Democratic Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed a bill Tuesday that bans “legacy” admissions at public colleges and universities in the state of Colorado.
Polis touted the legislation as promoting meritocracy in higher education, according to Fox News. The prohibition is aimed to bring about a more equity-oriented admissions process at public schools.
Colorado just became the first state in the country to prohibit legacy admissions at its public colleges and universities, under a new law just signed by Gov. Jared Polis.
— Alex Burness (@alex_burness) May 25, 2021
“This bill will help move us in a direction where our higher education institutions are moving towards being meritocracies — meaning that you have to earn admission because of who you are and what you can do and what your potential is, not who your parents or grandparents were,” the governor reportedly stated after signing the bill into law Tuesday, according to Fox News.
The college enrollment rate straight out of high school is 67% for students from middle- to high-income households and only 47% for their peers from low-income households, according to the bill’s text.
Barring public higher education institutions from accepting students on the basis of a their legacy status will presumably help narrow the gap, NPR News reported. (RELATED: REPORT: University Of California System Will No Longer Consider Test Scores In Admissions Process)
Polis also signed a bill ditching a requirement that compelled schools to consider SAT and ACT scores when evaluating an applicant. The state schools will now be required to only ask for “high school academic performance indicators,” the document reads.
“While students can still submit national test scores if they choose, this bill will help students by reducing inequality in college admissions,” CU Boulder Chancellor Philip DiStefano said in a Wednesday statement.
Previously, a number of colleges and universities across the nation waived the standardized tests requirement due to restricted access to testing locations amid the pandemic.
Schools such as the University 0f California (UC) have decided to make these changes permanent, and drop the standardized testing requirement altogether, arguing that the exams were discriminatory.