The Century Foundation was kind enough to send me a copy of their new anthology, Affirmative Action For The Rich, which looks at legacy admissions at America's universities. The book was edited by Richard Kahlenberg whose long argued for class, instead of race, based Affirmative Action.
As overall admission rates have declined, the power of legacy preferences at some elite institutions has increased substantially. For instance, Princeton admitted 41.7 percent of legacy applicants in 2009--more than 4.5 times the 9.2 percent rate of non-legacies. That is a far greater disparity than in 1992, when legacy applicants were accepted at 2.8 times the rate of other candidates.Elsewhere among the Ivies, Brown University admitted 33.5 percent of alumni children in 2006, compared to a 13.8 percent overall rate. The year before, Brown accepted 36 percent of legacies, compared to 15.1 percent of all applicants. The University of Pennsylvania admitted 33.9 percent of legacy applicants in 2008,about double its overall admission rate of 16.4.