When people lament the rising cost of a college education, they’re usually talking about tuition. Now, CampusGrotto.com, an online resource for college students, has published a list that shows that a bed and three square meals a day aren’t cheap either.
The priciest dorms are largely in New York and California, where a place to live has never been cheap.
The dorm prices show that this sometimes overlooked higher education cost can not only exceed $13,000 per academic year, but in some cases it can almost equal the price of earning that year’s credits. Click ahead to see which schools have the nation’s most expensive dorms. (Prices are for a double room and meal plan during the 2011-12 academic year.)
By Daniel Bukszpan
Posted 15 December 2011
Room & Board: $13,858
Harvey Mudd College is a liberal arts institution in Claremont, Calif. The average cost of attendance for 2011-2012 is $57,968. Of that amount, $13,858 covers room and board.
The school is one of seven members of the Claremont Colleges consortium, which also includes Claremont McKenna and Pomona colleges. Harvey Mudd students can take classes at any of the consortium’s schools.
Room & Board: $13,869
University of California – Santa Cruz is one of the U.C., 10 campuses and the only one whose mascot is a banana slug. A non-state resident student faces a final tab of $55,866 for the year, while California residents pay $32,988.
Resident or non-resident, the student living in a double room and using the meal plan can expect to pay $13,869. A steep price, to be sure, but a small one to pay to attend an institute of higher learning that’s home to the Grateful Dead Archive, which will house 30 years’ worth of the noodling jam band’s “show files, programs, newsletters, posters, cover art, photographs, tickets and stickers.”
Room & Board: $13,900
Dominican University of California is one of the state’s oldest universities. The total cost for the year is $57,670, $13,900 of which pays for room and board.
Dominican University was the site of the final gubernatorial debate between Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman on Oct. 13, 2010. The $20 million Science Center opened in August 2007. It hosts research in such fields as breast cancer, addiction and stem cells.
Room & Board: $13,958
Sarah Lawrence College is a liberal arts institution in Yonkers, just north of New York. Tuition alone is $44,220, and room and board is $13,958.
Sarah Lawrence has many famous alumni to its credit, such as journalist Barbara Walters, “The Color Purple” author Alice Walker and designer Vera Wang.
Room & Board: $14,000
The Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering is in the Boston suburb of Needham. Students should expect to pay $56,616 for the year, including $39,000 for tuition.
The school, which is sometimes referred to simply as “Olin College,” received high marks from Princeton Review in 2010. It was ranked fourth for “Happiest Students,” fifth for “Best Classroom Experience” and tops for “Great Financial Aid.”
Room & Board: $14,030
Compared to some of the others on this list, this year’s cost to attend Marymount Manhattan College is not so bad. For $38,738, you can be a student at the Manhattan liberal arts college, including $23,542 in tuition.
Marymount students can live in its 55th Street Residence Hall, which at 46 stories is one of the tallest college dormitories in the U.S. The building has halls with different themes, so those residing on the “Creative and Performing Arts” hall don’t have to mix it up with the denizens of the “Substance Free” hall.
Room & Board: $14,046
The cost of room and board at University of California – Berkeley may be a small price to pay to live at the school where no less than 16 chemical elements have been discovered.
U.C. Berkeley is one of the world’s most highly regarded universities. At least, that’s what a Gallup poll found in 2003, and the public perception remains.
The school has awarded diplomas to a wide range of people in the technology sector, including Apple’s Steve Wozniak and Google’s Eric E. Schmidt.
Room & Board: $14,230
Pace University has several campuses, but most incoming students live in a double in Maria’s Tower at One Pace Plaza in New York. Access to the cafeteria, library and classrooms is just one elevator ride away.
The location is ideal for anyone wishing to live near New York tourist attractions. It’s near the Brooklyn Bridge, South Street Seaport and Wall Street, and for students wishing to impulsively tie the knot, City Hall is blocks away. Graduates include television chef Rachael Ray, actor Vincent Pastore and civil rights attorney William Kunstler.
Room & Board: $14,520
For a full-time undergraduate student at Manhattanville College in Purchase, N.Y., tuition is $17,010 a semester.
The school has 1,700 undergraduates and 1,000 graduate students, according to its website. Its largest residence is Spellman Hall, which has more than 200 rooms and houses over 400 students.
Room & Board: $14,624
Suffolk University is in Boston, and its main campus is in the historic Beacon Hill neighborhood. Undergraduate tuition per semester is $14,889.
Most undergraduate students live at the Residence Hall at Tremont Street, although the newer Miller Hall, which opened in 2003, now houses about 30 percent of incoming students. The school also has campuses on Cape Cod and in Madrid.
Room & Board: $14,700
St. John’s is a private university founded in 1870. It was originally in Brooklyn but moved to its current location in Queens in the 1950s. Undergraduate tuition is $33,125 for the academic year.
Alumni include former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo and U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel. The school provides students with free or low-cost tickets to Broadway shows, museums and even Yankee games.
Room & Board: $14,925
Fordham University’s Rose Hill campus is in the North Bronx. For the academic year, full-time undergraduates pay $39,235 for tuition.
The Rose Hill campus covers 85 acres and is “one of the biggest privately owned green spaces in New York City,” according to CampusGrotto.com. In addition to this campus, Fordham operates two others in New York state, one in China and one in London.
Room & Board: $15,000
Fordham University students who want to be where the action is can live at McMahon Hall near Lincoln Center on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Undergraduate students are still subject to the same $39,235 tuition fee for the year as students at Rose Hill. At $15,000, room and board is only $75 higher than Rose Hill’s.
That $75 buys quite a bit. The campus is just minutes from Central Park and a couple of subway stops from every cultural attraction that midtown Manhattan has to offer. And then there’s Lincoln Center, a stone’s throw away.
Room & Board: $15,181
Like so many other things in the Big Apple, New York University isn’t cheap. Tuition per semester is $19,672, and room and board is $15,181. However, this is a relative bargain, compared to the rent that anyone else would pay to live with one roommate in the heart of Greenwich Village.
NYU has multiple locations throughout the city, including one in Brooklyn. It also has centers in Paris, Shanghai and Tel Aviv, and it opened a campus in Abu Dhabi in 2010.
Room & Board: $18,080
The New School is based in New York and is divided into seven colleges, including the New School for Social Research and Parsons, which aspiring fashionistas will recognize from the television series "Project Runway."
It has five dormitories, including in lower Manhattan, the East Village and Chelsea. Room and board at the 13th Street location costs $18,080, making it the most expensive college dormitory in the U.S.
Attending the school gives students an opportunity to take courses that they likely couldn’t take at too many other schools, such as “Genre: The Road Movie,” “Tabloidization: Reputation and the Attention Economy” and “Georges Bataille - Sex, Death, and Religion.”