The registration figures for this year show a decrease of 76 in the total University enrolment from the figures of 1907-08. This follows a decrease of 62 in last year's figures from the year 1906-07. The figures for this year denote a very considerable decrease, however, when consideration is taken of the fact that there is noted an increase of 206 in the summer schools and a new school has been added to the list in the Graduate Business School. Apparently, the decline has been fairly uniform in most of the departments. The professional schools have suffered considerably, the Law School having 32 men less than last year. Two departments, the Bussey Institution and the Saturday Courses for teachers have been given up, however, which accounts for a deduction of 126. A loss of 39 in the College is not encouraging, especially as some of the men formerly in the Lawrence Scientific School are now registered in the College.
Two things are apparent from these figures. The active competition for new students which exists at present in New England colleges and universities is having its effect on the registration of Harvard College. Moreover, the preeminence of the Graduate Schools of the University is being assailed, and as a result of the increasing popularity of many of the Graduate Schools of State institutions the number of men attracted to Harvard by reason of especial advantages in graduate work is not as large as formerly. The force of this competition is obviously severe. The colleges in the East which require examinations of any importance or difficulty for entrance are very much in the minority and they are competing with a number of colleges where all a man needs is a school certificate. The further reduction this year indicates a definite trend at present which we are inclined to be lieve, will not go beyond a certain point. It indicates as well the necessity of the proper authorities looking into the situation thoroughly and determining how it is possible to keep our numbers what they should be.