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Letters to the Editor for Jan. 9, 2022: Leveling the playing field

Letters to the Editor for Jan. 9, 2022: Leveling the playing field

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Leveling the playing field

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

The recent column by W. Taylor Reveley IV comparing Virginia college campuses to melting pots hit the mark. As a recent college graduate, I can testify to how many different perspectives I encountered on campus. Being in such close proximity to so many young people allowed me to have frank and eye-opening conversations with people I disagreed with, or people who had grown up in totally different contexts, cultures and upbringings.

Given the important role colleges play in forming Virginia's next generation of leaders, it is critical that we ensure our universities are equally accessible to all applicants. Unfortunately, many of Virginia's top public universities — including the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech and the College of William & Mary — use legacy admission systems that preferentially admit students whose relatives previously attended the university.

Legacy admission processes negatively impact immigrant, rural and first-generation college students, and widen generational and racial wealth inequalities. They also are unpopular with the broader public by a wide margin. A 2019 Pew Research Center survey showed 68% of Americans believe legacy status should not be used in college admissions.

Members of the incoming Youngkin administration have made education a centerpiece of their campaign. They should stop allowing our tax dollars to fund legacy admissions at public universities in Virginia.

Charles Yang.

Glen Allen.


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