Purdue Student Fee Reduction! …in 1879

Fee and tuition reductions are unusual. (In fact, just holding tuition and fees steady is rare.)

Here’s the one occurrence we find in the archives.

photo of 1879 ad for Purdue in Indiana Farmer

1879 ad for Purdue in Indiana Farmer

Purdue University undergraduate student fees (there was no separate tuition charge) stayed the same for an eight-year period back in the 1800s. Then, for one year, one fee was reduced.

Here are the numbers.

Steady Fees — 1877-78 through 1884-85

  • $5.00  Entrance Fee in College per Year
  • $9.00  Incidental Fee in All Departments  ($3.00 Per Term, Three Terms)
  • $14.00 Total Fees in 1877 (with inflation, this equals about $346 in 2018 dollars)

Students in curricula that required one or more courses in chemistry paid additional fees:

  • $5.00   “General Chemistry” Course Fee For Chemicals and Gas
  • $10.00   “Specialized Chemistry” Course Fee for Chemicals and Gas

Then, in 1879-80, the “Specialized Chemistry” Course Fee for Chemicals and Gas was reduced by half to $5.00.

A fee reduction!

Costs of Room and Board — 1877-78 through 1884-85

  • $95.00 Table Board per Week (38-Week Academic Year @ $2.50 Per Week)
  • $19.00 Room Rent, Heat, and Light per Week (38 Weeks @ $0.50 Per Week)
  • $114.00 Total Room and Board in 1877 (equals about $2,736 in 2018 dollars)

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