Liberals object to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision allowing tycoons to buy political influence, so why allow tycoons to buy influence in college admissions?
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More broadly, what happened to equal opportunity and meritocracy? They may be ideals rather than reality, but why defend a formal structure of hereditary privilege and monetary advantage in accessing top universities?
“Legacy preferences give a leg up to applicants who have typically led privileged lives,” said Susan Dynarski, a (Harvard-trained) professor of economics, education and public policy at the University of Michigan. “It’s the polar opposite of affirmative action, which boosts applicants who have faced adversity. It’s unconscionable for a handful of elite colleges to amass enormous tax-advantaged endowments and use them to perpetuate privilege in this way.”