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S. 3559: Fair College Admissions for Students Act


The text of the bill below is as of Feb 2, 2022 (Introduced).

Summary of this bill

Ken Griffey Jr. and Ken Griffey Sr. may have simultaneously played for the Seattle Mariners, but should kids get a leg up at getting into their parents’ college?

Context

Relatives of a college’s alumni, such as children or grandchildren, are nicknamed “legacies.” Those students are far more likely to be accepted at their predecessor’s alma mater, particularly at prestigious or elite colleges. For example, while the overall acceptance rate at Harvard is 5.9 percent, the legacy acceptance rate is 33.6 percent.

One of the resulting problems, critics say, is who exactly these legacies are. For most of their histories, America’s top universities didn’t accept those from certain demographics, …


II

117th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 3559

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

February 2, 2022

(for himself and Mr. Casey) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

A BILL

To amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to prohibit institutions of higher education participating in Federal student assistance programs from giving preferential treatment in the admissions process to legacy students or donors.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Fair College Admissions for Students Act.

2.

Ban on legacy or donor preferences in admissions

(a)

In general

Section 487(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1094(a)) is amended by adding at the end the following:

(30)
(A)

The institution will not provide any manner of preferential treatment in the admission process to applicants on the basis of their relationships to—

(i)

donors to the institution; or

(ii)

except as provided in subparagraph (B), alumni of the institution.

(B)

The Secretary may waive the limitation described in subparagraph (A)(ii) for an award year for an eligible institution described in section 371(a) if such institution demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Secretary that preferential treatment in the admission process to applicants on the basis of their relationships to alumni of the institution is in the best interest of students who have been historically underrepresented in higher education.

.

(b)

Effective date

The amendment made by subsection (a) shall take effect on the first day of the second award year (as defined in section 481(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1088(a))) that begins after the date of enactment of this Act.