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Legacy Status

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Definition: A college applicant is said to have legacy status at a college if a member of the applicant's immediate family attends or attended the college. At many colleges, legacy status can improve an applicant's chances of being admitted. However, legacy status will not make up for a weak high school record.

For the most part, legacies have parents or siblings who attended the college. When an applicant tries to present himself or herself as a legacy because a great aunt attended the university, the strategy often backfires. The student will look like he or she is desperate to gain an edge in the admissions process, and the overall impression the student creates might be negative.

To learn more about legacy status and why it often matters, read this article on legacy admissions.

Also Known As: legacy student, legacies
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