Snapshot of the Month: College costs in 1859

In 1859, when most colleges advertised their annual costs, they broke up charges into instruction, room and other fees, board, and living expenses such as washing, oil for lamps, and wood for stoves.  At Harvard, for an example toward the high end of costs, tuition was $75, room $25, board between $110-160 for a total of around $220 for the forty-week school year. At Yale, tuition cost less at $45, room and fees more at $35, board similar, and living expenses added another $25-40.  The University of Virginia had tuition of $75 and a total requirement of  $218 for its 43 week year.  Dickinson College cost a total of $147, with a much cheaper boarding charge of $75 making most of the difference. Dartmouth, Amherst, and Brown were closer to Dickinson than Harvard or Virginia, with total costs in 1859 of $106, $123, and $133, respectively. (By John Osborne)

Source Citation
The American Almanac and Repository of Useful Knowledge for the Year 1860 (Boston: Crosby, Nichols, and Company, 1860), 207.
    How to Cite This Page: "Snapshot of the Month: College costs in 1859," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College,