In the 1890s, students came from a variety of backgrounds. The majority were straight off the farm, first generation college students that hoped to find success with an education from the University. The University accepted all students regardless of race, gender, or background. For students, tuition was free because UNL was a public institution. However, there were no dormitories on the campus, and living cost approximately $175 per semester in Lincoln (Manley 114). In 1891, Canfield's installation of an iron fence on campus brought a challenge to students who enjoyed smoking because it was prohibited on campus (Geyer). By analyzing academics, activites, and exceptional students, a general idea of student life is represented.