- New York lawmakers are again trying to ban public and private colleges in the state from offering legacy preferences or early decisions in admissions.
- Bills in the New York Assembly and Senate would fine institutions that violate the prohibition. The fine would equal 10% of the number of full-time equivalent first-year students enrolled the prior year multiplied by an institution’s tuition and fees. The state would dedicate money collected from the penalty to student financial aid.
- The bills’ sponsors made a similar proposal last year, though it did not pass the state legislature.
Legacy admissions, which favor family members of alumni, have come under new scrutiny in recent years, as critics say they are slanted toward White, wealthy applicants.
Similar criticisms are leveled against early decision and early action plans, which allow prospective students to receive an admission decision sooner. Early decision, however, binds them to attend a particular college before they can weigh competing offers.
These debates have escalated as the U.S. Supreme Court considers whether to restrict race-conscious admissions, bringing concerns that historically marginalized students will be further excluded from a college education.
“The bill seeks to eliminate the structural barriers created by legacy and early admissions policies, which tend to reward connected and affluent white students and discriminate against students of color and first-generation students,” Assembly member Latrice Walker, a Democrat and one of the bill’s sponsors, said in a news conference on May 8. This is a critical step in creating equity in higher education.”