What is a legacy and does it help students to apply to their parent’s alma mater?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 11,718
    Jerome Cole, Director of College Counseling at the Edmund Burke School in Washington D.C., discusses what a legacy is and if there any advantage for students to apply to their parents Alma Mater.

    Jerome A. Cole, MA

    Jerome A. Cole, M.A., is the Director of College Counseling for the Edmund Burke school in Washington, D.C. and the founder of Cole Educational Consulting Services (Cole ECS.) He has worked with students and families for over seven years to help them plan and strategize for college. As a college counselor at Burke, an independent college preparatory high school founded in 1968, Mr. Cole oversees a program that is designed to support students and families as they go through the selection and admission process for college. Mr. Cole advises over 100 students each year in a small academically challenging environment where every senior is expected to apply to and enroll in college. Prior to Burke, he was a school counselor at Bethesda-Chevy Chase high school in Montgomery County, Maryland. He has successfully counseled hundreds of students and helped them prepare for admission to a variety of schools such as: American University, Clark-Atlanta University, Davidson College, George Washington University, Harvard University, Pitzer College, Stanford University, Temple University, and the University of Maryland at College Park, to highlight just a few. He established the consulting firm Cole ECS to provide students and families with the necessary information and support to make the best choice for college. Cole ECS defines the best choice as the optimal learning and social environment to ensure a student’s holistic success, culminating in on-time or early graduation and desirable post-graduate options. Mr. Cole earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Catholic University, and then went on to obtain a Master of Arts in Education and Human Development from George Washington University. He is certified as a school counselor and is a member of the National Association of College Admissions Counselors (NACAC).

    Host: What is a legacy and is there any advantage for students to apply to their parents Alma Mater?

    Jerome Cole; A legacy is a term that colleges use and it applies to the children of their alumni. So, my children for example, would be legacies to the two schools that I attended as well as my wife s. Is it an advantage, it is going to vary from school to school, but in most cases, yes, there is a slight advantage. One of the things that some institutions will do is that they will grant you what they call an alumni interview based on the fact that you are a legacy.

    I think the other thing that it does is you may be afforded a little bit more access when you go and visit a school if you are legacy and then I think finally, when the admissions folks are considering applications, I think that in most cases, not in all cases, but in most cases, the students that are legacies, all other factors being equal, they are probably going to get a leg up on the other kids. They are probably going to be admitted.

    It is an advantage, it is a slight advantage, it is going to again, vary from school to school, but it is something that interestingly enough, every college application or I should say, most college applications will ask that question, Are you a legacy? If you see that on your application that is a pretty good indication that, Yes, this is going to be an advantage to you. So, you always want to make sure the schools are aware of that.

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