AAUP Applauds Institutions Ending Legacy Admissions

Diversity in the student body and in the faculty ranks enables an institution to fulfill its core academic mission most effectively and contribute to the common good. For too long, structures of systemic racism built into our colleges and universities have denied historically underrepresented populations equal opportunities and delayed progress toward an equitable society.

In a deeply disappointing decision by the Supreme Court, race-conscious affirmative action practices, which had been successful in beginning to address some of these long-standing inequities for Black and Latino students, have been gutted. Legacy-based affirmative action—the practice of considering an applicant’s family ties to the institution as a positive factor in admissions—still stands. Legacy admission practices have been shown to primarily benefit applicants who are affluent and white. By limiting racial and economic diversity on college campuses, legacy admissions, particularly in highly selective schools, effectively restrict racial and economic diversity in workplaces and in economic and political power structures.

The AAUP is committed to fighting systemic racism and pursuing racial justice and equity in higher education. We applaud colleges and universities that are ending legacy admission preferences and call upon all institutions to review and revise admission policies in order to ensure equitable access to a college education for all.

The AAUP continues to call on our members and chapters to encourage their institutions to sign on to the NAACP’s Diversity No Matter What Pledge.

Publication Date: 
Thursday, July 27, 2023