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Virginia Bans Legacy Admissions in Public Universities and Colleges

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Last Updated on March 11, 2024 by Robert C. Hoopes

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin has made headlines with his recent signing of a bill that bans legacy admissions at public universities in the state. The new law prohibits preferential treatment based on connections to alumni or donors, aiming to level the playing field for all applicants.

Critics of legacy admissions argue that it perpetuates privilege and gives unfair advantage to students who come from wealthy or well-connected families. With the ban now in place, selective public universities such as the University of Virginia and William & Mary will no longer be able to consider legacy status in their admissions process.

This move comes on the heels of Virginia Tech’s announcement last year that they would no longer take legacy status into account during admissions. The unanimous passing of the bill in both the Virginia House of Delegates and State Senate highlights widespread support for this change in the state.

The ban is set to take effect on July 1, after admissions decisions for the fall have already been made. Governor Youngkin has emphasized his belief that admissions to Virginia universities should be based on merit rather than legacy connections, signaling a shift towards a more meritocratic approach to higher education in the state.

Overall, this move towards banning legacy admissions is seen as a positive step towards ensuring equal opportunities for all students in Virginia, regardless of their family background or connections. It will be interesting to see how this change impacts the demographics of incoming classes at these selective public universities in the years to come.

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