Muriel Simonson at Jackson College 1924-1929


School Expenses

In "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?," a song from 1931, an unemployed person asks pedestrians for a dime. At the time, ten cents actually paid for a complete lunch in the Somerville/Medford area.

In comparison, what did it cost to send a child to Tufts before and during the early years of the depression?

To put the cost of studying at Tufts into perspective, this graph compares Tufts tuition, room and board with prices for items and wages that were relevant for Medford and Somerville and as published in the Tufts Weekly during 1924-1925. The hourly retail wage cited here is for women fourteen years before a minimum federal wage became law in 1938 (Arthur Fletcher Lucas, A Recommendatory Minimum Wage Law: The First Decade of the Massachusetts Experiment, The American Economic Review, vol. 14, no. 1, Mar 1924, p. 39-51).

Click on the following advertisements from the Tufts Weekly, 1924-1925, for more detail.