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President Lowell in 1929 claimed that the "average age for entrance into college should and will drop to as low as 13," a prediction which is in keeping with the statements made last fall by Dr. Drury, Rector of St. Paul's School, and by Richard M. Gummere, Chairman of Admissions.
Despite the divergence in some policies of the Conant regime from those of his predecessor, both seem agreed that the age of Freshmen should be reduced. The report issued by the President last week urged that the College recognize preparatory school work in fulfilling prerequisites for advanced courses. The natural result of such a policy will be to allow students college credit for work done before coming to Harvard, and many officials believe that three year degree will soon be possible for those men.
The consequent reduction in the age of Freshmen is also in line with Dean Pound's report of last year in which he urged a three year college course so that professional men will be able to graduate before they are 25.
"My great-grandfather," Mr. Lowell explained, "sent my grandfather to college at the age of 13, and I think he benefitted by the fact that he was young. I believe that the younger a boy is when he is sent to college, the less likely he is to be influenced by whatever immoral or harmful conditions are about him.
"If a man of 40 should go to college, he would go to the dogs almost immediately. A cigarette would be a thrill to a boy of 15, but it would take a good deal more than that to impart the same thrill to the 40 year old Freshman.
Voteling the feeling of the 300 Freshmen who are now taking advanced courses, Dr. Drury said:
"Schoolboys often outstrip routine work in the Freshmen year. There should be frank anticipation of the college course, with the view to shortening the latter, for youth's brain power is underestimated and the process of education before settlement into a gainful occupation and marriage has been slow and long. The prolonged period of infancy characteristic of the human species has been safeguarded to the detriment of the species."
Mr. Gummere agreed, saying that "his statement about the maturity of schoolboys in their last year at school is very convincing." The average college entrance age is now 18
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