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Affirmative Action — For The Rich

CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS - JUNE 29: People walk through the gate on Harvard Yard at the Harvard University campus on June 29, 2023 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that race-conscious admission policies used by Harvard and the University of North Carolina violate the Constitution, bringing an end to affirmative action in higher education. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

Scott Eisen/Getty Images

Affirmative Action — For The Rich

CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS - JUNE 29: People walk through the gate on Harvard Yard at the Harvard University campus on June 29, 2023 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that race-conscious admission policies used by Harvard and the University of North Carolina violate the Constitution, bringing an end to affirmative action in higher education. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

Scott Eisen/Getty Images

Affirmative Action — For The Rich

The Supreme Court may have ended race-conscious admissions in higher education. But the end of affirmative action seems to have added fuel to another contentious debate around college admissions policies. For decades, many elite, private institutions have given prospective college students preference if a relative attended the school or, in some cases, when a major donor was involved. While the practice of affirmative action is dead, legacy admissions continue. But more and more critics of the practice are calling on schools to do away with them, including President Biden. Host Juana Summers speaks with economist John Friedman, a professor and chair of economics at Brown University. He co-authored a study that quantifies the lasting socio-economic disparities between legacy students and their less affluent peers. In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what's going on in your community. Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS - JUNE 29: People walk through the gate on Harvard Yard at the Harvard University campus on June 29, 2023 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that race-conscious admission policies used by Harvard and the University of North Carolina violate the Constitution, bringing an end to affirmative action in higher education. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

Scott Eisen/Getty Images

 

The Supreme Court may have ended race-conscious admissions in higher education. But the end of affirmative action seems to have added fuel to another contentious debate around college admissions policies.

For decades, many elite, private institutions have given prospective college students preference if a relative attended the school or, in some cases, when a major donor was involved.

While the practice of affirmative action is dead, legacy admissions continue. But more and more critics of the practice are calling on schools to do away with them, including President Biden.

Host Juana Summers speaks with economist John Friedman, a professor and chair of economics at Brown University. He co-authored a study that quantifies the lasting socio-economic disparities between legacy students and their less affluent peers.

In participating regions, you’ll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what’s going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

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