More Harvard students eventually leave college with a degree than students at any other university in the country, University officials said yesterday.
"Approximately 95 per cent of Harvard's undergraduates eventually graduate," Charles P. Whitlock, associate dean of the Faculty for special projects said yesterday.
"STudents who leave either transfer to another school or go through a personal identity crisis and never return to higher education," Whitlock said. "No one really knows what happens to them."
The University has not conducted a study of those students who fail to return, Paul B. Segel'71, a research assistant who works in University Hall, said yesterday. There is a small number of such students and they are hard to locate, Segel added.
James E. Shapiro '79, who has just begun a leave of absence, said yesterday he doubts whether he will return.
"I could see never coming back," he said.
Shapiro said he resented certain assumptions held by Harvard students such as that they "will always be in the top 1 per cent of America." This is "so unquestioned it really freaks me out," he said.
Shapiro said, "there are a lot of things people don't consider because they are socially unacceptable."
Shapiro said his plans for the future are unclear. He may teach English in Taiwan, work on a ranch in Wyoming and apply to some schools in California, he said.
One Radcliffe student transferred lat year to University of Florida primarily because of financial considerations. Her former roommate said the student did nto feel she was getting her money's worth at Harvard. The roommate added that the student has since changed her mind.