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Discrimination in Admission of Jewish Students is Strong in Northeastern Colleges

Discrimination against qualified Jewish students seeking admission to colleges is widespread in private colleges in the Northeastern section of the country, Elmo Roper, public opinion analyst, declared tonight addressing the 11th annual dinner meeting of the Philadelphia Jewish Community Relations Council at the Hotel Warwick here.

He said that this statement comes as a result of a nationwide study of factors affecting the admission of high school seniors to college which he completed earlier this year under the auspices of the American Council on Education. The study, he declared, was based on interviews with 15,000 high school seniors across the country who had applied for admission to college, and been followed up in September to find cut what happened to their applications.

“Our study,” he said, “leaves little doubt that it is more difficult for a Jewish student to get into the college he or she wants to go to than is the case, for example, with a Protestant or Catholic student. The Jewish student has to try many more colleges in order to get into one, and in many cases, he has to content himself with going to a local, city college instead of going away from home to an institution where he might receive a better education and which probably has more prestige.

“The simple facts are that out-of-town institutions in the nation as a whole get 11 percent of their applications from Jews but accord Jewish students only seven percent of their places in the freshman classes,” he continued. “In the Northeast area, the contrast is sharper than that. The unfortunate thing is that the group discriminated against most heavily are the ablest students, and those with a family background which makes a college education most inevitable. The highest ranking Jewish students in the Northeastern area simply do not have an equal chance with top-ranking protestants and Catholics to get into any college they apply to.”

Mr. Roper called for the State of Pennsylvania to enact a Fair Education Practices law, similar to the one which exists in New York and in Connecticut making all cases of discrimination in Judging applicants for admission to universities a violation of the law. “The law itself will not eliminate discrimination, but it will make it more difficult for bigots to find encouragement for their acts of discrimination,” he added.

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