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The modern American college application grew from anti-Semitism:

thecrimson.com/article/2018/11

"Karabel argued that the roots of Harvard’s current admissions process — which takes into account factors like “character” and “leadership" — lie in changes spearheaded by President Abbott Lawrence Lowell, class of 1877, in reaction to Harvard’s increased population of Jewish students, who comprised upwards of a quarter of the College’s population in the 1920s."

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