Black Market in Education

The tutoring school has returned to Harvard. This vicious institution, which once made a shame and a joke out of a Harvard degree, has regained, so far, only a limited foothold. But in all except size the reborn "tute schools" resemble the lecherous harpies which once crouched over Harvard Square and drained the College of every claim to honor and integrity.

It has been only nine years since the College cut itself free from the enveloping tentacles of the tutorial schools. Few people now in college realize just how extensive was the influence of these crutches. At one time three-quarters of the student body availed itself of the facilities of professional tutoring. There was no pretense that the "schools" were merely giving occasional assistance to conscientious students having trouble with a particularly hard course. They offered a complete "Harvard" education at a price to fit every pocketbook.

The tutoring schools sold synopses of lecture notes and assigned reading. They "spotted" questions on hour examinations and finals, wrote term papers, and highlighted such facts as might be essential for a "gentleman's C" in a given course. They would write entire theses for honors candidates and were reported to have secured copies of final examinations before the examination dates.

Monitors were bribed for class lists. Tutoring school pamphlets were found in every mail box and on every bulletin board. Their advertising was the financial backbone of college publications. Students who tried to get an education the hard way were subjected to the disdain of their wealthier or less scrupulous associates.

By 1939, the schools had grown to such an extent that they were tacitly accepted by both University Hall and the undergraduates. The Faculty and Administration tolerated and even abetted them by quickly ignoring their existence except when there was a flagrant violation of the common law copyright which the University holds on lecture material.


The College began to realize the full measure of the immorality with which the tutoring schools were covering the name of Harvard toward the end of the last decade. Students and Faculty abandoned their complacence, and the evil disappeared. Any student who attends a professional tutoring school in 1948 is courting separation from the University.

The tutoring schools have been out of existence for so many years that the true native of their invidiousness may by now have been forgotten. The Administration may be content to point to the rule against their use and take no action until a stroke of chance unveils some student who has been taking the "easy way out." If this attitude is adopted, the tutoring school may make secure the foothold which it has regained. The small sector of the student body which has succumbed to the lure of the harpies can befoul the whole College, and the time for opposing action is now. The University should use every moral and legal pressure at its command to eradicate this disease before its contamination can spread.