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Financial considerations proved the greatest single factor causing students accepted for the class of 1961 to decline admission, according to a poll sponsored by the Admissions and Scholarships Committee.
In a documented survey of the reasons for declining admission, candidates cited factors ranging from long traveling distances to stiff scholastic requirements. Despite an acceptance rate of 70 per cent, highest among comparable colleges in the east, 426 men declined admission.
Scholarship aid proved the decisive factor in many cases. The Department of Financial Aid refused to grant assistance to 132 eligible candidates, almost all of whom received scholarships from other colleges. On the other hand, only five potential students out of 22 rejected Harvard financial aid in favor of Brown, Dartmouth, M.I.T., or Princeton.
H. Peter Briggs, Jr. '54, writing in the October 26 issue of the Alumni Bulletin, compiled the results from the 334 replies to the questionnaire. Their comments show the concern of students "with the problem of college selection," he writes.
Although the rate of acceptance averaged 70 per cent for the entire nation, only 50 per cent of the eligible candidates from the Pacific Coast accepted. Many of those rejecting Harvard in favor of Western colleges cited the "high cost of transportation and the low amount of expense money allowed under scholarships especially for travel costs.
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