Opinion: Why the U.S. needs to end legacy admissions

As a transplant from England, I’ve been repeatedly struck by the weakness of norms against nepotism in the American elite.

It’s odd.

The United Kingdom has a hereditary monarchy and a hereditary aristocracy, but strong norms against nepotism in education and the workplace.

The U.S. is a republic, a nation founded on anti-hereditary principles, where nepotism is not only permitted but codified—most obviously in the practice of legacy preferences in college admissions. My eldest son has two parents who went to the University of Oxford, but if that fact had made a difference to his own chances of getting in, both he and we would have been appalled, as would all the other applicants. (He did not get in.)

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