What we used to bandy about as a joke, turns out to be entirely true. The Yale Daily News reports:
A family can significantly increase its child's chances of getting into Yale by giving a large sum of donation money, the former admissions officer said. Yale's development office has an official list of students whose parents or families make substantial donations. "Development kids," as the admissions officer called them, are almost guaranteed admissions if their families are big enough donors.I'm not saying that I fault or even disagree with the admissions committee, however. As they explain:
"The development office has an A-list, a B-list and a C-list," the officer said. "The A-list has kids whose parents, for example, are CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. The B-list has kids whose families are second-rate compared to the A-list, and the C-list is basically friends of really important and wealthy people."
Sometimes, the former admissions officer said, he was not even required to read the development kids' folders because there was no way to reject them.
"Year after year, there are kids who get into Yale and take the spots of more deserving students because of money," the former officer said.
Mostly, development kids are legacies, but very rarely, families with no Yale association other than a child applying to the College will make big donations, he said.
The former admissions officer was careful to note, however, that he thinks "99.9 percent of an entering class at Yale deserves to be there" and that development kids comprise just four or five members of each class. But Yale relies on donations, the former officer said, and admitting students who are more likely to contribute or have their families contribute is essential to the University's livelihood.I also credit the admissions office with being as candid as they were in this article about legacies and their advantages in the Yale college admissions process.
"To a certain extent, I understand the need to maintain a healthy relationship with big donors -- we need to do that," the former officer said.