Director of Institution Research Chris Winters ’95 kindly answered my question about legacy admissions in the class of 2014.

Over the past decade or so, the percent of direct plus (unduplicated) skipped legacies in the matriculating class has been in the range of 11-17%. Direct legacies make up the vast majority of those.

Alas, I had hoped that Chris would give us more details about the class of 2014. Recall that last year the data was more detailed:

Director of Institutional Research Chris Winters ’95 reports on the numbers for the class of 2013. There are 69 students (13%) with at least one alumni parent and another 10 (2%) or so with no parent but at least one grandparent. (Some people restrict “legacy” to mean the children of alums, others include grandchildren.)

The most useful thing to know about legacy admissions would be their average academic rating as compared to the class as a whole. Three years ago:

Morty noted that a decade or so ago [or perhaps when he arrived?], the average legacy was a 3.3 on the 1-9 scale of academic ranks while the average non-legacy was 2.3. Morty did not seem to be a huge fan of this gap, or of giving legacies such a preference. He then noted that the latest statistics show that legacy and non-legacy are now equivalent (both at 2.3). Morty confirmed, consistent with all the analysis I have done, that being a legacy is not a meaningful advantage in getting into Williams.

But, since that time, the legacy pool has only gotten stronger and more competitive. Could the average AR of legacies now be higher than that of non-legacies? Perhaps. But a proper comparison would adjust for key confounders like race, athleticism and nationality.

A great topic for a senior thesis!

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