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The report of the Committee on admission for the year 1924-25 has been made public by Henry Pennypacker '99, Chairman of the Committee.
The report states that results justify the continuation of the plan of admission without examination. In the Freshman class last year, 256 students registered who were admitted under this system. Although the highest seventh of the class was not composed entirely of students from that group 30 percent of them obtained distinction on the rank list as against 17 per cent of the class as a whole.
Increase of Public School Entries
The report also shows that exactly one half of the class, a slight increase over the previous year, were admitted from public schools. The percentage of those refused admission is 56 per cent from public schools and 44 per cent from private schools or tutors.
"It is a fact of common observation." Mr. Pennypacker further says, "that applications for admission not only to Harvard but to all colleges are steadily increasing in number. The limitation of the quota will have to be applied in the immediate future, and that will introduce the competitive element into our system of admission for the first time. Pursuant to the Faculty's vote, we are to receive those who qualify in the regular way by examination, whose average is 75 per cent or higher and all those admitted without examination. This may or may not leave a margin under the quota. If it does, the Committee is to fill the quota by selecting those who on all evidence obtainable have best proved their competence.
Choose Men of 'Promise'
"It may very well be, however, with the rapidly growing demand for admission to college, that the two groups first mentioned may exceed 1000; and in that case the selective process must be applied to those groups as well. It will then be noted that assurance of admission can no longer be obtained by the passing of entrance tests alone. Admission to college has now become strictly a competition, in which school records, entrance examinations, character, industry, health, capacity for leadership, in short, all qualities which may be grouped under the term 'promise,' determine the competitors' success.
Up to Discretion of Committee
"At present, indeed, the Committee is vested with discretion to reject a candidate who applies under any system if they feel that such a candidate is not prepared to meet the responsibilities of college membership. We can no longer afford to accept the negative testimony that a boy has submitted himself to instruction and has led a life free from obvious iniquity. If college is to train boys for service, we must require positive evidence that our candidates are probably good material who will be likely to repay by future service to the community, the large outlay the college makes to educate them."
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