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Many Colleges in Pennsylvania Still Use Discriminatory Forms

Nearly 60 percent of the colleges and professional schools of Pennsylvania still use application forms for student admissions which ask potentially discriminatory questions or request photographs of the applicants, it was revealed here by the Philadelphia Fellowship Commission and the Philadelphia Jewish Community Relations Council, which have jointly completed a survey of the state’s 122 institutions of higher learning.

David Ullman, vice-president of the Fellowship Commission and a former chairman of the community relations unit, pointed out that despite the fact that four years ago the state’s colleges–acting through the Pennsylvania Association of Colleges and Universities–unanimously rejected race, religion or national origin as valid criteria for student admissions, only 40 percent of these colleges “ask ther applicants no potentially discriminatory questions.”

Mr. Ullman also revealed that since the last survey made by the two groups in 1950, there had been a 15 percent improvement in admissions practices. He said that the 1950 survey showed that 75 percent of the schools asked potentially discriminatory questions or required photographs of applicants. Mr. Ullman said that the two organizations are negotiating with schools which still ask such questions to drop them from the questionnaires.

He revealed that schools in the Philadelphia area have the best record on this matter and that no state teachers college ask such questions. “If they do not need this type of information before admitting students,” he said, “we see no reason why other schools need it.”

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