Most Expensive Colleges

America's 100 Most Expensive Colleges

No two things are more stressful to a prospective college student than the question of getting accepted and determining if they can actually afford attending the school of their dreams. The cost of college is no joke, and is something we have tried to put a spotlight on since we started ranking expensive colleges back in 2007, as it is a troublesome debt many students will carry for years to come.

The list of the 100 most expensive colleges by total cost (tuition + room & board + required fees) are all private and range from $56,000 all the way up to $65,000 per year. This is a significant jump in price from the average private university cost of $42,419 and (obviously) the average cost of attending a public in-state college at $18,943.

With most of these schools surpassing the $60K per year mark, incoming students can expect to see a price tag of over a quarter-million dollars for their 4-year degree when expected yearly increases in tuition are taken into account. When you consider only about a third of students complete their degree within four years, you can see how students can really rack up student loan debt.

While the majority of these colleges offer great financial aid packages to those with need, it’s important to note there are still students who are paying these exuberant prices. At Duke University (#44 on this list), for example, about 50% of its students are paying the fully listed price of $60,533.

If you needed your holiday dinner table discussion topic, here it is: The 100 Most Expensive Colleges for 2014-2015.

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Top 100 Most Expensive Colleges by Total Cost

College Total Cost
1. Sarah Lawrence College 65,480
2. Harvey Mudd College 64,427
3. New York University 63,472
4. Columbia University 63,440
5. University of Chicago 62,458
6. Claremont McKenna College 62,215
7. Fordham University - Lincoln Center 62,192
8. Bard College 62,012
9. Dartmouth College 61,947
10. Scripps College 61,940
11. Oberlin College 61,788
12. Trinity College (CT) 61,756
13. Pitzer College 61,750
14. Bard College at Simon's Rock 61,735
15. Northwestern University 61,640
16. University of Southern California 61,614
17. Haverford College 61,564
18. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 61,529
19. Fordham University - Rose Hill 61,472
20. Drexel University 61,383
21. Johns Hopkins University 61,306
22. Tufts University 61,277
23. Amherst College 61,206
24. Wesleyan University 61,198
25. Carnegie Mellon University 61,186
26. Vassar College 61,140
27. Penn 61,132
28. Williams College 61,070
29. Occidental College 60,972
30. Cornell University 60,964
31. Connecticut College 60,895
32. Tulane University 60,861
33. Eugene Lang College (The New School) 60,852
34. Franklin & Marshall College 60,799
35. Georgetown University 60,768
36. Brandeis University 60,750
37. Bates College 60,720
38. Hampshire College 60,715
39. Barnard College 60,700
40. Boston University 60,694
41. University of Rochester 60,668
42. Boston College 60,622
43. Southern Methodist University 60,586
44. Duke University 60,533
45. Pomona College 60,532
46. The George Washington University 60,460
47. Washington University in St. Louis 60,355
48. Bennington College 60,310
49. Union College (NY) 60,240
50. Stevens Institute of Technology 60,168
51. Colgate University 60,145
52. Bucknell University 60,140
53. Carleton College 60,102
54. Pepperdine University 60,082
55. Hobart and William Smith College 60,034
56. St. Lawrence University 59,972
57. Hamilton College 59,970
58. Reed College 59,960
59. Skidmore College 59,942
60. Bryn Mawr College 59,890
61. Yale University 59,800
62. Smith College 59,674
63. Dickinson College 59,664
64. Babson College 59,614
65. Swarthmore College 59,610
66. Bowdoin College 59,568
67. Colby College 59,500
68. University of Notre Dame 59,461
69. Brown University 59,428
70. Olin College 59,225
71. Middlebury College 59,160
72. Lafayette College 59,155
73. Wellesley College 59,038
74. St. John's College (MD) 58,896
75. Kenyon College 58,890
76. Wake Forest University 58,838
77. Gettysburg College 58,820
78. Harvard 58,607
79. Wheaton College (MA) 58,511
80. Stanford University 58,388
81. Villanova University 58,244
82. MIT 58,240
83. Vanderbilt University 58,220
84. St. John's College (NM) 58,208
85. Davidson 58,146
86. Chapman University 58,048
87. College of the Holy Cross 58,042
88. Emory University 57,768
89. Macalester College 57,691
90. Ursinus College 57,580
91. Northeastern University 57,490
92. University of Richmond 57,470
93. Providence College 57,383
94. Drew University 57,366
95. Worcester Polytechnic Institute 57,304
96. Colorado College 57,162
97. University of Miami 57,034
98. Fairfield University 56,960
99. Loyola University Maryland 56,880
100. Denison University 56,850

Data compiled by CampusGrotto.com

Notes:

Total Cost = Tuition + Room and Board + Required Fees

The fees included in the total cost only include fees that are required for all undergraduates. These fees typically include items like the Student Activity Fee, a Facilities Fee, and a Technology fee. You won't see any fees by major, orientation fees for incoming students, or medical insurance fees included in these costs. Many other fees can be optional and can vary per student and per major. A Student Health Insurance Fee, for example, is obviously not going to be required for a student already on their parents’ insurance plan. Some colleges have their yearly budget for students listed slightly higher than what you see here. This is because some colleges also add in the estimated costs for books and supplies, personal expenses, and transportation costs.

Tuition numbers were taken directly from each college's website in fall of 2014.

This list only takes into account colleges that offer bachelor's (BA) degrees at traditional 4-year undergraduate colleges, so you will not see any junior colleges or music conservatories on this list, or schools like Landmark College (costs over $60K) who offer students an Associate of Arts (AA) degree.

The price tags shown for these schools do not mean that they are financially out of reach. Many schools provide financial aid packages that meet 100% of a student's financial need (Cost of Attendance - Estimated Family Contribution). Some colleges even eliminate tuition altogether for lower income students.

To get a better understanding of what you will actually be paying, be sure to use net price calculators that each school provides on their website. These typically take about 10-15 minutes to complete, but can provide a more realistic figure of what you can expect to pay. (For a complete list of colleges and links to their net price calculators visit NetPriceCalculator.com.)

Also see colleges with the highest room and board.

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