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Investigation Committee Discovers Harvard Is Not a Rich Man's College

(Reprinted from CRIMSON of June 10, 1913.)


A report was recently made before the Associated Harvard Clubs by the Committee on Secondary Schools which disclosed some interesting facts concerning Harvard. In making the investigation the Committee selected a group of 292 men in the classes of 1910, 1911, 1912, and 1913, representing the most prominent men in each class, such as class officers, athletes, editors, Pho Beta Kappa men, student councillors, etc.

It was found that these class leaders came from every part of the country. While 103 of the 292 men were from Massachusetts, the proportion of these 103 men to all the men from that state in college was much smaller than that of New York, Pennsylvania, Missouri, or California, the four states having the next largest representation.

In other words, the men from a distance figure more largely than those from the immediate vicinity and the man from Missouri, to quote a concrete instance, seems to stand three times as good a chance of being prominent as the man from Massachusetts. This would seem to explode the theory that a man must come from Massachusetts to attain prominence at Harvard.

Investigation along other lines indicates:

1.) That the "rich man's college" myth, the theory that wealthy boys eliminate the life of Harvard, is effectively dissipated, since about 60 per cent. of those college leaders, and among them some of the most successful and prominent earned at least part of their expenses, making an average of $900 per man, while six of them actually earned more than they spent.

2.) That the lavish spenders who do attain undergraduate prominence are relatively very few, and that the amount a man is able to spend has almost no relation to his chances of becoming a leader in undergraduate life, but that such a result depends almost entirely upon his abilities and his character.

3.) That undergraduate leadership at Harvard is in the hands of youths who are hard-working, high-minded, natural leaders who give large promise of honorable and serviceable living to the American Commonwealth.

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