Immigrant Students in American Colleges (1900–1945)
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As early twentieth century Americans vigorously debated U.S. immigration policy and immigrants’ impact on the nation and its culture, leaders of American colleges and universities discussed among themselves the impact of immigrant students and students of immigrant parentage on the nation’s expanding higher education system. Although the development of ethnic and religious quotas in private elite institutions has been well documented, historians have paid relatively little attention to the way faculty and administrators at urban public institutions viewed students from immigrant families and their educational needs. This paper will show that professors and administrators in urban institutions, especially those that received public funding, expressed intense anxiety about students from immigrant homes.
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