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Indiana Sen. Todd Young introduces bill to end legacy admissions in universities

FILE - Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., speaks during a U.S. Senate Debate, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)

WASHINGTON (WISH) — U.S. Senators Todd Young and Tim Kaine have introduced legislation to end Legacy admissions in colleges and universities.

Both Young and Kaine, a Republican and Democrat respectively, introduced the Merit-Based Educational Reforms Institutional Transparency Act on Tuesday. Also called the MERIT Act, the legislation was introduced to end the practice of colleges and universities giving preferred treatment to applicants based on their relationship to alumni or donors of the institution.

“America is a land of opportunity, not a land of aristocracy,” said Young. “Legacy admissions restrict opportunities for many bright and talented young Americans and provide unmerited advantage to the most connected individuals in our society. Our bill will end legacy preferences in the admissions process and promote upward mobility for Americans of all backgrounds.”

Kaine, of Virginia, said in a release, “A student’s acceptance into a college should not hinge on whether their parents attended that school or donated a large sum of money,”

Since 2015, over 100 colleges and universities have ended legacy preferences, but 787 still used the practice in 2020, according to a report from the nonprofit Education Reform Now.