an unfair advantage based on parental ties rather than an individual’s own accomplishments and abilities.