The college news publication Campus Grotto provides an annual ranking of America’s most expensive colleges. According to its just-released report on the 2012-2013 year, the top 10 schools all have an average total cost of more than $55,000 per year.
Total cost is defined as tuition, fees and room and board. The top school on the list costs more than $60,000, an unprecedented amount.
Campus Grotto includes only required fees in the final tally, such as charges for student activities and facilities. It also only includes schools that offer bachelor’s degrees in traditional four-year undergraduate settings, so you won’t see any junior colleges or conservatories on the list.
Read ahead to see the top 10.
By Daniel Bukszpan
Posted 4 October 2012
Total Cost: $57,580
Room & Board: $12,782
Bard College is a liberal arts institution in Duchess County, N.Y. A year ago, it ranked No. 8 on Campus Grotto’s list, but this year Bard has fallen two spots to 10th, despite increasing its asking price by almost $2,000.
The total cost for 2012-2013 is $57,580 for a returning student. First-year students are subject to an additional $1,490 in fees, including meal charges, security deposit and ID card.
Total Cost: $57,711
Room & Board: $13,137
Founded in 1890 with the help of a large donation from John D. Rockefeller, the University of Chicago has produced Nobel laureates, Fields medalists and Rhodes scholars at an impressive rate. And it's nicely funded: in 2010 it received a $5.6 million gift to its endowment fund, the 12th-largest such contribution for any school that year.
Attending such a prestigious university doesn’t come cheap: The total cost to attend is $57,711 for the 2012-2013 academic year. According to its website, the school has a financial aid budget of $93.8 million for this academic year, and the average scholarship is $37,500.
Total Cost: $57,975
Room & Board: $14,175
Drexel University is a Philadelphia research institution that offers a combination of traditional classroom time and off-campus work it calls cooperative education. According to Drexel's website, co-op students can choose from over 1,200 employers internationally, such as GlaxoSmithKline, Microsoft and Lockheed Martin.
The cost of a year at Drexel depends on the type of co-op education the student chooses. Campus Grotto uses the university’s figures for a four-year course of study with one or no co-op options as the basis for its total cost of $57,975.
Total Cost: $57,996
Room & Board: $12,954
Dartmouth’s four-year liberal arts college, established in New Hampshire in 1769, is surrounded by some of the best-regarded professional schools in the country, including the Geisel School of Medicine, the Thayer School of Engineering, and the Tuck School of Business.
According to Dartmouth's website, the total cost to attend is $57,996 per year. First-year students are subject to additional charges for meals, class dues and document fees that increase their total cost to $58,281.
Total Cost: $58,065
Room & Board: $13,980
Claremont McKenna, located near Los Angeles, accepted only 12.4 percent of its applicants for the class of 2016, a rate that admissions counselor Brandon Gonzalez said ensures that students there will be going to school only with other top students.
”The class of 2016 will be one of the most talented groups of students we have ever seen,” Gonzalez said. The school will charge these students a tuition of $21,920 per semester, or $43,840 for the year, with a total cost of $58,065.
Total Cost: $58,202
Room & Board: $12,574
Wesleyan, in Middletown, Conn., occupied the No. 7 slot on Campus Grotto’s list last year. This year its total cost rose by almost $3,000, placing it at No. 5.
A large number of Wesleyan grads go on to earn Ph.D.s. According to a 2005 study conducted by Swarthmore College, Wesleyan had the second-highest number of liberal arts college graduates to be awarded doctorates, bested only by Oberlin College in Ohio.
Total Cost: $58,742
Room & Board: $11,496
New York City’s entrant in the Ivy League, Columbia is also the oldest college in the state, predating the publication of Karl Marx’s “Das Kapital” and — by 22 years — the birth of the United States. It is also the alma mater of three U.S. presidents, one Supreme Court justice and one CEO of Berkshire Hathaway.
Despite an increase of $2,432 last year, Columbia’s overall place this year fell a notch from No. 3 to No. 4.
Total Cost: $58,913
Room & Board: $14,471
Harvey Mudd is one of the seven schools that make up the Claremont Colleges consortium, which also includes Claremont McKenna, with which Harvey Mudd shares such resources as health services and libraries.
The total cost for the 2012-2013 academic year is $58,913, jumping Mudd from fourth place on Campus Grotto’s list to third, thanks to an increase of $2,915. The school offers the cash-strapped an average financial aid award of $29,000.
Total Cost: $59,837
Room & Board: $16,133
NYU, a research university based in Greenwich Village, is one of the largest private universities in the United States, not counting its satellite campuses all over the world, including Washington, D.C., Shanghai and Abu Dhabi.
Aside from charges for tuition and room and board, NYU’s total cost includes almost $900 in nonreturnable registration fees. Its total cost is just $163 shy of $60,000.
Total Cost: $61,236
Room & Board: $14,312
The official seal of Sarah Lawrence, a private liberal arts college in Yonkers, N.Y., carries the motto “Wisdom with understanding.” Notable alumni include Barbara Walters, Yoko Ono and Rahm Emanuel.
At $61,236, Sarah Lawrence is the most expensive college in the United States, as it was last year and has been since Campus Grotto’s 2008-2009 roundup.