New Plan of Admission

[The following is reprinted from The Harvard Graduates' Magazine.]

The total number of applicants for ad- mission under the new plan this June was 148. Of this number, only 115 were admitted to the examinations. The school records of the remaining 33 were not approved because the applicants had records which did not meet some of the requirements of the plan. In some cases, applicants had taken no study within one of the four fields of languages, science, mathematics, and history, no one of which, according to the new plan, may be omitted. In other cases, applicants had not carried two studies of their school program beyond their elementary stages, which is another absolute prescription of the plan. In still other cases, the records were plainly deficient either in quantity or in quality of work, or in both. Twenty-one of these 33 applicants whose records were not approved presented themselves in June nevertheless as candidates for admission under the old plan.

Of the 115 men who took examinations under the new plan, the Committee on Admission admitted 72 and refused 43. The large percentage of failures brought out clearly how widely standards differ in schools throughout the country. Many boys whose school records indicated that they were excellent scholars did very badly in the examinations.

The geographical distribution of candidates who were admitted indicates that one object of the new plan is likely to be attained--namely, that it will be instrumental in securing a wider representation of students from different parts of the country. Under the old plan of admission, the pecentage of students admitted from schools outside of New England has never been over 20 per cent. Of the candidates admitted this year under the new plan, about 50 per cent come from schools outside of New England.

The experience this June has brought out very clearly the anticipated difficulty of preparing examinations in accordance with the theory of the new plan; but, on the whole, the results of the plan at its first trial are very satisfactory and encouraging.