I do think there is some advantage in maintaining legacies in institutions, as it helps keep people loyal to the school and brings a sense of history to the institution.
"In the winter of 2004, under the leadership of President Lawrence H. Summers, Harvard transformed the financial aid landscape with its announcement that families with annual incomes below $40,000 would not be expected to pay for their sons or daughters to go to Harvard. The zero-contribution threshold was raised to $60,000 in 2006, with further reductions in parental contributions for families with incomes up to $80,000. Over the past three years, the number of students in these income ranges has increased by 33 percent, representing a quarter of the entering Class of 2011."*
"Harvard’s new financial aid policy dramatically reduces the amount families with incomes below $180,000 will be expected to pay. Families with incomes above $120,000 and below $180,000 and with assets typical for these income levels will be asked to pay 10 percent of their incomes. For those with incomes below $120,000, the family contribution percentage will decline steadily from 10 percent, reaching zero for those with incomes at $60,000 and below. For example, a typical family making $120,000 will be asked to pay approximately $12,000 for a child to attend Harvard College, compared with more than $19,000 under existing student aid policies. For a typical family with $180,000 of income, the payment would be approximately $18,000, compared with more than $30,000 today. The new standard reduces the cost to families by one-third to one-half, making the price of a Harvard education for students on financial aid comparable to the cost of in-state tuition and fees at the nation’s leading public universities. The new initiative also establishes a standard that students and their families can easily understand."*
"These [American universities], which control access to the country's most impressive jobs, consider themselves far above Washington and its grubby spoils system. Yet they continue to operate a system of "legacy preferences" —affirmative action for the children of alumni.
These preferences are surprisingly widespread. In most Ivy League institutions, "legacies" make up between 10% and 15% of every freshman class. At Notre Dame they make up 23%. They are also common in good public universities such as the University of Virginia. Legatees are two to four times more likely to be admitted to the best universities than non-legatees."
Legatees are two to four times more likely to be admitted to the best universities than non-legatees.
For those with incomes below $120,000, the family contribution percentage will decline steadily from 10 percent, reaching zero for those with incomes at $60,000 and below. For example, a typical family making $120,000 will be asked to pay approximately $12,000 for a child to attend Harvard College, compared with more than $19,000 under existing student aid policies.
"This year, 1,948 high school seniors will receive big envelopes from the [Harvard] admissions office—110 fewer than last year.
The admitted students were selected from a pool of 27,462 applicants, reflecting an 18-percent increase from 22,955 last year.
....A record 11 percent of the admitted students come from African American backgrounds. Over 18.5 percent are Asian American, 9.7 percent are Latino, and 1.3 percent are Native American. Just over half of the admitted students are women.
...In December, Harvard announced sweeping changes to its financial aid program, easing the cost of attendance for middle-income families.
...As of now, over 25 percent of the Class of 2012 is eligible for Harvard’s old financial aid program, which eliminates tuition costs for families earning under $60,000.
The average financial aid package this year is about $40,000, close to 78 percent of the total cost of attendance."*
"...according to the Admissions Office, this class of acceptances is likely to be more socioeconomically and geographically diverse than previous classes—which was the intended effect of eliminating Early Action. For instance, a record 11 percent of students are of African American descent, while 9.7 percent are Latino, 1.3 percent are Native American, and 18.5 percent are Asian-American. This diversity is unquestionably a good thing—especially given that this is increased diversity that does not come at the cost of quality of applicants.
Additionally, Harvard’s recent increase in financial aid to students of low- and middle-income backgrounds has demonstrably made Harvard’s tuition costs more accessible to Harvard families. In the admissions game, the increased perception of financial feasibility is paramount in encouraging students to apply, and the lengthened recruitment period certainly made publicizing this to students quite successful."
“Parents across the country worry about how they’ll pay for college and their kids being crushed by student loans as college costs continue to skyrocket,” Grassley said in a statement to the News. “At the same time, some universities are sitting on endowments worth billions of dollars. … Why aren’t the schools using that wealth to make college more affordable for families and students?”
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