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Title: "Broadening the Context of Affirmative Action: The Role of Athletics and Legacy in College Admission Decisions"
Authors: Walling, Joan L.
Espenshade, Thomas J.
Chung, Chang Y.
Issue Date: Mar-2003
Series/Report no.: 6
Abstract: This study proposes a wider view of affirmative action than the one generally given in the literature on college admission. While discussions of affirmative action tend to focus solely on race, there are other characteristics of college applicants that could also fall under the rubric of affirmative action because of the "bonus" they confer. Our study examines the ways in which two important factors in college admission decisions, athletics and legacy, give an advantage to particular students. It is widely accepted that admission officers give preference to recruited athletes and to those who are members of a family line at a particular institution. This paper quantifies the extent of this advantage. It also asks which applicants are benefiting most from these preferences. Logistic regression analyses of admission decisions at three selective universities show that the advantages given by athletic talent and legacy status are differentially available among otherwise similarly qualified students.
Appears in Collections:ERS Working Papers

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