Launches Merit Over Money Campaign, Thousands of Young People Demand That Ivy League Universities End Legacy & Donor Preferences in Admissions

The recent college admissions scandal, involving actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman, exposed 50 people who bribed and cheated to get their kids into top schools. The scandal also shed let on something many students know too well: Even if they’re not breaking the law, those with money can game the college admission system, while those without it don’t have a shot.

One legal way wealthy families have an unfair advantage is through legacy and donor preference admissions, where colleges are more likely to admit students whose families made major donations or previously attended that school. It’s one reason that at elite universities, more students come from the top 1% of the income scale than the entire bottom 60% combined.  

Through DoSomething’s “Merit Over Money” campaign, thousands of students are signing a petition to demand Ivy League schools do away with legacy and donor preferences. Students around the country feel that smart and hardworking applicants deserve a fair shot, and they’re raising their voices to make change.  DoSomething is partnering with advocacy organization EdMobilizer, which organizes the 1vyG conference and has been a staunch advocate for an end to unfair admissions practices. 

“In light of the college admissions scandal, young people across the country are angry at the broken system of college admissions,” says Carrie Bloxson, Chief Marketing Officer of DoSomething. “By changing their policies, Ivy League schools would set the precedent for other colleges admissions to make their admissions policies more fair.” 

Students, concerned citizens, alumni, and donors can get involved by visiting or by texting ADMISSIONS to 38383. Those who participate will receive updates on the petition and by sharing will enter for a chance to win a $2,500 college scholarship from

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