25 Most Expensive Colleges in America

Last Updated Nov 3, 2010 5:18 PM EDT

Brace yourself, college costs are continuing to rise. Two years ago, five colleges smashed the $50,000 barrier, but today 100 colleges are now charging $50,000 or more.

Using new College Board data, The Chronicle of Higher Education compiled a list of the nation's 100 most expensive colleges. You can find the complete list of the most expensive colleges on the newspaper's site, but here are the top 25 colleges and universities that have broken the $50,000 mark.

  1. Sarah Lawrence College.................$57,384
  2. Landmark College..........................$56,500
  3. Columbia U. School of Gen. Studies......$54,782
  4. Wesleyan University..............................$53,976
  5. Columbia University..............................$53,874
  6. Johns Hopkins University.......................$53,690
  7. Georgetown University..........................$53,591
  8. New York University..............................$53,589
  9. Harvey Mudd College............................$53,588
  10. Barnard College....................................$53,496
  11. Bard College.........................................$53,480
  12. Trinity College......................................$53,330
  13. Washington University, St. Louis...........$53,315
  14. Bates College.........................................$53,300
  15. University of Chicago..............................$53,244
  16. Claremont McKenna College...................$53,230
  17. Connecticut College................................$53,110
  18. Fordham University.................................$53,093
  19. Vassar College........................................$53,090
  20. Pitzer College..........................................$53,080
  21. George Washington University................$53,025
  22. Vanderbilt University...............................$53,000
  23. Haverford College....................................$52,970
  24. Stevens Inst. of Technology.....................$52,965
  25. Babson College........................................$52,916

Why We Should Care About Elite College's Obscene Prices

Since most students aren't going to attend these expensive colleges, you might wonder why you should care about escalating costs.

If you're in that camp, I'd suggest that you read my recent college blog post on the dangers of unchecked college costs: Why America's Most Expensive Colleges Could Hurt Your Wallet. Here is an excerpt:

When Sarah Lawrence, Bard College, Trinity College, Bates College and Ivy League institutions that rank among the most expensive schools raise their prices it causes reverberations among thousands of other schools.
Schools lower on the academic pecking order judge themselves by what the country's most prestigious and expensive schools are doing. If the elites continue to construct amazing facilities, shrink class sizes and maybe even offer maid service, the wannabes won't want to be left behind. The wannabes know they can't catch up to the college superstars, but they are terrified of losing ground. So they will raise their prices too.
And that's why we should care about elite schools that are smashing price records every year.

Lynn O'Shaughnessy is the author of The College Solution and she also writes for TheCollegeSolutionBlog.
Most expensive colleges image by hto2008. CC 2.0.