ERIC Number: ED473124
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Legacies in Black and White: The Racial Composition of the Legacy Pool. NBER Working Paper Series.
Howell, Cameron; Turner, Sarah E.
This paper examines the point at which the percentage of potential non-white college applicants among children of alumni (legacy applicants) will reach a share proportional to the percentage of non-white attendees in today's selective colleges and universities, focusing on the University of Virginia. It reviews the history and objectives of the preference for legacy applicants in undergraduate admissions, then employs demographic techniques to predict the racial composition of the pool of potential legacy applicants to the University of Virginia. The demographic forecasts predict that the once extreme racial imbalance in the composition of the pool of potential legacy applicants will change dramatically in coming decades. Changes in the racial composition of classes that graduated from the University of Virginia from the late 1960s through the 1970s foreshadow similar changes in the characteristics of alumni children maturing through the next 2 decades. The paper concludes that although the changing racial composition of the pool of potential legacy applicants is a significant demographic transition, the increase in the overall size of the pool of potential legacy applicants is perhaps the most significant challenge faced by admissions officers trying to balance the demand for preference in admission against broader institutional objectives. (Contains 43 references.) (SM)
Descriptors: Admission Criteria, Alumni, College Admission, College Applicants, Higher Education, Minority Groups, Racial Composition, School Policy, Selective Admission
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138. Web site: http://www.nber.org.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, MA.