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Prospective Radcliffe freshmen this April will receive, along with the traditional letter of acceptance, an invitation to take this year off without losing their places at Radcliffe.
According to Mary I. Bunting, President of Radcliffe, the plan is an effort to make coming to Radcliffe a conscious choice for each girl.
The actual letters have not yet been drafted, Mrs. Bunting said yesterday, but they will indicate to each girl "that although she is accepted, she can still decide whether she wants to come to Radcliffe in September."
The places left vacant will be filled from those on Radcliffe's waiting list, Mrs. Bunting said. There will be no changes in the overall number accepted.
"Some students feel that they must come to college," Mrs. Bunting said.
"if they instead had decided to come, perhaps they would feel more of a commitment once here."
She added that the letters would also serve as an indication to the girls' families that Radcliffe approved of deferring college for a year-thus perhaps making the idea more palatable.
Mrs. Bunting said that she first conceived of the plan last spring, and discussed it with Radcliffe's Administrative Board. parent-age alumnae, and finally the Policy Committee on Admissions and Financial Aid, all of whom approved.
"In a way these letters may serve as a signal across the country," Mrs. Bunting said, "encouraging other schools to do the same thing."
"It's a really great idea," said one Radcliffe freshman last night. "The only trouble is that you don't know until three months into the year that you should have taken it off."
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