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For many years there have been complaints in regard to the existing methods of distributing scholarships by the authorities of the college. This distribution of scholarships is a matter of extreme difficulty, and any hammer-and-tongs assault on the present method would be unjustified; yet there are certain considerations, perhaps more obvious to the undergraduate than to the Faculty, which we wish to press on their attention.
If a student wishes to secure a scholarship now he must first establish that he has need of the money, and then the amount of money given him will, unless the terms of the scholarships have special provisions, ordinarily be regulated by his standing in his studies relative to the standing of all others who are to be given scholarships.
Now this system immediately puts a high premium on A's and B's. When a student finds that the change of a single mark would have meant a hundred dollars to him, and when he is in sore straits for the means to his college expenses, there is hardly a limit to the amount of work he feels spurred on to do. If the scholarships never induced men to work themselves beyond reason, well and good. But the fact, patent to every one, is that men do overwork for these scholarships. There is, in our opinion, no small number of men in every class who overwork on their courses, and of this number four men out of five who are competing for scholarships.
What is the result? We have produced among us that class of men called grinds. These men, living witnesses to the effects of over-study, bring rational study into lowered repute. An association grows up between the thought of application to studies and the thought of men of poor health, unattractive appearance, and stiff manners.
Now if men on seeing a good thing abused, would discriminate between the good and the abuse, then no great harm would be done. But they do not. One extreme excites another. The existence of a class of those who work too much occasions an increase in the class of those who work too little.
We wish to make it clear that we do not assign the scholarships as the sole, but as the chief cause of overwork. This overwork is bad for the men themselves and the college as a whole.
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