25 Most Expensive Colleges in the Nation

Last Updated Oct 27, 2011 1:00 AM EDT

The number of colleges and universities that cost more than $50,000 continues to climb. Today 123 schools belong to the 50K club.

In its new annual college prices study, the College Board identified 123 colleges and universities that have exceeded the $50,000 price tag. Next year, we will see for the first time schools busting through the $60,000 mark.

The $50,000+ price tag, by the way, only includes tuition and room/board. If you also throw in books, incidentals and transportation, some schools have already surpassed the once unimaginable mark of $60,000.

The nation's 25 most expensive schools are all private institutions and 17 of them are located on the East Coast.

25 Most Expensive Colleges and Universities

  1. Sarah Lawrence College (NY) $59,170
  2. Landmark College (VT) $57,330
  3. New York University $56,787
  4. Columbia U. School of Gen. Studies (NY) $56,310
  5. Harvey Mudd College (CA) $56,268
  6. Wesleyan University (CT) $56,006
  7. Claremont McKenna College (CA) $55,865
  8. Johns Hopkins University (MD) $55,742
  9. Berklee College of Music (MA) $55,615
  10. Barnard College (NY) $55,566
  11. Bard College (NY) $55,566
  12. Vanderbilt University (TN) $55,556
  13. Trinity College (CT) $55,450
  14. University of Chicago (IL) $55,416
  15. Dartmouth College (NH) $55,365
  16. Bates Colleges (ME) $55,300
  17. Stevens Institute of Technology (NJ) $55,276
  18. Vassar College (NY) $55,135
  19. Washington University St. Louis (MO) $55,111
  20. Boston College (MA) $55,079
  21. Haverford College (PA) $55,050
  22. Pitzer College (CA) $54,988
  23. Connecticut College $54,970
  24. Bard College at Simon's Rock (MA) $54,960
  25. Bennington College (VT) $54,960

Price of the Average Private College

How do these 25 schools compare to the typical private school? For the 2011-12 school year, tuition and room/board at the average private college or university is $38,589.

What's Wrong With Super Expensive Colleges

While many, but certainly not all schools on this list, provide excellent financial aid, wealthy students at many of these schools will pay full price. You may not feel sorry for these families, but the real problem I see with the relentless march of super expensive colleges to charge ever more outrageous prices is that it prompts schools well below these crazy levels to boost their prices as well.

I explains this phenomenon in this post:

Why America's Most Expensive Colleges Could Hurt Your Wallet

Read More on The College Solution:

25 Colleges With the Happiest Freshmen
25 Colleges With the Best Professors in 2011
Lynn O'Shaughnessy is author of The College Solution, an Amazon bestseller, and Shrinking the Cost of College workbook. She also writes her own college blog at The College Solution.
NYU image by Jorbasa. CC 2.0.

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