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Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Georgetown University will award preferential admissions status to the descendants of the 272 former slaves it sold to pay off its debts, the New York Times reported.

These descendants will receive the type of special admissions consideration often conferred upon "legacies," or the children and grandchildren of alumni. 

Georgetown's decision goes beyond those of universities like Harvard, Brown and the University of Virginia — other institutions that have recognized ties to slavery — but stops short of guaranteeing scholarships for such applicants, the Times reported. 

The measures come after the University formed a committee in November of 2015 to identify steps it should take to address its ties to slavery, an institution deeply embedded in its history and upon which it heavily relied.

The University will issue a formal apology, rename two campus buildings, create an institute for the study of slavery and erect a memorial to the slaves whose labor contributed to the creation of the University, the Times reported. 

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