« AnteriorContinuar »
TABLE 1.-Statistics of institutions for educating the colored race, showing grade of students, during 1892-93-Continued.
TABLE 2.-Statistics of institutions for educating the colored race which failed to report grade of students, 1892-93.
PECUNIARY AID FOR STUDENTS IN UNIVERSITIES AND COLLEGES.
It is a well-known fact that students in universities and colleges contribute but a very small proportion of the funds necessary to carry on these institutions. The comparatively low rates of tuition demanded by them are rendered possible by the large permanent endowment funds obtained from various sources, and by the annual appropriations made by the several States and by the United States Government. The endowment funds are frequently given for certain specified purposes, such as the endowment of professorships, fellowships, scholarships, or some particular department of an institution, while in other cases the disposition of the funds is left to the discretion of the institutions receiving them.
In 1892-93 the income from the productive funds of universities and colleges reported to this Bureau was $5,099,859, or 34.9 per cent of the total income for the year. The amount received from the tuition fees of students was $5,466,810, or 37.4 per cent of the total amount. The balance of the income was made up from State or United States appropriations, and from miscellaneous sources. Nearly all of the appropriations are given to State universities, and, as a rule, tuition in these institutions is free, at least to students from the respective States.
Aid to students is given in various forms-by means of fellowships, scholarships, remission of tuition fees, and by loans and prizes.
Both in this country and in Europe fellowships are given to students who have already obtained at least a baccalaureate degree, or can show that they have received an education corresponding to that indicated by the possession of such degree. In the United States and in France fellowships are given to students who desire to pursue advanced courses of instruction, and as a rule the beneficiaries must study at the institutions furnishing the aid. In France the aid is given by the State, and the recipients must, with few exceptions, pursue their studies at one of the faculties. Some of the fellowships are, however, for use as traveling fellowships; particulars are given in connection with the several institutions on the following pages.
The number of fellowships in the United States is increasing rapidly, at present numbering about 265. An examination of the catalogues of universities and colleges shows that probably the oldest fellowship, founded as such, in the United States is the Harris fellowship at Harvard University, which was founded in 1868 by William Minot, jr., as executor of Henry Harris, with an original endowment of $10,000.
The first traveling fellowship at Harvard was founded by the Hon. George Bancroft in 1871. It may be of interest to note that Mr. Bancroft was the first Harvard graduate that was sent to Germany for study by the university. He went to Göttingen in 1818 and pursued his studies in Europe for three years. In his letter of July 4, 1871, to President Eliot, of Harvard, apprising him of his desire and intention of founding a fellowship, Mr. Bancroft says:
A little more than fifty-three years ago Edward Everett, then Eliot professor of Greek literature, in one of his letters to President Kirkland developed the idea that
it would be well to send some young graduate of Harvard to study for a while at a German university with a view to his being called to a place on the college board. The president approved his suggestion, and his choice for this traveling scholarship fell upon me. Accordingly, in the early summer of 1818, being then in my eighteenth year, I proceeded to Göttingen. After remaining more than three years in Europe I returned to Cambridge, where I held the office of tutor for one year. There being no opening for a permanent connection with the university, I devoted a few years to an attempt to introduce among us some parts of the German system of education, so as to divide more exactly preliminary studies from the higher scientific courses and thus facilitate the transformation of our colleges into universities after the plan everywhere adopted in Germany. But it is not easy to change an organization that has its roots in the habits of the country, and the experiment could not succeed, for it was impossible to introduce the German usage which permits students to pass freely from a private place of instruction to a public one, without the exaction of payments for instruction elsewhere received.
I then applied through the late Judge Charles Jackson, a member of the corporation and a friend of mine, for leave to read lectures on history in the university. At Göttengen or at Berlin I had the right, after a few preliminary formalities, to deliver such a course. It was the only time in my life that I applied for an office for myself, and this time it was not so much an office as a permission that I desired. My request was declined by my own alma mater; so that I had not the opportunity of manifesting my affection for her by personal services; and my life has had, in consequence, unexpected variety and independence. But wherever my lot has been thrown I have always preserved in freshness and strength the love which I bore to Harvard College in my youth; and now, in my old age, I still gladly seek an opportunity of proving that attachment.
I wish, therefore, to found a scholarship on the idea of President Kirkland, that the incumbent should have leave to repair to a foreign country for instruction. Merit must be the condition of the election to the scholarship; no one is to be elected who has not shown uncominon ability, and uncommon disposition to learn. Of course the choice should fall on someone who needs the subsidy.
You, sir, as the successor of Dr. Kirkland, may know the funds out of which came the modest but sufficient stipend which I received; and if so, I leave it to you and the corporation to impose any limitations that you think right. Otherwise, residence at the university, but not for more than three years, may be required. But the residence should have reference to any of the schools of divinity, law, or medicine, or of mines, or of science, or of any other school that is or may be founded, not less than to the classes of the undergraduates. I think, in an exceptional case, there should be authority to name the scholar from any place, without any previous residence at Cambridge; and if you and the corporation approve, I wish it to be so established.
