A further experiment proposing to increase the intellectual freedom of college students is announced in the new Senior Fellowships of Dartmouth College. Under the Fellowship plan a group of five carefully selected Juniors will be given an absolute academic free hand during their last year in residence. Collecting no tuition, the college will make no additional requirement for degree beyond the work completed before the Senior year. It is hoped that the personal freedom thus given will act as an intellectual stimulus to men whose undergraduate records promise distinguished scholastic leadership.
What Dartmouth is about to do has been tried from several different angles in other institutions. The honor students of Swarthmore and Williams and the fellowship system at St. John's are all moves of a kindred spirit. Perhaps in the working out of the autonomous plan at Antioch can be seen the best example of what may be expected from this latest innovation. While there have been no complaints of flagrant abuse of the liberties enjoyed, it has been pointed out that a certain degree of the freedom has not been without its disadvantages. A working plan of study is as essential to the most distinguished honors man as to the gentleman with "C's". That a program developed by an inexperienced undergraduate is beset with the dangers of a myriad attraction likely to dissipate his energies is readily seen.
If lack of an established program for the chosen few proves the pit-fall it threatens to be, the Fellowships may develop into a state of affairs similar to that reached by the Dean's List. It is this happy medium which insures a freedom for individual study and at the same time provides a less ephemeral form of attack than that afforded by a complete lack of organized study.