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The Fair College Admissions for Students Act

Two years ago, I first introduced a bill to ban legacy admissions at colleges, and it's great to see folks starting to take action on this issue.

Earlier this month, Virginia announced that they will ban legacy admissions at all its public universities, joining Colorado as the only other state to ban this unfair practice. Here's why this is good news for everyday Americans, and why every college across the country should do it.

Legacy preferences blatantly favor the well-connected over other deserving students. That's unacceptable.

We need to end legacy admissions nationwide, and my Fair College Admissions for Students Act would ban alumni and donor preferences to give all students a fair chance in the admissions process.

I introduced the Fair College Admissions for Students Act following last year's U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning race-conscious college admissions decisions. Legacy admissions overwhelmingly benefit affluent, mostly white students at a time when access to higher education for students of color is under attack.

Make no mistake: affirmative action is still alive and well for children of alumni and major donors, and your tax dollars shouldn't be funding it.

As the first in my blue-collar family to go to college, I understand the struggles facing students whose families have never been through the process and don't have the money for expensive test prep, summer enrichment programs, or advisors to help them craft the perfect essay.

Education is supposed to be the great equalizer, but it won't be as long as admissions offices favor the children of alumni and major donors and perpetuate racial and social disparities in the process. I applaud Virginia for taking steps to ban legacy admissions at all its public universities because getting into college should never hinge on how connected your family is. That's why I wrote a bill to ban legacy preferences, and I hope you'll join me in urging other states to follow suit as we work in Congress to pass the Fair College Admissions for Students Act and make college more accessible and equitable.



Posted on March 25, 2024.

Born in the small town of Myrtle Creek, Oregon, Jeff Merkley has never lost touch with his working class roots.

As a U.S. Senator, he works every day to create opportunity for working families, stop the corruption of our democracy, and tackle the climate crisis.

A workhorse and a progressive champion, Jeff Merkley is leading a movement to get our country back on track.

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