Even after that time, the liberal arts were the preferred subjects to study at the elite colleges. Very few such colleges even offered more career-oriented majors. Even today, quite a few of the elite unis don't offer a business major, for example.
And you know how I feel about student writing. I know we'd like to think that students learn this stuff in high school, but the reality is that the number of students needing remedial math and English in college contradicts that. The info may be available to them in HS, but they certainly don't learn it.