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Maryland becomes the third state to completely ban legacy preference in admissions

Maryland becomes the third state to completely ban legacy preference in admissions

The Hechinger Report

Hallie Miller and Olivia Sanchez
May 1, 2024
BALTIMORE – Jazz Lewis wound up at the University of Maryland not by luck or privilege but by the strings of a guitar.
Now a member of the Maryland House of Delegates, Lewis said he paid for his college degree with a mix of scholarships and money paid from stints with his church band. As one of the first men in his family to attend college, he said higher education was by no means a given; he earned it.
That’s why, Lewis said, he co-sponsored legislation designed to eliminate the use of legacy preferences at Maryland universities.
“I’m a Terp; I would love for my son to go there,” he said of the main campus at College Park. “But I just think, as a matter of public policy, state money shouldn’t be helping fulfill these types of preferences.”
The bill passed just before the end of the legislative session, was signed by Gov. Wes Moore in late April and will become law on July 1.
The idea for the legislation came last summer, after the Supreme Court ruled against the consideration of race in college admissions. Lewis, like many others across the country, wondered why colleges could still consider whether an applicant was the child of alumni or donors, but not the child’s race. While some have lauded his bill, others say it’s not enough unless it comes with other efforts to foster diversity on campus.
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