President Joe Biden’s education chief said he’s open to using “whatever levers” are available — including federal money — to discourage colleges from giving admissions preference to the children of alumni and donors.
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said legacy admissions must be revisited for the sake of diversity on campuses following the recent Supreme Court ruling against affirmative action. In a step beyond his previous comments, Cardona said he would consider taking stronger action to deter the practice.
“I would be interested in pulling whatever levers I can pull as secretary of Education to ensure that, especially if we’re giving out financial aid and loans, that we’re doing it for institutions that are providing value,” Cardona said Wednesday. He made the remark when asked about using federal money as a carrot or rod on legacy admissions.
Legacy admissions, long seen as a perk for the white and wealthy at selective colleges, have come under renewed fire since the ruling in June that colleges can no longer consider the race of applicants. By banning affirmative action but allowing legacy preferences, critics say the court left admissions even more lopsided against students of color.