Howard has always been a tiny self-sufficient world, in many ways as provincial as in the days of the Red Coats and Tea Parties. While physical limitations will always prevent it from being a large world, provincialism can be avoided. President Conant has discovered the first tool, the prize fellowships, and a few figures will disclose their effects on the geographical enrollment.
When the depression hit five mid-western states, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Wisconsin, their combined enrollment dropped from 2.7% to 1.8%. The advent of the fellowships jumped the figure to 4.3%.
While these figures are sufficiently surprising, the ones on local enrollment are even more so. Although Massachusetts has only 3.5% of the nation's population, it supplies 50% of the student body. The rest of New England, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania with 24.5% of the census count for 24% of the undergraduates. Thus the other 39 states have only 16% representation at Harvard.
From this impressive but rather deadly list of statistics, one can really draw a conclusion. Despite the fact that the fellowships have doubled the enrollment from the affected states, it will be a superhuman task to effect a balance of power between the cast and the west. Yet this is what must be done if Harvard is to beat provincialism. Mr. Conant has a hard task ahead of him, made even more difficult by the necessity of maintaining academic standards at the present level. But he must continue to develop the frontier and push it forward if Harvard is to be a national university.