Among Harvard students in the classes of 2014 to 2019, about 50 to 60 students each year were admitted off the "Z-list," according to a report by Anemona Hartocollis, Amy Harmon, and Mitch Smith at the The New York Times. Students who are "Z-ed" must defer their enrollment for one year.
But plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Harvard say many of these students are legacies, meaning their parents attended Harvard, and might not otherwise make the cut.
About 40,000 students apply each year, and about 2,000 are admitted for some 1,600 seats in the freshman class.
Harvard is America's hardest college to get into, with an acceptance rate of about 5%.
Generally two or three admissions officers, or readers, rate applications in five categories: academic, extracurricular, athletic, personal and “overall.” They also rate teachers’ and guidance counselors’ recommendations. Harvard says it also considers “tips,” or admissions advantages, for some applicants. The plaintiffs say the college gives tips to five groups: racial and ethnic minorities; legacies, or the children of Harvard or Radcliffe alumni; relatives of a Harvard donor; the children of staff or faculty members; and recruited athletes.
The Harvard Crimson, an independent student-run paper, reported on the Z-list in 2002. The publication said it gathered information about 36 of the roughly 80 Z-list students at Harvard from 2001 to 2002 and found that 26 of them, or 72%, were legacies, compared with 12-14% of the entire class.
Another Crimson article about the Z-list, published in 2010, said that 18 of 28 Z-listers interviewed had parents who attended Harvard and that 24 received no financial aid from the college. The Crimson reported that about 70% of Harvard's student body received financial aid.
不过，哈佛方面并不这么认为。哈佛招生处负责人William R. Fitzsimmons表示，“Z名单”并不是用来招收校友子女的。Z名单中校友子女占比高是因为，这些学生更情愿接受该名单的特殊入学政策。而且Z名单上的学生也并不比正常入学的学生差。
Harvard's admissions staff has said the Z-list is not a way to admit legacy students. The 2010 Crimson article described William R. Fitzsimmons, the dean of admissions and financial aid, as saying the Z-list has a disproportionate number of legacy students to the class a whole because they might be more inclined to accept their spot on the list. Fitzsimmons told The Crimson in 2010 that the students on the Z-list weren't of a lower caliber than other admitted students.
综合来源：观察者网、中新网、Business Insider，New York Times