The essay "The Legacy Admissions" describes that the legacy admissions are of two kinds- admissions given to the off springs of alumni and admissions given to the children of famous and affluent personalities and families. The basic issue under focus is of course that of merit versus preferences. …
The first argument in favor of legacy admissions raised by Thomas and Shepard (2008) has been that if a student inside a state is given preference in admission to an educational institution inside the state, just because his family pays the taxes that sustain the institution, on the same logic, it can be argued that legacy preferences are permissible (p.221). But is the payment of taxes which is obligatory for all citizens and which cannot be skipped even if your student does not get an admission in a college inside your state, comparable to the payment of a donation for a legacy admission? This is the million dollar question here. It is common sense that the element of choice is present only in the case of a legacy admission and the tax payer has no such choice. And also the payment of taxes makes it obligatory for the state to take care of the tax payers’ welfare. Further, even a student from an affluent family has the same right as his/her family is also paying tax. Hence, though convincing on first encounter, it can be seen that the comparison is flawed. And it is to this aspect that Megalli (2008) is also drawing attention to, when she pointed out, with supportive evidence, this practice will eventually lead to discrimination (p.230). And the evidence has also shown that “96 percent of all living Ivy League alumni are white” (Megalli, 2008, p.230). The second major case in the article of Thomas and Shepard (2008) that legacy admissions amount to only a very small percentage of total admissions has also been contested by Megalli (2008) with the support of factual data. But while Thomas and Shepard (2008) have pointed out the comparatively less number of institutions where competition is so high that legacy admissions matter (p.222), Megalli (2008) has made a comparison between the percentage of all applications accepted and the percentage of legacy applications accepted in various ducational institutions and shown a disparity is there (p.230). But both these sets of figures represent only convenient manipulation and partial presentation of data to support one’s argument. ...
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