The scholarship should be held by no one for more than three years, and during that time should be renewed from year to year; but only on evidence that the scholar is fulfilling the purpose of the endowment. I leave to you and to the corporation to circumscribe, if, from the considerations already referred to, you think best, the objects of study to which the incumbent should devote himself. But, for my own part, I am willing the scholarship should be given to any young person likely to distinguish himself in either of the learned professions, or in any branch of science, or in architecture, sculpture, painting, music, or letters.
One word more. The incumbents of the scholarship may perhaps be afterwards drawn into the corps of professors at the university. Should they render no such service, and should they be prospered in life, I wish each of them so prospered to be reminded, and, excepting alway's those permanently connected with the university as instructors and those whose moderate wants press upon their means, I thus in advance charge them to imitate my example in rendering aid, through Harvard College, to the cause of arts and letters, of science and learning.
In his book entitled American Colleges, Dr. Charles F. Thwing, now president of Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, says:
The purposes which the fellowship system, as it is now being established in American colleges, is intended to serve are the advancement of scholarship and the promotion of original thought and investigation. A fellowship in an American college is not, as often it is in the English universities, a sinecure. It is not simply the reward for success in passing a series of examinations; it is not merely the ladder by which the student is to climb to distinction, but it is a privilege by the fit use of which he can advance the higher learning and enlarge the boundaries of human knowledge. The fellowship allows the young graduate possessing genius for a certain line of investigation but not possessing the pecuniary means for his support to pursue studies the result of which shall honor not only him but also scholarship. It
permits the penniless student interested in philosophy to pursue his philosophy and the student of science to continue his chemical or zoological investigations. Without its aid the one would be obliged, for example, to devote his powers to professional studies for the ministry, and the other to medicine, professions for which each feels he is by nature unfit. The fellowship system, therefore, in American colleges is the most direct aid to the higher scholarship and to culture.
In the foundation and administration of fellowships in our colleges, however, the strict observance of certain rules is necessary to the attainment of their highest usefulness. It is the failure to observe the first two of the three following suggestions that has brought the English fellowship system into considerable disrepute among certain classes of English society.
(1) The fellowship should not be bestowed merely as a reward for high scholarship, but principally as the means for prosecuting original research in a comparatively new department of study.
(2) It should seldom be held for more than three, or at most, for more than four years. The progress which the fellow makes in this length of time enables him, with but little outlay of time or strength, to give instruction sufficient to provide for his pecuniary needs. The fellowship in such a case should at once be reassigned.
(3) If the fellow resides in Germany, as he usually will, he should be made a sort of corresponding member of his college faculty. The information which he could transmit regarding the educational movements occurring in the German gymnasia and universities would prove of much service to American colleges and American scholarship.
Speaking of the fellowships in English universities, Dr. Thwing says:
The conditions under which the fellow enjoys his annuity are usually very few and liberal. He is at liberty to pursue almost any line of intellectual labor. In many cases his position is a mere sinecure, and involves no actual work. In other cases it is, and in all cases may be, most effectually used for the advancement of the higher learning.
In some of the English universities certain fellowships are reserved for specified professors and some of the college offices are held by fellows. After holding such offices for a certain length of time the fellows are entitled to retain their fellowship during life. In the majority of other cases the tenure of a fellowship in the English universities is now limited to seven years. Comparatively few of the fellowships in the English universities are provided by specific gifts or bequests. As a rule, a certain proportion of the income of a college is set aside, by statute, for a specified number of fellowships which are known as foundation fellowships.
While fellowships are, as a rule, for the use of graduate students, scholarships are for the use of both graduate and undergraduate students. Scholarships do not generally have as great a pecuniary value as fellowships, and are much more frequently bestowed after competitive examinations. The catalogues of universities and colleges, not only of this country but also of foreign countries, show that the requirement most frequently exacted of candidates for aid is that they be indigent or that without the aid granted by a scholarship they would be unable to pursue their studies. In many institutions in the United States, especially such as are under the control of religious denominations, another favored class is found in students preparing for the ministry or for missionary work, and in children of clergymen. To such students either free tuition or a liberal discount on the regular rates of tuition is granted.
The first scholarship in an American college was founded in Harvard College by Lady Ann Mowlson, of London, in 1643 by a gift of £100, the income of which was to be paid to some poor scholar until he shall attain the degree of master of arts. This gift was at first held by the colony of the Massachusetts Bay, and in 1713 was paid over to the college with accrued interest from 1685, by the provincial treasurer. In the early part of the last century this fund was probably mixed with other college funds and formed part of the stock account. In 1893 the scholarship was reestablished with a principal of $5,000 taken from the stock account.1
An attempt has been made to collect information concerning the value, tenure, and conditions for obtaining scholarships and fellowships in the several institutions
Annual catalogue of Harvard University, 1893-94.