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10 Most Expensive State Universities for Outsiders

Beware of extremely expensive out-of-state public universities.University of Michigan library
When you include tuition, fees and room/ board, the most expensive state universities for nonresidents are costing more than $50,000 a year.

Josh Freeman, a New Yorker, found out the hard way how pricey these public universities can be for outsiders after his talented daughter got into the University of Michigan this year. When he looked at Michigan's cost, he thought that the tuition was $19,000, which seemed reasonable to him.


His daughter attended the freshmen orientation at the U. of Michigan in June and was excited about heading to the prestigious flagship in the fall until her dad realized that the $19,000 figure was the cost for one semester not for the entire year.

"I totally screwed it up," recalled Freeman, who is the director of Interactive Services at Columbia University. "I told my daughter we could still pay for Michigan, but it would be hard financially and I didn't know if it would be worth it."

The daughter, who is an artist, decided not to attend Michigan and instead went in an entirely different direction. In the fall she will be attending DigiPen Institute of Technology in Redmond, WA, which focuses on the training needed to create video games.

The University of Michigan happens to be the most expensive public university in the nation for nonresidents, according to US News & World Report. Here are the top 10:

Tuition at 10 Most Expensive State Universities for Outsiders*

  1. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor $36,163
  2. University of California - Davis $34,863
  3. University of California - Irvine $34,792
  4. University of California - Santa Barbara $34,509
  5. University of California - San Diego $34,185
  6. University of California - Riverside $33,901
  7. University of California - Berkeley $33,747
  8. University of California - Los Angeles $33,660
  9. University of Virginia $33,574
  10. University of California - Santa Cruz $33,505
*2010 prices

When Shopping for Out-of-State Universities

If you are interested in out-of-state public schools, be careful about the price. While many, but not all flagships, offer scholarships to the very top outsiders, most nonresidents will pay a hefty tuition premium.

Why do flagships charge so much for outsiders? Because they need the money as state governments continue to reduce their support. That's why the University of California system is aggressively trying to attract outsiders, who pay three times as much in tuition, to its campuses. In setting its nonresident pricing, the UC system used the University of Michigan as a benchmark.

Read more on CBS MoneyWatch:

Why America's Most Expensive Colleges Could Hurt Your Wallet
Where Professors Send Their Children to College
25 Private Colleges With the Best Graduation Rates
Here's the Nation's Easiest College Major
Lynn O'Shaughnessy is author of The College Solution, an Amazon bestseller, and she also writes her own college blog at The College Solution.
University of Michigan image by dfulmer. CC 2.0.
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