Most Expensive Colleges in the U.S.

In 2019, Tuition fees at over 50 Colleges/Universities in the U.S. now top the $76,000 mark for out-of-state students who room and board at these Colleges/Universities. 

At $76,380, the University of Chicago in Chicago Illinois tops the chart of being the most expensive college in the nation followed closely by Claremont, California's Harvey Mudd College which charges $75,547 for tuition and room and board for out-of-state students. 

Tuition prices have risen even faster than recent and significant increases in federal grants and education tax breaks, according to the latest calculations. That means the net out-of-pocket costs of a year at college rose hundreds of dollars by 2016, while families still struggled through a recession.


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Indirect Costs

These are the costs that don't show up on the college bill. They include books, supplies and travel, as well as personal expenses such as cell phone and pizza. If you live and eat off campus, room and board costs may be indirect costs. You can control indirect costs to some degree, by making smart spending choices.


Transportation is a significant expense, whether you are commuting to campus or just occasionally returning home. If your college hasn’t supplied an estimated travel budget, make your own based on how you plan to go back and forth for holidays (bus, train, plane or car) and how often you plan to make the trip. Four-year public college students who live on campus spent over $1,000 on transportation in 2015-16.

Personal  Expenses

The costs for things such as laundry and cell phone service fall under personal expenses. Keep careful track of these as they can quickly add up. Use this to help you plan: The national average in 2015-16 for four-year public college students who live on campus is about $2,166.

America's 50 Most Expensive Colleges

Data compiled by CollegeBoard.org


The ranking uses tuition data from the 2016-17 academic year and looks at each school's full sticker price — published tuition and required fees, as well as room and board — rather than tuition numbers alone. 

Total Cost = Tuition + Room and Board + Required Fees

The fees included in the total cost only include fees that are required for all undergraduates. These fees typically include items like the Student Activity Fee, a Facilities Fee, and a Technology fee. You won't see any fees by major, orientation fees for incoming students, or medical insurance fees included in these costs. Many other fees can be optional and can vary per student and per major.


A Student Health Insurance Fee, for example, is obviously not going to be required for a student already on their parents’ insurance plan. Some colleges have their yearly budget for students listed slightly higher than what you see here. This is because some colleges also add in the estimated costs for books and supplies, personal expenses, and transportation costs.

Tuition numbers were taken directly from each college's website in Spring of 2016.

This list only takes into account colleges that offer bachelor's (BA) degrees at traditional 4-year undergraduate colleges, so you will not see any junior colleges or music conservatories on this list, or schools like Landmark College (costs over $60K) who offer students an Associate of Arts (AA) degree.


Harvey Mudd College earned the top spot with a total cost of $69,717, but its high price wasn't an outlier. Every school on the list holds a price tag well over $60,000, with the most expensive schools coming in closer to $70,000. 



All price data are reprinted from the U.S. Department of Education's 2018-2019 IPEDS Survey and reflect reported costs for the 2018-2019 academic year.

1. University of Chicago  $76,380

​2. Harvey Mudd College  $75,547
3. Columbia University of New York City  $74,716

4. Barnard College  $73,407
5. Yale University $73,180
6. University of Southern California  $72,825

7. Northwestern University  $72,799

8. Scripps College $72,756

9. Oberlin College $72,678

10. Trinity College  $72,660

11. University of Pennsylvania  $72,518

12. Haverford College $72,434

13. Jewish Theological Seminary of America  $72,348
14. Dartmouth College $72,319

15. Claremont McKenna College  $72,310

16. Amherst College  $72,166

17. Southern Methodist University $72,137

18. Duke University $72,133

19. Tufts University $71,942

20. Pitzer College  $71,900

21. Sarah Lawrence College  $71,870
22. Brandies University $71,835
23. Franklin & Marshall College  $71,800
24. Brown University  $71,731
25. Reed College  $71,600

26. Vassar College  $71,410

27. Occidental College  $71,402

28. Fordham University  $71,395

29. University of Rochester  $71,341
30. Hobart William Smith Colleges  $71,340

31. Tulane University of Louisiana $71,210
32. Wesleyan University  $71,204

33. Boston College  $71,193
34. Bard College  $71,168

35. Georgetown University  $71,154
36. Cornell University  $71,104

37. Wellesley College  $71,000

38. Bard College at Simon's Rock  $70,998
39. Middlebury College  $70,980
40. Connecticut College  $70,970

41. Colgate University  $70,905
42. Carnegie Mellon University  $70,883
43. Washington University in St Louis  $70,849
44. John Hopkins University  $70,816

45. New York University  $70,808
46. Williams College  $70,570
47. Smith College  $70,724
48. Boston University  $70,668
49. Bucknell University  $70,654

50. Pepperdine University  $70,502