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Applicants for admission to next year's Freshman class are about 200 fewer than last year, David P. Henry, Director of Admissions in Harvard College, reported yesterday.
This figure contrasts with Princeton's which has 700 more applicants than last year and Yale's which also has had a negligable increase. Brown University reported a ten per cent decrease of applicants.
Henry said that the decrease was due to the drop in scholarship applicants. The number of applicants willing to pay their own way remained about the same as last year. Henry speculated that "perhaps people have more money," or that the ten dollar fee discourages multiple scholarship applications. The number of candidates from prep schools was about constant, he added, with the slight drop of applications from Exeter and Andover from last year offset by gains from other schools.
Henry pointed out that a lapse in applications did not necessarily mean a drop in the quality of the students. Last year, for instance, there were 239 fewer applicants, while the average on the Scholastic Aptitude Tests, a possible measure of quality, was "creeping up."
"We're not worried," Henry stated. "The situation will take care of itself. We have more good applicants than we know what to do with, and perhaps fewer applications will mean fewer disappointments."
Besides the ten dollar application fee, two other reasons were advanced by a recent issue of an "Admission and Scholarship Newsletter" for last year's decrease of applications to the College:
1) Each year it has been necessary to turn down more and better students. This fact may have discouraged some from applying.
2) Whenever possible, the Harvard Admissions office has estimated a potential candidate's chances, and discouraged hopeless or marginal cases.
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