Education, Ensuring Fairness in College Admissions

Affirmative Action for the Rich: Legacy Preferences in College Admissions

By Richard D. Kahlenberg, editor

The use of race-based affirmative action in higher education has given rise to hundreds of books and law review articles, numerous court decisions, and several state initiatives to ban the practice. However, surprisingly little has been said or written or done to challenge a larger, longstanding "affirmative action" program that tends to benefit wealthy whites: legacy preferences for the children of alumni.

Affirmative Action for the Rich sketches the origins of legacy preferences, examines the philosophical issues they raise, outlines the extent of their use today, studies their impact on university fundraising, and reviews their implications for civil rights. In addition, the book outlines two new theories challenging the legality of legacy preferences, examines how a judge might review those claims, and assesses public policy options for curtailing alumni preferences.

The book includes chapters by Michael Lind of the New America Foundation; Peter Schmidt of the Chronicle of Higher Education; former Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Golden; Chad Coffman of Winnemac Consulting, attorney Tara O'Neil, and student Brian Starr; John Brittain of the University of the District of Columbia Law School and attorney Eric Bloom; Carlton Larson of the University of California-Davis School of Law; attorneys Steve Shadowen and Sozi Tulante; Sixth Circuit Court Judge Boyce F. Martin Jr. and attorney Donya Khalili; and education writer Peter Sacks.

Buy at:   Amazon  |  B&N  |  iBook 

More Books in Education

Charters without Borders
Charters without Borders: Using Inter-district Charter Schools as a Tool for Regional School Integration

By Halley Potter

A new Century Foundation report says charter schools should take advantage of their flexibility, funding, and political viability to address inter-district segregation. [...]

Find Out More

A New Era of Civil Rights
A New Era of Civil Rights: Proposals to Address the Economic Inequalities in Robert Putnam's "Our Kids”

By Richard D. Kahlenberg

TCF senior fellow Richard D. Kahlenberg issues a call to action, urging policymakers to address the forces fueling America’s growing economic divide. [...]

Find Out More

Architecture of Segregation
Architecture of Segregation: Civil Unrest, the Concentration of Poverty, and Public Policy

By Paul Jargowsky

A new Century Foundation report confirms that concentrated poverty remains a critical issue that segregates neighborhoods along racial lines and limits opportunity for mobility. [...]

Find Out More

Fix for $15: A Closer Look at New York’s Minimum Wage Increase for Fast Food Workers
Fix for $15: A Closer Look at New York’s Minimum Wage Increase for Fast Food Workers

By Mike Cassidy

This report looks at the consequences of raising the minimum wage to $15 for a portion of fast food workers, a change recently proposed by New York's Fast Food Wage Board. [...]

Find Out More


Stay Informed

Sign up for our mailing list and stay up-to-date on the latest happenings at The Century Foundation

Sign up Today

Contact Us

Send us an email or get directions to The Century Foundation’s offices.

Contact Us

TCF Bookstore

The TCF Bookstore is a curated collection of books and magazines that backup the mission of our organization.

Visit Our Bookstore

Upcoming Events

View All Upcoming Events


New York City Office:
One Whitehall St., Fifteenth Floor
NY, NY 10004
DC Office:
1333 H Street, NW, 10th Floor
Washington, DC 20005

  • Our RSS Feed
  • Find us on Twitter
  • Find us on Facebook

All Content Copyright © 2014 The Century Foundation