The figures on the recipients of undergraduate scholarships for this year again show a clear predominance of men who prepared at public schools over those from private institutions. There is nothing startling in this fact for it is merely a repetition of what has been demonstrated for the past three or four years.
For those educators in charge of preparatory schools which cater definitely to the large eastern universities, however, this continued academic supremacy of the public schools should provide some cause for questioning the efficiency of their present system of instruction, for there can be no doubt that this is the basis of the difference.
In the case of the student prepared at the public school, the transition to a college life is much easier academically than it is for the man from the boarding school. The former comes from an atmosphere where only a moderate amount of pressure can possibly be brought to bear upon the amount of studying that he undertakes. The school day lasts from 9 to 3 o'clock and the question of whether he shall study or not during the rest of the day lies entirely in his own hands, or in those of his family.
In most boarding schools a student has practically no time of his own. From the time that he gets up in the morning to the end of the day his time is carefully planned for him, with special attention to the number of hours he spends over his book. Coming to college with no such stringent regulations placed upon him the natural tendency is to completely ignore the necessity of planning his time with the result that he fails to spend sufficient time on his academic work.
The one obvious solution for the private schools is to alow their students a great deal more freedom in alloting their time so that when they do find themselves in a position when they have more latitude they will know how to use it.