I’m puzzled at the “today’s dollars” references in the interesting article about Hikoichi Orita 1876. For example, a $15 payment to Whig Hall is referred to as about $100 in today’s money. Online inflation calculators go back only as far a 1913, but $15 in 1913 would be $419.07 in today’s dollars. The value of a dollar in 1876 presumably was greater than that of a 1913 dollar. Something appears off in the currency adjustments.
A Princeton education certainly seems expensive today. For example, today’s tuition and fees compared to mine in the 1960s exceed the rate of general inflation by quite a bit. An article on the cost of attending Princeton over the years compared to CPI rates might be illuminating.
Editor’s note: Inflation calculators online appear to set the value of $15 in the 1870s at about $390 today. The story has been updated.