Colleges consider many different factors when they decide who to accept from thousands of potential applicants. Besides standardized tests, GPA, extracurricular activities and personal essays, one thing that is constantly overlooked is legacy. In fact, many of you have probably never heard of this term if you didn’t grow up in the U.S. or Canada. We will talk about what legacy means and how it may affect your chances of getting into colleges.
What is Legacy?
Legacy is defined rather simply. If your parents, grandparents, or other close relatives are alumni of the school, you are considered a legacy/legacy student. Legacy preference is very common among U.S. colleges where nearly three-quarters of universities take it into consideration at some point throughout the admissions process. However, this preference certainly does not guarantee admissions as more and more colleges are sending out acceptance letters to first-generation college students as well. If your family members attend a particular school, great, legacy does give you a leg up. But keep in mind that this is only a small part of your application.
What is Development Case?
Besides legacy, another term that is brought up often is development case. A development case is more ambiguous as it refers to an applicant whose family members have been or may be important donors. Now you’re probably thinking: how do colleges know? That short answer is past record and other parts of your application. If your family have been important donors, the school would obviously know. Notice that “important” means at least half a million to one million, not just a few bucks in your pocket. Colleges can also determine whether you are likely to donate based on your family information, short supplement questions, or even your personal essays.
(See Part II)