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This is the first of a series of feature articles on admission to the Houses. Succeeding stories will describe each House, including mention of the fields in which it specializes.
With the draft threatening to take a slice out of the upperclasses, the class of '44 faces what is likely to prove the best year as far as getting into Houses is concerned since the Houses became popular six or seven years ago.
In recent years the trend has been toward offering House membership to all Juniors and Seniors desiring it at the expense of the Sophomores. This has been partially offset, however, by the establishment of the system of nonresident memberships.
No Set Requirements
Although there are no set requirements for admission to a House, there are several factors which receive primary consideration. Foremost among these is scholastic standing. Last year, 77% of the Freshmen who were not admitted were in Group V or below, and of these about half were in group VI.
Scholastic rank, however, is not necessarily conclusive. Although no student on probation is admitted into a House, many group V students were admitted, while a number of Dean's list men were rejected. Outside activities and athletics are also taken into consideration.
Probably the controlling factor in admitting men is distribution, as applied to home-state, school, and field of concentration. While "follow your friends" is always a good motto in selecting a House, beware of applying for admission to the same place as all your prep-school mates, particularly if your scholastic rank is lower than theirs.
A single House can seldom admit more than ten men from any one school, and you can ruin your chances from the start by following the crowd too religiously.
Concentration Field Considered
The student's field of concentration is considered carefully in borderline cases. Many of the Houses specialize in certain fields as far as tutors and libraries are concerned. Winthrop House, for instance, has a good percentage of the Biochemistry tutors and a well equipped library for this field. In case of a showdown, a Biochem concentrator would have a beter chance of admission to this House than a Classics student.
Although most of these facts concerning the students are revealed in the complicated information blanks, additional information is secured in the interviews with the House tutors. These interviews are very important, and all men are urged to make appointments as soon as possible to avoid the last minute rush. As an interview is not at all binding, you can see tutors from more than two Houses if you wish.
As far as the selection of a House is concerned, probably the most important consideration is which one has the best chance of accomodating you. Go up to the House Secretary in University Hall and see which have the most vacant rooms of the type and price you want. And don't forget that a great deal may depend on your second choice as well as your first.
In this connection it must be pointed out that some Houses will not consider second choices, so don't waste your chances there.
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