There is much to blog about in the latest issue of the Record, but consider this line from an article last spring about the class of 2009.

Twelve to thirteen percent of the class are legacy students, a number which Nesbitt said has been constant at the College for 20 years.

This would suggest 65 to 75 legacies. Consistent with what we were later able to confirm. But the interesting part is that this number has been consistent for 20 years.

Hmmm. Thoughts:

1) I believe that Nesbitt is telling the truth, but it would be fun to look at the exact numbers. Are they available?

2) Is there a (maximum) quota here, as there is in International admissions? I doubt it. Why would the College turn down excellent legacy candidates?

3) Is there a (minimum) quota? That would be shocking. My first thought is to dismiss such speculation, but, then again, I was too stupid to realize that there was an International quota, so I might be misinformed again.

4) Why would the number stay constant for 20 years if there were not a quota, or at least a guideline?

5) Given the dramatic rise in the number of International students and in US students of color (as well as continued focus on athletics), the odds of getting into Williams if you are not in one of these categores has plummetted. I am too lazy to do the math, and the are certainly legacies that are athletes and/or of color, but there are only so many spots to go around.

6) It is interesting to note that the International quota is set at 6%, just about exactly one half of the legacy admission percentage. Is that a coincidence? Someone had to pick the 6% number and he didn’t pick it out of thin air . . .

7) Why doesn’t the Record write a story on this topic? I think that it is a scandal. Surely, I am not the only one. I had lunch with a recent graduate and he was shocked to learn about it.

I think that my big 2006 Williams project will be to form a alumni/student/faculty group whose purpose will be to urge the College to increase the percentage of International students by not penalizing them so much in the admissions process. Eps Against International Quotas, perhaps.

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