Students, faculty, alums, and university affiliates at Georgetown University have banded together by signing a petition calling for the end of legacy admissions, or the practice of giving preference in the admissions process to students with familial connections to alumni.
The petition, which gained nearly 900 signatures over several weeks, results from concerns over the U.S. Supreme Court ban on race-conscious admissions and the impact the decision will have on diversity and inclusion on campus.
Approximately 10 percent of students at the institution have some legacy status, reported The Hoya in 2020, Georgetown University’s student newspaper.
A 2023 report from the university finds that diverse student populations can be maintained in various ways, one of which is by eliminating legacy admissions. Authors of the petition point to this finding in the report, as well as a projected decrease in enrollment of underrepresented student groups.
The petition fights against the argument that ending the practice could potentially harm donations from alums, which in turn supports financial aid programs. Authors point to institutions that have ended legacy preferences in the past several years that have not seen a decrease in alumni donations, citing Johns Hopkins University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as examples.
“It is essential that both our university and the workforce to which it contributes adequately reflect real-world demographics,” the petition includes. “Diversity means that broader perspectives are brought to the table, creating an environment where all concerns can be addressed.”