"How Far Should a State Undertake to Educate" 295
work. In the next six or eight years there had been some improvement
in high school instruction, but the number of students these schools
prepared for college was still limited and not sufficient to give the
colleges all they could easily care for. Proof of this is the fact that
after all the fierce competition for students the total enrollment of the
University, Trinity College, Davidson and Wake Forest was much
less than 1,000.
Before the end of the century some six or eight cities had
established high schools, but from these the University profited much
more than the denominational colleges, one reason being that
indicated in the following from President Taylor's report to the Board,
May 29, 1900. "The Board need not be informed that our struggle for
patronage is against heavy odds. . . . The chief danger points in the
matter of patronage are the cities and towns, especially those in which
there are graded schools. For some reason comparatively few Wake
Forest men have been able to secure positions as teachers in these
schools. The outcome is a notable contrast. Of the students (omitting
Law and Medical students) attending Chapel Hill, 63 per cent are
from towns and cities; of those attending Wake Forest, 20 percent are
from towns and cities. It is certainly a remarkable fact that, while the
aggregate attendance at Chapel Hill is larger than at Wake Forest,
those coming from the country and villages number 200 at Wake
Forest and only 136 at Chapel Hill. I by no means regret that so large
a proportion of our students have been country boys, but I can see no
reason why the Christian people in our towns and cities ought not to
patronize the Christian colleges."
The loss by the College in one year of 42 students enrolled, while
the University was gaining more than 100, caused President Taylor
and other friends of the College to do some hard thinking. They did
not doubt that the decline in number of students was due to the unfair
competition of the State University mentioned above, made possible
by appropriations from the State treasury. If this continued, they
believed, the College would have few students except those studying
for the ministry; it was a
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