While rising tuition numbers get all the rage, room and board costs at some colleges are so high they surpass the tuition prices of many public universities. Students at the popular UCLA campus pay just under $13K in resident tuition. Meanwhile, students at private universities in New York are paying thousands more just for their college housing. With prices this high, it's clear room and board is a big (and often underlooked) cost of going to college.
The most expensive college housing is found at The New School in New York where freshmen who live in the 13th Street Residence, a traditional corridor-style dorm, pay $18,080 with mandatory meal plan. When you consider dorm residents move out in the middle of May, and aren’t allowed to stay over winter break, the cost per day for cramped rooms comes out to be a pretty penny.
This double room can be yours for about $75 per day. (Photo: 13th Street Residence at The New School)
The priciest dorms are found in (not surprisingly) the urban areas of New York, Boston, and the California coast.
With the exception of the UC schools, all of the colleges on this list are private, with eight of the top 10 being located in the New York area. Only four of the top 20 are located outside the states of California and New York: two in the Boston area (Suffolk University and Olin College), one in Washington D.C. (American University), and one (unexpectedly) in Nashville, Tennessee (Vanderbilt University).
For the first time, the average room and board at private colleges has eclipsed the $10K mark. For the 2011-2012 school year, room and board prices increased 4.0% at public and 3.9% at private colleges with average costs of $8,887 and $10,089, respectively.
Most Expensive College Dorms for 2011-2012
These are prices a typical freshman will pay for room and board for the 2011-2012 school year. Prices are based on a double room with meal plan.
1. The New School - New York, NY
At the 13th Street Residence, a traditional freshman dorm, a double room and required meal plan will run you $18,080. Want to live in a single? Be prepared to pay $21,220.
The Stuyvesant Park Residence is another popular freshman dorm at The New School.
2. New York University - New York, NY
Home to one of the largest university housing systems in the US, 21 buildings comprise NYU's undergraduate housing system, with many residence halls being converted apartment complexes or old hotels. Third Avenue North is the largest all-freshman residence hall at NYU, housing over 950 students.
Third Avenue North Residence Hall at NYU
3. Fordham University - Lincoln Center - New York, NY
Resident students live in McMahon Hall, a 20-story residence building that houses over 740 Undergraduate and 140 Law students. The residence hall adjoins the world-renowned Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and is just minutes from Central Park. The building is equipped with multiple study lounges, a social lounge, tennis and basketball courts and a fitness center. A controversial expansion project is in the works that will bring more dorm units to the college.
McMahon Residence Hall at Fordham's Lincoln Center campus.
Photo credit: Craig Califate - One time use only, only authorized for this story.
4. Fordham University - Rose Hill - New York, NY
Situated on 85 acres in North Bronx, the Rose Hill campus is among the largest privately owned green spaces in New York City. The Collegiate Gothic architecture, expansive lawns, ivy-covered buildings, and cobblestone streets make it one of the most beautiful campus settings in the nation. There are 10 residence halls on campus, including four residential colleges and six Integrated Learning Communities for such disciplines as science, business, and leadership.
Martyrs' Court at Fordham's Rose Hill campus
5. St John's University (Queens) - New York, NY
St John's has some of the newest and most modern student residence halls on the East Coast.
Each Hall Council receives funds to provide students with free or discounted tickets to major NYC events, such as Yankee games, museums and Broadway shows.
O'Conner Hall at St. John's University - Queens campus
6. Suffolk University - Boston, MA
The majority of incoming students get assigned to the Suffolk University Residence Hall at 150 Tremont Street. Students residing in the newer Miller Hall, another popular dorm for freshmen, enjoy magnificent views of Boston.
150 Tremont Street Dorm at Suffolk University.
The Common Room at Miller Residence Hall with sweeping views of Boston.
7. Manhattanville College - Purchase, NY
Generally occupied by first-year students, Spellman is the largest of Manhattanville's four residence halls with 211 rooms and 434 students. The building is co-ed by room, meaning that female students might live next door to male students.
Spellman Hall at Manhattanville College.
8. Pace University - New York, NY
The majority of incoming students in a standard double are placed in Maria's Tower at One Pace Plaza.
Located in the same building where Pace students take most of their classes, dorm rooms are on floors 5-17, making it just a short elevator ride away from classes, the library, and the cafeteria. Theme floor options include film, wellness, green, honors, and world cultures. A typical student here can expect to pay $14,230 for room and board.
