Legacy and donor-related students make up 16.3 percent of Pitzer’s, 7 percent of CMC’s classes of 2023

Pitzer College’s enrolled class of 2023 was 16.3 percent legacy students or students related to college donors, according to a new report, while such students made up 7 percent of Claremont McKenna College’s enrolled class of 2023.

Pitzer admitted 74 legacy or donor-related students during the 2018-2019 admissions cycle, of whom 45 enrolled, the school disclosed as part of a July 1 report from the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities. Pitzer’s class of 2023, in which 276 students enrolled, had a 13.2 percent acceptance rate.

CMC admitted 26 legacy or donor-affiliated students during the cycle, of whom 23 ultimately enrolled in the 328-member class of 2023, which had a 9.6 percent acceptance rate.

These disclosures were mandated under AB 697, a new California law passed in the wake of the 2019 Varsity Blues scandal. It aims to increase transparency in the college admissions process by ordering colleges and universities to report information about preferential admissions practices.

Harvey Mudd College, Pomona College and Scripps College were not required to disclose such data because they did not report policies that lend preferential treatment to students related to donors or alumni, according to the AICCU. But each school does ask applicants whether any relatives attended.

“While the application asks if you have any relatives who have attended and/or worked for Pomona College, we do not use this information for evaluative purposes or give any preferential treatment to applicants based on this information,” Pomona’s admissions website says. “As has been the practice for many years, Pomona does not consider legacy or donor-affiliated status in the admissions process.”

Of 75 respondents, CMC and Pitzer are two of only four institutions that reported providing such treatment — the others being Santa Clara University and Vanguard University. Stanford University and the University of Southern California, both AICCU members, also provide preferential treatment, but they submitted their own reports.

AB 697 also asks schools to report any legacy or donor-related students who “did not meet the institution’s admission standards that apply to all applicants,” but neither CMC nor Pitzer said they admitted any such students.

Scripps and Mudd did not provide any additional details about their policies.

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