Individual Training in Our Colleges

By Clarence F. Birdseye | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER IX
OUR EARLIER COLLEGES: EXPENSES OF ATTENDING -- DIFFICULTY OF TRAVEL

"THROUGHOUT this period the expenses of the ordinary student were of an amount commensurate with the expense of living in the ordinary home whence came the student. At the commencement of 1719 the Trustees (of Yale) voted that the annual charge for tuition should be fixed at thirty shillings,1 and for rent of room at twenty. Each graduate was obliged to pay, as a fee for his diploma, twenty shillings.2 The charge each week for diet, sweeping and making beds was fixed at four shillings, fourpence.3 When one makes the adjustments for depreciation of the currency, it is apparently clear that the entire college expenses were considerably less than a hundred dollars."4

Early student's expenses. At Yale.

The cost of living at commons at Harvard College at various dates was as follows: in 1655 it was about 75 cents per week; in 1765, $1.22; in 1805, $2.24; in 1806, $1.89; in 1808, $1.75; in 1833, $1.90; in 1836, $2.25; in 1840, highest $2.25, lowest $1.75; in 1848, highest $2.50, lowest $2; from 1864 to 1890, $3.75 to $4.25.5 Room rent was $12 or less per year up to 1840.

At Harvard.

In many colleges there were no commons, but students formed eating clubs. Of one of these at Williams Mr. Porter says: --

At Williams.

"During one term, after paying extra for additional milk furnished me daily by the club where I belonged, my total charge was only go cents the week, and this for 21 meals of good food, well cooked and served, and eaten by one whose good appetite never failed. The clubs commenced with the lowest priced, and from that ran up to as high as $1.87 weekly. Next came those private families where the charge was from $1.50 to $2 the week. There were but two hotels in town. The charge for table board to students at either of these was $2.50 a week, so of course only the

____________________
1
O.T. $5.
2
$3.33.
3
$.75.
4
Thwing, 100.
5
Thayer, 43.

-72-

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