Freshmen who live in a double at the John Street Residence, where rooms come equipped with a flatscreen TV and private bath, pay $16,700 with the bronze meal plan (the minimum required meal plan for freshmen). Pair a double room at the John Street Residence with a platinum meal plan and you'll be looking at room and board costs of $17,790.
Dorms are floors 5-17 in Maria's Tower at One Pace Plaza.
9. University of California - Berkeley - Berkeley, CA
At Cal there are many housing environments to choose from: traditional high-rise residence halls, suites, and theme programs with each having its own unique style and amenities. Students living in the residence halls have access to academic services centers, live-in health workers, computing centers, security monitoring programs, tutoring, and advising. Out of all the living options at Cal, the Unit 1 and Unit 2 complex hold the most freshmen (over 1400+ each).
The Unit 1 complex at Cal consists of six halls with approximately 230 students in each hall.
10. Marymount Manhattan College - New York, NY
Marymount Manhattan College's 55th Street Residence Hall is one of the tallest college dorms in America. Student rooms are in the first 32 stories of a 46-story skyscraper in Midtown Manhattan, offering great views of NYC. The dorm has seven themed floors: Academic Achievement, Early Risers, Green, Leadership, Creative and Performing Arts, Vegetarian, and Substance Free.
55th Street Residence: Dorms are floors 1-32. The top stories are private luxury apartments.
Dressing up and going out for Halloween this year? If you don’t have a costume yet, you’re running out of time. BuyCostumes.com has some last second costume deals going on for you last minute shoppers.
A cute costume that can also be paired with a Bavarian Guy costume if going as a couple.
Pull off the classy and sexy style of Audrey Hepburn; a costume that isn't too revealing, but will still be a hit with the boys.
The classic stewardess look is a symbol of what flying used to be like when it was enjoyable, a time before we got ran through x-ray machines, were forced to remove our shoes, and could get on a plane with nail clippers and 4oz of hair gel. Should be a hit with the new TV show Pan Am now playing and it's one of those costumes that can be flirty, yet respectable.
You see all the attention females get when getting in costume at Comic-Con, now you can fulfill any nerds fantasy. The costume also works well when paired with costumes of other Star Wars characters.
Beer Keg / Keg Cup
The beer keg is typically the center of attention at parties, so with this costume you should do well. If you’re looking for a group costume, the keg cup makes for a good combo as you and your friends can get together to form a beer pong rack.
If you want to go all out and paint your face...this is your costume.
Ace and Gary from SNL
Have two friends that just seem inseparable? Suggest this costume to them that is sure to get a good laugh whether or not you have seen the skit on Saturday Night Live.
The Waldo outfit is a good costume for football games because you'll be in a crowd (fitting for this costume), it'll keep you somewhat warm and comfortable, and it won't block the view of the person behind you.
You probably have to have a certain look to pull this off (must be smooth) but you could almost put together this costume yourself and spend less than $10.
Of course there are many other costume options for both guys and girls, with some female versions being so revealing they probably shouldn’t be posted on this blog.
At the request of our readers we’ve created a CampusGrotto fan page on facebook. If you’re on facebook, please head on over and give us a quick like.
This week CampusGrotto.com enters into its 6th year of existence. We want to send out a big thanks to all of our readers and over 5 million visitors we've had over the years. We love our readers, so please show us a little love and 'like' us on our new facebook page.
Or just do it here:
If you act quick enough, you can be one of the first 100 fans. While we currently don’t have any cool prizes to give away to the first 100, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you were one of the first 100 in (and we’ll hold it dearly in our hearts).
Student Protest in Solidarity with Occupy Wall Street
When: Thursday 10/13/2011 4:30 EST
Thursday could see the biggest student protest on US soil since 1970.
Occupy Colleges has announced their next plan of action. A national student day of protest has been set for Thursday, October 13, as part of a nationwide walkout and student solidarity protest in support of Occupy Wall Street. Students at over 100 colleges are planning on participating.
Similar events have been taking place over the last week. On Monday, students from multiple colleges in Boston gathered in the Boston Common for a protest and march to join the Occupy Boston camp in Dewey Square.
Not since the student strike of 1970 have so many students from so many colleges come together to protest in unity.
Occupy Colleges – How it started
Students staged a campus walkout in support of Occupy Wall Street on October 5th. Students from 100+ college campuses nationwide walked out of class in a show of solidarity and support for the movement.
Why Occupy Colleges?
As one student from Northeastern University put it:
“We pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to an education industry that continues to mimic the irresponsible, unaccountable, and unethical financial practices of Wall Street. University presidents make $500,000 or more for doing so, campus workers are paid poverty wages and students graduate with outrageous amounts of student debt, in a hostile economic climate, with few job opportunities.”
