Survey Shows Changing Plans Of Nation's College Freshmen

College freshmen are continuing a six-year trend away from careers in education and pure science and toward medicine and law, the results of a study that the American Council on Education conducted at 373 colleges last fall show.

Harvard did not participate in the study, but OGCP figures for graduating seniors over the same six-year period, from 1966 to 1972, show similar decreases in education and science.

However, Harvard's trends differed from those established in the ACE study in the areas of medicine and law. The percentage of Harvard seniors planning to go to law school dropped during the six-year span and the medical school percentage showed no change.

F. Skiddy von Stade Jr. '38, dean of Freshmen, said yesterday that his office does not compile career plan figures for freshmen.

However, he said that figures for the fields of concentration that freshman enter show a 7.5 per cent rise in the number intending to concentrate in the natural sciences from 1966 to 1972, and four and three point drops in those wishing to enter the humanities and social sciences, respectively.

The American Council on Education study, which polled 12 per cent of the nation's 1.5 million freshmen, showed an increase from 7.2 to 9.4 per cent in freshmen who intended to enter pre-medical and pre-law studies.

The study also showed a 3.5 per cent drop in education studies and a 1.4 per cent decline in pure science. In addition, the study indicated that the number of freshman who are unsure of their plans rose from 4.3 to 13.9 per cent from 1966 to 1972.

The OGCP figures show a drop from 23 to 12 per cent from 1966 to 1972 in students who planned careers in education and a 9 per cent drop in those pursuing careers in the pure sciences. The percentage of students intending to go to law school fell from 19 to 16.

Thirty per cent of the class of 1972 was unsure about its careers while only 14 per cent of the class of 1966 was undecided, the OGCP figures indicate.