pp 1–4 | Cite as

Preferences in College Admission

  • Nia E. HulseEmail author
Symposium: Varsity Blues


This article examines the college scandal which revealed the influence of wealth on admission into elite institutions. Hess (2019) proposes the selection process for students into elite colleges should be upended and future students should be selected through a lottery-based system. However, such a proposal eliminates the standards of meritocracy and questions the vitality of race-based policies such as affirmative action in college admission. Preferences-based admissions give students a competitive advantage in college admission based on legacy status, race, and/or atletism—race being the most controversial. With the growing attention on the recent college scandal, this article explores the weights given to preferences-based selection into elite institutions and concludes with a consideration of race-neutral alternatives that acknowledges the influence of wealth.


College admission Preferences Higher education Ivy Leagues Affirmative action College scandal Adversity index Diversity Race Celebrity parents 


Further Reading

  1. Belkin, D. 2019, May 16. SAT to give students ‘adversity score’ to capture social and economic background. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from
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  5. Dynarski, S. 2018. At Elite Colleges, Racial Diversity Requires Affirmative Action. The New York Times. Retrieved from
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Administrative & Instructional Leadership, School of EducationSt. John’s UniversityJamaicaUSA

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