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What is a Legacy?

The world of higher learning can be overwhelming with all the terminology. From navigating the class options to figuring out admissions, the process of applying to college can be a big deal. Many students hear a term and wonder what it is. Are you wondering, what is a legacy? If you have heard the term legacy student and been at a loss for what it means, you are not alone. So, what is a legacy? Let's take a look.

College Legacy

A legacy student can mean several things in the academic world. The meaning of legacy student typically means a student being considered for admission because they have a family connection to the school. When a parent, aunt or uncle, or grandparent graduated from the school, it is a good sign of school value and loyalty for the future generations of their family to apply to the same school. Colleges and universities recognize this unique relationship and it is seen in all of the elite institutions in America. There are a few reasons why this happens. For starters, it reflects well on the school's reputation that future generations of the family want to return to their hallowed halls of learning. It also instills more loyalty to the school for future legacy students to come with every generation. Another reason legacy students are given a preference over nonaffiliated students is because of the donation aspect. For example, a prominent and successful alum sending their loved ones to the same college are more likely to make donations to the school since it is a family tradition.

Fraternity/Sorority Legacy

Another meaning of legacy can be seen in sororities and fraternities. When a son or daughter joins one of their parents' organizations, they are called a legacy because they are part of a family line in the sorority or fraternity. It doesn't have to just be their father or mother either. Much like an overall legacy student at the college, it can be a grandparent or aunt or uncle. Aside from the meaning, there are also special benefits for the student. For instance, a legacy is usually offered special coaching and counsel to ensure their success both during school and post-graduation.