The College of St. Francis Xavier was founded in 1847 by the Jesuits in Manhattan. Until 1912 it operated a high school division and a college division. The college closed in the early 1920’s and the high school still operates today as Xavier High School on West Sixteenth Street. The following is a list of requirements for admission to the college in 1899.
The College of St. Francis Xavier. Requirements for Admission.
The requirements for admission to the Freshman Class of this college are substantially the same as those laid down in the syllabus of the University of the State of New York for graduation from a recognized high school.
English— Principles of Composition and Rhetoric involved in the use of words, the structure of sentences and paragraphs; the ordinary forms of composition; letters, narrations and descriptions. A knowledge of the matter and form of selections from Longfellow, Campbell, Macaulay (“Lays of Ancient Rome”), Tennyson, Whittier, and Bryant; “Lady of the Lake,” “Evangeline,” “Snowbound,” Irving’s “Sketch-Book,” Scott’s “Ivanhoe,” Wiseman’s “Fabiola”; selections from Addison, Lamb, and Euskin. Equivalents will be accepted. Applicants must show an acquaintance with the selections given above, or with other productions of the same authors or of authors of equal standing.
Latin— The translation, at sight, of narrative prose similar to that of Caesar and of Cicero as found in the letters and the orations against Catiline; of average passages from Ovid, Phaedrus, Nepos, with grammatical, biographical, and historical questions. No fixed quantity of matter to be read is specified, but such knowledge of the language, its vocabulary and grammar will be exacted, and such acquaintance with the history of the authors named and of the matter of which they treat, as boys of ordinary ability may be expected to acquire by at least five hours’ work a week for three years, or its equivalent. Applicants will also be required to translate into Latin, sentences of average difficulty based on Cesar’s Gallic War, Book One, or on Cicero’s Letters.
Greek— A thorough knowledge of the declensions, of regular and irregular verbs (see list of more common irregular verbs in the syllabus of the University of the State of New York, pp. 331-333), and of the verbs in “ mi” ; also uses of prepositions and of the particles that occur in ordinary Attic prose; the use of accents. Ability, also, to translate ordinary passages from the witticisms of Hierocles, Aesop (see Yenni^s Greek Grammar), Cebes, Lucian, and Xenophon’s Anabasis or Cyropaedia.
History— United States History (Hassard); Oriental Monarchies, Greece, Rome, Middle Ages to Fall of Constantinople (Excelsior, Ancient and Modern). A knowledge of the principal epochs and the general course of events, their causes and results, their chief actors, etc., will be required.
Mathematics— Algebra as far as, and including. Quadratics (Factors and Multiples, Fractions and Fractional Equations insisted on), Geometry, Plane and Solid.
French or German— A fair knowledge of grammar; ability to translate average passages into correct English ; easy conversation. Fasnacht’s Progressive French Course I and II, and French Reader I. Ahn’s German Course and Reader.
Every candidate for admission, who is not personally known to some Member of the Faculty, must furnish testimonials as to his good moral character. If he comes from another college, he must have a satisfactory certificate. The examinations for the most part are oral, and under the immediate direction of the professors.
Note— students who are able to pass the entrance examinations to the College of the City of New York and Columbia will have no difficulty in securing admission to St. Francis Xavier’s College. See the recent entrance examination questions and answers to the above-mentioned colleges.
Recent Entrance Examination Questions for the New York Normal College, The College of the Vity of New York, St. Francis Xavier’s College, and Columbia College (Third Edition) (New York: Hinds and Noble, 1899), 83.