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A little tunneling under the cold crust of facts and figures relating to scholarships uncarths significant features. The distribution curve on the rank list is, of course, far above the general level. More pertinent, however, is an examination of one category of scholarships, the Prize Fellowships, the cream of the crop and President Conant's especial dream children.
The great Tercentenary collection of funds had, for one of its two primary purposes, the creation of new, geographically-distributed scholarships to be known as National Scholarships, instead of Prize Fellowships as they are now known. With the fund successfully established, it may safely be assumed that next fall there will be a proportionately large increase in the number of students who receive these awards.
All the more interest, therefore, centers upon the elect few who are already in college. Those men selected were to be, ideally, not only students of the first rank but also social beings in the fullest sense of the word. The record of the Prize Fellows of the Classes of '38 and '39 lends some color to the original optimism. The men are, with but a single exception, in Group III or better. As for extra-curricular activity, they average higher than "the typical Harvard student", but not as conspicuously as might be expected. A further statistical break-down shows two men with no extra-curricular affiliation whatsover, one in Group 1 and the other in 111, with a slight tendency on the part of Group 11 men to engage in more outside interests.
These interpretations, however, can in no way be regarded as conclusive. Statistically speaking, the number, thirty-eight, is quite insignificant and the record is, as yet, woefully incomplete in the individual instance. Certain tendencies, and the inferences to be drawn therefrom mean, however, that the plan has been working with measurable success, sufficient, at least, to continue to accord it the highest hopes. Several more years will do much to stabilize the college record, then begin to demonstrate the record in the world. Then, and then only, will definite conclusions be warranted. Meanwhile the gradual fruition of this novel and daring educational conception can be watched with intense interest.
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