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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained

PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS.

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

If it is fair to say that the more men a college draws from the great public schools of the country, the more democratic its constituency is likely to be, some interesting conclusions may be drawn from the relative percentage of public and private school men that enter the Freshman class at Harvard and at two of her sister colleges. Figures taken from the last report of the Dean of Yale shows that 28 1-2 per cent. of last year's freshman class there prepared at public schools; the official figures of this year's freshman class at Princeton published in the daily papers show that 27 per cent of its members come from public schools. In contrast with these, the statistics given out by the University office show that 51 per cent of the men in the Freshman class here at Harvard this year were prepared at public schools. To those who continually shout that Harvard is a rich man's College overrun by snobs, these figures may be startling. It would be folly if we should attempt to deduce from statistics conclusive evidence that Harvard is less of a rich man's College or more democratic than Yale or Princeton-- such questions do not lend themselves to mathematical proof. We give the figures with the hope that perhaps they will lead to a more general realization of the truth that Harvard is by no means the undemocratic institution that it is often made out to be.

It is further interesting to note that of those men who entered by the new plan of admission 84 per cent came from public schools. As an increasing number of men may be expected to enter by this plan in the future it is also possible that the proportion entering from public schools in the future may likewise be raised above the present 51 per cent.

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