Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 63.djvu/174

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170
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

denominational institutions, as DePauw and Syracuse, there is one element separable from perhaps others that may be surmised, which has played an important rôle. This is found in the decidedly high average or median age of those young men who go into the ministry. The following shows the conditions in the two institutions just named:

DePauw University (1).
Median of non-
ministers.
Syracuse University (2).
Median of
ministers.
Per cent, of
ministers.
(1)  (2)  (1)  (2)  (1)  (2) 
1850-59 22 1 23 8 25 5 25 6 27.2 27.6
1860-69 23 1 23 3 23 3 24 6 22.8 41.6
1870-79 22 7 23 11 25 6 25 9 25.2 28.5
1880-89 22 11 23 3 25 3 25 6 25.4 31.7
1890-99 22 9 23 2 26 9 26 7 22.2 30.7
 

It thus appears that our medians for these two colleges as shown in Table II. would, with this element of disturbance removed, give quite different results. Thus the median of the last decade for DePauw would be lowered by Just twelve months; while that of Syracuse for the same decade, instead of remaining the same as that of fifty years before, would be lowered by nine months.

While I have not been able to work over the data for the other denominational colleges completely enough to give the results here, there are nevertheless many indications that a similar state of affairs prevails, though probably in different degree.

In conclusion, we may sum up our findings as follows: The increase in age of graduation from college in general has been tremendously exaggerated. It exists only for certain institutions; while others show a corresponding decrease.

The normal age of graduation, as our school system is constituted, is below twenty-three years and above twenty-two; our results show that more students graduate now within those limits than ever before; that the gradually organizing secondary education tends to make this percentage increasingly larger. (Nearly 85 per cent, of all graduates of the Johns Hopkins University in the twenty years since its founding to 1899 have been within these limits.)

If entrance into professional life is later than formerly, the cause must be sought elsewhere than in the college and preparatory school.

Whereas it was once possible for a boy to graduate from college at sixteen or even younger, though very few really did so, this is true no longer. But the young man now, as a consequence, leaves college with very much higher academic attainments, and but little if any older than was his father, or even his grandfather.

All colleges show, in different degrees, an increasing diminution of range in age of graduation. This shows that the secondary education is becoming better organized.