It may seem as if this is a kind of list where it’s easy to determine which schools qualify for inclusion. But once again, experts have different interpretations as to what an “expensive” university exactly means. Some just consider the tuition, while others include other necessary fees charged by the school. The cost of room and board may also be included, while others also include the cost of books, entertainment, etc.
For clarity, this list focuses on college tuition and other necessary fees. That’s because room and board, along with entertainment expenses can vary for each student. On the other hand, college tuition and other required fees are pretty much standard for each student.
For the sake of perspective, keep in mind that the average tuition and fees charged by private colleges and universities in the US was $31,381 for 2014-15.
1. Columbia University ($51,008). That’s not really much of a surprise, since this Ivy League school is considered as one of the top 5 universities in the entire United States. Room and board will add another $12,432 in expenses.
2. Sarah Lawrence College ($50,780). The presence of this tiny college in New York state among the most expensive schools in the entire US has long been an anomaly. Even its president, Karen Lawrence, has admitted that it is not easy to justify the cost of education here on a simple economic basis alone.
3. Vassar College ($49,570). Is the cost of living in New York really that expensive? We tend to think so because the top 3 schools on this list are all based in New York. At least Vassar does have a certain prestige to its name, and the 1,000-acre campus is located in the picturesque Hudson Valley. Vassar guarantees 4 years of housing for each student, which does cut down the cost of room and board considerably.
4. Trinity College ($49,056). This liberal arts school is also among the most expensive when room and board costs are tallied as well, as you’ll need to add another $12,700 to your expenses. It’s located in Hartford, the state capital of Connecticut, but the 100-acre campus is intimate and private. More than 50% of the Trinity students go abroad for their studies during their college years.
5. Carnegie Mellon University ($48,786). This is also considered as one of the top 25 universities in the entire country, and its room and board costs are also quite reasonable. It’s located in Pittsburg, which offers quite a few distractions for students.
It is a very good idea never to judge a school simply by the fees it charges. After all, those figures may not accurately indicate just how much the entire college education experience will cost you in the end. Still, by identifying the most expensive schools in the US in terms of their tuition and other related fees, you can have an idea of how much you would need to save if you want your children to enter these schools.