A big reason for the protest: the rising cost of higher education. Schools that were once considered affordable, like UCLA and Cal Berkeley, are now nearly making the top 100 list of most expensive colleges. Add to that the frustration over the economic downturn (lack of jobs), rising student loan debt and the fact that the big banks were bailed out where the majority feel the government was looking out for bankers rather than taxpayers.
Largest Student Protest
The largest student protest in American history occurred after the Kent State shootings in May of 1970. Over four million students protested and over 850 US colleges and universities shut down during the student strike. The impact of Kent State and the national student strike that followed soon after had a huge impact on American history. Perhaps the Occupy Colleges movement will as well.
Welcome to the 5th annual ranking of most expensive colleges compiled by Campus Grotto. While the names on this list haven’t changed much over the years, the numbers sure have. When we first started ranking colleges by cost back in 2007, only one school (GWU) had a total cost of over $50K, now 111 do. Back then, not a single school had tuition over $40K, now 80 have passed that mark. There are now nineteen universities charging over $55,000 (just one last year), and that’s not even including the cost of textbooks.
Sarah Lawrence College is once again named the most expensive college by total cost for the 2011-2012 school year, marking the 4th year in a row the school has topped the ranking. Is it worth the money? Who knows, but the college does boast one of the lowest student-teacher ratios in the country and all students receive one-on-one weekly guidance from faculty.
Sarah Lawrence: Home of the nation's most expensive college.
It's important to note that these numbers are the ‘sticker prices’ for each institution for the 2011-2012 school year. Just because these schools have high tuition does not mean you will actually be paying that amount. Many schools will provide a financial aid package that meets 100% of a student's financial need (Cost of Attendance - Estimated Family Contribution). While going to college is still expensive, many of the colleges here offer great financial aid packages. To get a better idea of what you will actually be paying at each school, be sure to use the net price calculator that every college is required to have on their website starting October 29th (Thanks to the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008). Hopefully these calculators will give students (and their parents) a better idea of what they will actually be paying before applying.
Knowing colleges provide great financial aid packages, we hope to take these total cost numbers and apply the average grant each school gives to figure the typical out-of-pocket expense for these schools. The Department of Education recently 'ranked' a list of expensive schools by net price. While interesting, the tuition figures were a bit outdated as they were taken from the 2009-2010 school year. By us being able to provide the net price for the 2011-2012 school year, we will have this data out nearly two years ahead of the Dept. of Ed. Look for this in the coming weeks. Check back or sign up to receive our latest articles by email to be notified when this is available.
You will see all of the schools on this list are private colleges. Public schools are more affordable, but it should be noted they are rising in price faster than private schools. For the first time schools once considered affordable, like Cal Berkeley and UCLA, are nearly making the top 100 most expensive list with their nonresident tuition (listed at 115 and 120, respectively). (No wonder they are protesting over tuition increases.)
Room and board is another cost that is often overlooked. Many colleges in the urban areas of New York, Boston, and the California coast have room and board expenses that run $13,000-$14,000 per year. Our favorite example is with NYU, who ranks 91st in tuition, but when factoring in room and board they become the 2nd most expensive college. Here we add the cost of a typical double room plus meal plan charged by each college to get the total cost to attend the college.
While Harvard is 82nd in total cost, it ranks 146 in tuition.
Princeton ranks 114th total cost and 125th in Tuition.
UC Berkeley ranks 115th in total cost.
UCLA ranks 120th in total cost.
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 estimated costs of books, personal expenses, and transportation costs.
Tuition numbers were taken directly from each college's website during the last week of September of 2011.
This list only takes into account colleges that offer bachelor's (BA) degrees, so you will not see schools like Landmark College (costs over $55K) who only offer students an Associate of Arts (AA) degree.
We originally announced there were twenty colleges charging over $55K. A $198 orientation fee was included in the total cost of Carnegie Mellon. Since this list only includes fees that are required of all undergraduates, we adjusted the total cost of CMU (which dropped them below the $55K mark). There are nineteen colleges charging over $55K for 2011-2012 when totaling tuition, room/board, and fees required of all undergrads.
Harvey Mudd notified us that the published student body fee on their website was overstated by $270. The total cost for Harvey Mudd College is $55,998, not $56,268 as previously published. They are still the 4th most expensive.
The fees included in these numbers 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.
Tuition numbers were taken directly from each college's website during the last week of September of 2011.