A recommendation that the number of needy men admitted to college be limited in order to lighten the burden of worry and overwork which is now being carried by students is made today by Russell T. Sharpe '28, secretary for Student Employment, in an article appearing in the Atlantic Monthly entitled "College and the Poor Boy." By the extension of such a plan of limitation, he believes that although the gap between public and private institutions of higher learning may be widened, the state universities may be brought to introduce a large number of practical courses for those men who are too poor to enter the colleges of liberal arts.
Other Methods Impractical
In the body of his article, Sharpe indicates the practical difficulties involved in increasing the number and size of scholarships and loan funds, establishing cooperative enterprises, finding more jobs for needy students, or creating positions for them within the college.
The article follows in part:
"In formulating a policy of limitation, many factors will have to be considered. Each institution must determine how many additional jobs it will be possible to find or to create. It must estimate how opportunities will fluctuate as economic conditions change. It must classify jobs according to the amount of time and energy they require, and see what their effect is on the academic work and on the physical and mental well-being of the students who hold them. Finally, the relationship of the self-supporting men as a group to the intellectual and social life of the college as a whole must be studied to determine what percentage of the entire enrollment should be composed of working students.
"Once decisions on these matters have been reached, it will be relatively simple to determine how many students can be adequately cared for and safely admitted without jeopardizing the general welfare of the college. This figure would then become an important guide in the selective process of admission.
"The benefits of such a plan would be enormous. Students would not be permitted to spend too much time in out- side work. There would be much loss borrowing worry over money, for there would be enough financial aid and jobs to go around. The tremendous competition which exists today would be lightened, and the best men would thus be able to obtain the help which they so richly deserve. A healthier attitude toward academic work and college life would inevitably follow. Most important of all, with limitation each poor student admitted would become an individual case, and not just a card in a filing cabinet.
"Although no obstacles would be placed in the path of able men, applicants of limited ability and mediocre promise would be denied entrance. The unpromising student would be penalized to make room for the promising one. After all, it is not ridiculous to admit large numbers of undistinguished applicants, thus wasting employment opportunities and financial aids which might be used to better purpose in assisting equally needy students of more certain intellectual capacity?
"If such a plan of limitation in extensively adopted, it may bring about far-reaching changes in the theory and practice of American education. For example, it may widen the gap between private and public institutions of higher learning. The privately endowed colleges may become increasingly less representative of our heterogeneous national population, and may come in time to play the aristocratic role in American life which Oxford and Cambridge have so long filled in the life of England.
"Those who are disturbed by such a prospect should remember, however, that the poor boy of real ability would still be able to gain entrance under an intelligent system of limitation. They should remember, too, that many applicants, particularly those who come from families without intellectual background, now enter the liberal arts college hoping thereby to improve their chances of success in business, not realizing that success in business, not realizing that such a college will give them little practical training