Virginia Tech recently announced that it will no longer consider legacy status in its admissions process or accept early decision applicants. These changes, which will be implemented in the upcoming academic year, come as a response to the Supreme Court’s overturning of affirmative action in June.
The university stated that it regularly reviews its admissions practices to ensure equal access for all qualified applicants. By discontinuing the early decision plan and eliminating legacy as an admissions factor, Virginia Tech aims to improve the admissions process and benefit all students. According to Luisa Havens-Gerardo, Vice Chancellor for Administration of inscription, these changes will allow the university to provide a best practice and innovative approach to education.
Juan Espinoza, associate vice chancellor for enrollment management, mentioned that legacy students have been given less emphasis in recent years and are not significant factors in admission decisions anymore. However, he acknowledged that legacy students still make up more than 20% of the incoming class despite only accounting for around 12% of applicants. This suggests that legacy students are well-prepared academically and extracurricularly to compete for admission.
And to ending consideration of legacy status, Virginia Tech will also eliminate the early decision application deadline. Instead, they will move the early action request due date to November 15 while maintaining the regular decision deadline of January 15. Early Decision agreements are binding, meaning accepted students must attend regardless of financial aid options offered. On the other hand, early action decisions are non-binding but provide earlier admission status updates.
Espinoza explained that by eliminating early decision, Virginia Tech aims to simplify their application process and level the playing field for all students regardless of household income.
This move by Virginia Tech is part of a broader trend among universities updating their admissions processes after the Supreme Court’s ruling on affirmative action. For example, Connecticut Wesleyan University recently eliminated legacy admissions with a similar goal of promoting diversity on campus.
Menah Pratt, vice president of diversity and strategic affairs at Virginia Techemphasized the importance of diverse environments in creating powerful learning environments. The university’s commitment to inclusivity prepares graduates to engage with the world and its most pressing issues.
The University of Virginia also made changes to its admissions practices following the Supreme Court ruling. Admissions officers will no longer see applicants’ race or ethnic origin in a check box on applications. Instead, prospective students will have the opportunity to write an essay explaining their background and experiences.
Other universities in the DC region expressed similar interests in finding new ways to include underrepresented populations in their student bodies after the court’s decision. Howard University and Bowie State University both issued statements supporting affirmative action and vowing to continue working towards equal access to education for students of color.
Sylvia Burwell, President of American University, stated that they are reviewing the court’s decision and evaluating its potential impact. They will keep the public updated as their investigation progresses.
All in all, Virginia Tech’s recent announcement regarding legacy status and early decision admissions reflects a growing trend among universities seeking innovative approaches to promote diversity. By removing legacy consideration and eliminating early decision deadlines, Virginia Tech aims to create a fairer admissions process that benefits all qualified applicants. These changes align with efforts by other institutions to ensure equal access to education for underrepresented populations.
It is apparently (link: Virginia Tech is committed to providing equal opportunities for all students while striving for excellence in education.