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Immediately upon approaching the subject of scholarships, one stumbles across questions of practicability. Scholarships ought to be given to those students who most need money and who are likeliest to be useful in the active life of the world after graduation. This much is plain. But the question comes: is not college rank the only practicable test for determining distribution of scholarships?

To answer this, it must clearly be remembered that, in order to give scholarships to the best advantage, two questions ought to be answered with regard to each applicant: First, what will be his usefulness in after life; secondly, how much money does he need to enable him to secure a college education. We believe that the first question cannot be answered definitely and that the attempt to answer it by reference to college rank is particularly disastrous. Who can tell, or who even honestly thinks he can tell, of how much use a student will be in after life by counting the A's and B's which he secures in his courses at college? And what justification is there for giving one man a hundred dollars more than his fellow simply because he managed to get one more A? Marks are an indication, but only a very small indication and often a totally misleading one. A student's future usefulness can only be tested in a very general way. If he is of unimpeachable character, if he has a constitution capable of a reasonable amount of work, if he is faithful in his college work and shows good ability there, it is enough. Fine discrimination on the basis of marks is totally out of place.

Leaving out of consideration those scholarships by the terms of which certain individuals are given preference, the scholarships are today awarded in this wise. All applicants must first establish their need for money; then scholarships are assigned to them according to rank. That is to say, the question of need is made the basis for forming a general group, and the the group is subdivided minutely on the question of future usefulness. This is manifestly absurd. Future usefulness, since it is so largely an unknown quantity, may be taken as a basis for a general group, but nothing more. Needs, on the other hand, can be determined with considerable accuracy, and offer a far more practicable basis for subdivision. As matters stand, the rational order of things is totally reversed. The test, fit for subdividing, is used for the general group; the test fit only for the general group is used for the subdivision.

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