Pop Culture

1959 – Mid-century College Rat Race

How to apply for the best universities in 1959

In 1959, more people were going to college than in anytime in history. This made the competition to get into one of the top US universities a tough task. This challenge was described in the September 1959 edition of Cosmopolitan magazine in an article titled, “How to Keep Pace in the Hectic Race for Higher Learning”.

There are five times as many collegians today as in 1935

How to Keep Pace in the Hectic Race of Higher Learning

The article describes a scenario similar to what we find today. Often the prestige of the university is more important than the knowledge gained, and often the degree is as much about the parent as the student.

The diploma-seeker is a nice kid egged on by an ambitious parent who is living his life over through his son and cares more about the name of the college at the top of the diploma than the ideas for which it stands.

And as we have witnessed this week in the headlines that the US Federal Government has decided to have billions in student loans paid for by the student’s fellow tax payers, you might be interested in details about the mid-century college loan programs.

The Federal Office of Education reports that 83,000 students continued their education last year by borrowing from the college. Yet, the total borrowed was only $13,488,000 — about half the amount of money available for student loans.

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