It is apparently a true paradox that the great increase of college students has led to a concentration upon the "individual." A great deal has been said during the past few years about the undesirability of overpopulation in American universities. Mass education has become a major problem. It is interesting, therefore, to have the Chancellor of New York University heartily champion the general increase in college enrollment.
In the first place he feels, contrary to many of his colleagues, that the American mind has improved, that most students at college deserve to be there. The problem is not how to weed out the poor, but how to make accommodations for the good. The limits of education are infinite. The cycle is a continuously progressive one: the more you educate the more you have to educate. If the Chancellor is right in this supposition the universities of the future are confronted by a problem far more complex than the restriction of men.
Brown's second contention is, that mass education is a healthy thing because it increases the emphasis placed upon the individual. In years past it was possible to give the few students a conventional polish and send them out into the world. Now with so many to instruct, it is not only advisable, but also necessary to "assay and sift" the multitudes. The various experiments that are being tried all over the United States are evidence of the soundness of the Chancellor's arguments. If the systems recently inaugurated at Harvard, Yale, Chicago, Rollins, and other universities are successful, they will lead not only to a more thorough education, but also to a more facile manipulation of large student bodies. Under such conditions "mass education" would be a most desirable thing.