To see a more updated list, see the Most Expensive Colleges for 2008-2009, 2009-2010, and 2010-2011.

George Washington University

Tuition rates have been rising an average of 6% a year. This rate has been out pacing inflation at a much faster rate for decades.

Higher tuition puts more pressure on parents trying to finance their son or daughter's education, as well as with students, who are forced to pull out larger student loans. While student loans are considered "good debt" because of its investment, the price of college is still too high for most students.

Most people want to receive a quality education and many will pay what ever it takes to get the best. However, just because a college is the most expensive, doesn't necessarily make it one of the best colleges. In fact, some argue that some of the schools on this list of expensive colleges are just using their high cost as a marketing ploy, knowing there are people out there who want the best and believe they have to pay up to get it.

Some of these tuition fees are pretty outstanding, considering the median tuition at a four-year school is about $7,490.

The most expensive colleges are just about all in the northeast corner of the United States, being Ivy League type schools or fine liberal arts schools in the New York area that boast low student-teacher ratios. Of course, most of these expensive colleges are private, as tuition is usually twice as much at a private school.

These rankings are based on 2007-2008 tuition rates. Remember though, not all students are paying this much, as many of these schools have excellent financial aid packages.

Highest College Tuition

College Tuition
1. George Washington $39,210
2. Bucknell $37,934
3. University of Richmond $37,610
4. Colgate $37,405
5. Sarah Lawrence College $37,230
6. Tulane $36,610
7. Wesleyan University $36,536
8. Hamilton College $36,500
9. Bowdoin College $36,370
10. Carnegie Mellon $35,984
11. Penn $35,916
12. Johns Hopkins $35,900
13. Bennington College $35,850
14. Tufts University $35,842
15. Brown $35,584
16. Vassar College $35,570
17. NYU $35,283
18. USC $35,212
19. Notre Dame $35,190
20. Dartmouth $35,178
Brown University

Of course this list does not take into context room and board. Where the college is located can be a huge price difference. Bigger, more populous cities demand higher rent and expenses.

So, taking that into context, here are the most expensive colleges based on tuition and room and board combined for one school year.

Highest Total Cost

CollegeTuition, Room and Board
1. George Washington $51,110
2. Johns Hopkins University $47,626
3. Brown $47,476
4. NYU $47,063
5. Wesleyan University $46,666
6. Colgate $46,575
7. University of Chicago $46,308
8. Tulane $46,300
9. Bowdoin College $46,260
10. Boston College $46,210
11. Penn $46,124
12. USC $46,070
13. Tufts University $46,002
14. Bucknell $45,986
15. Boston University $45,880
16. Hamilton College $45,850
17. Northwestern University $45,840
18. Washington U.- St. Louis $45,752
19. Sarah Lawrence College $45,730
20. Cornell $45,690

Editor's note:

Data based on tuition data published on specific college websites as of September 10, 2007.

This list covers traditional 4-year colleges, therefore may not include some schools, such as Bard College at Simon's Rock since it is geared toward students who have completed the 10th or 11th grade, but have not received a high school diploma. A majority of students at Simon's Rock transfer to larger institutions after receiving an associate's degree after two years.

Other non-traditional schools include Landmark College which provides a liberal arts education to kids with learning disabilities and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Tuition at Landmark College is now listed at over $40,000.