Though the curriculum expanded significantly during the Ogontz estate era, emphasis was still placed on culture and refinement “without the lash of necessity.” Studies were vigorous, with tight schedules that designated pre-assigned study periods and left little time to get into mischief. Course listings in an 1888 catalog include moral philosophy, mental science, art criticism, and the art of expression in addition to more standard subjects in the arts and sciences. The catalog notes that, “the study of history, literature, languages, and art will be conducted with especial reference to foreign travel.”
The grading system reflects expectations for young women in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries: E, G, and F for excellent, good, and fair respectively. That these girls would fail was unthinkable.
By the time Amelia Earhart joined the student body in 1916, she was 19-years-old, indicating that a post-high school clientele was being served. Though not officially a junior college for several years to come, Ogontz had gradually been adding this new dimension. After the move to Rydal the following year, Abby Sutherland separated “junior” and “senior” girls in a fashion that made the school more acceptable to the older student, who might have a four-year college in mind.