Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 63.djvu/165

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161
THE AGE OF COLLEGE GRADUATION.

assumed great increase in the age of graduation, taken generally and so far as our material reaches, is absolutely non-existent.

The median age of graduation in Dartmouth, for instance, has in one hundred and thirty years fallen three months; in one hundred years the median for Middlebury has risen four months. But note that in 1830-39 the median for Middlebury was two months higher than now. In the case of Bowdoin, there has been a steady rise to a little over two years, which, however, reached its maximum in the decade beginning in 1860, and has since been falling. In seventy years, the University of Vermont median age has risen but two months; while in the same period that of Adelbert College has fallen three months. Again, we may compare the New York University with Oberlin College. While the age at the former has in sixty years risen one year and five months, in the latter it has fallen one year and seven months. It may be noted in passing that the number of graduates in the given

Table I.

Median Ages of Graduation by Decades.

U. of Ala. N. Y. Uni. Wesleyan. Oberlin. De Pauw. Syracuse.
Age. No. Age. No. Age. No. Age. No. Age. No. Age. No.
20-4 57 20-2 73 23-0 107 24-11 34
20-3 126 20-3 147 23-3 231 25-6 122 21-7 63
20-9 173 20-7 102 23-4 231 25-2 120 22-9 89 23-11 28
20-0 48 20-8 128 24-0 260 24-0 176 23-2 115 24-0 29
20-3 66 21-6 141 23-8 325 24-3 270 23-1 230 24-6 138
20-0 209 21-1 154 23-3 323 24-3 267 23-2 317 23-9 224
20-2 270 21-8 115 23-6 456 23-11 403 23-9 371 23-11 264

seems to be used as a semi-professional degree, implying for instance, that the student has taken an engineering, or some such course not purely 'cultural.' It seemed impossible to shut out entirely cases of the semi-professional degrees. The number of them is, however, too small to materially influence the results. In Dartmouth College the graduates of the Chandeler Scientific School are not included in the calculations, for the reasons above given. The justice of the exclusions above referred to is evident at once; for the examination is an attempt to show the changes that have come about in the college course as formerly understood. That is, when it did not include the study of a profession within itself, as several of the present courses do. Only young men have been considered in my inquiry. It is interesting, however, to note that if young women had been included in the investigation, the averages and medians would have, in almost every case, been materially reduced. In other words, the young woman is either more highly selected as a student, or she meets with fewer hindrances external to her work while going through high school and college. At any rate, whatever the cause or causes may be, the young woman graduates are, as a rule, younger than the young men in the same college. This subject is worthy of a separate inquiry.