Storrs Stories: $1,090 tuition and the arrival of cable TV 


In-state undergraduates at the University of Connecticut paid $1,090 for tuition in 1985, equal to about $2,500 after being adjusted for today’s inflation rate.  

That rate came after an $86 tuition raise by UConn’s trustees. Half of the money from the tuition increase, about $695,000, was to be set aside for student aid, according to then-Vice President for Finance and Administration Harry J Hartley.  

The tuition increase was part of efforts to push UConn towards the top 20 research universities in the nation. Today UConn ranks at number 70, according to College Consensus.

Photo provided by author.

Photo provided by author.

Cable television was set to arrive at UConn in early 1990, available to select buildings and houses on campus.  

Tele-Media of Northeastern Connecticut signed a deal with UConn making cable television available to dorms, Greek houses and some off-campus apartments.  

82 administrative and classroom buildings were given video signals, and 46 of those buildings could also broadcast.  

Photo provided by author.

Photo provided by author.

Students would have access to pay channels such as HBO and NESN and were given an estimate of $17 for the monthly fee, equal to about $33 adjusted for today’s inflation rate.  

Ashley Anglisano is the associate news editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached by email at

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