DENVER (AP) — Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed a bill Tuesday making the state a leader in the nationwide effort to ban legacy admissions at public colleges and universities.
Prateek Dutta, Colorado Policy Director for Democrats for Education Reform, says it's the first state he’s found to have enacted such a law.
The bill prohibits public higher education officials from looking at “legacy preference,” or familial relationships to alumni of the institution, in their admissions process.
Polis says that legacy admissions can disproportionately harm Colorado residents who are first-generation college students, people of color or those who are living in the U.S. illegally.
Among the bill’s backers was the University of Colorado. Executive Director of Admissions Clark Brigger previously told Denver7 this is not a primary consideration for CU, but he explained the reason why colleges are interested in legacy status.
“If a student’s family members attended CU Boulder, they probably grew up watching CU football games, they probably have sweatshirts and things that say Colorado on them, and therefore the predictability of that student actually coming to CU is very high," Brigger said.
Brigger said removing legacy status consideration will even the playing field for students, and increase access for first-generation college students and students from lower income families.