AMHESRT, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) – Amherst College is making changes to create greater opportunity for more students applying to the school.
The college is no longer giving preference to applicants who are children of Amherst alumni, ending their longstanding legacy admission practice.
“Now is the time to end this historic program that inadvertently limits educational opportunity by granting a preference to those whose parents are graduates of the College,” said President Biddy Martin. “We want to create as much opportunity for as many academically talented young people as possible, regardless of financial background or legacy status.”
Legacy students have made up about 11% of each class at Amherst. While those students still had to qualify academically, their familial ties gave them an advantage on being admitted.
“There should be no doubt that a world-class education is within reach for students from all income groups,” Martin continued. “At Amherst, that includes a need-blind admission process that offers substantial loan-free scholarship support for the vast majority of families.”
The college is also expanding its financial aid investment to $71 million. With this new program, Amherst claims that 80% of U.S. households would typically pay no tuition and that half would not have to pay for tuition, housing or meals.
“The additional investment will save low- and middle-income families thousands of dollars every year and support the launch of more creative initiatives to enhance the Amherst experience for its aided students,” Martin said.
WBZ’s Sheri Small (@SheriSmallNews) has a breakdown of the financial aid program: