25 Most Expensive Colleges For 2008-2009

Here are the 25 most expensive colleges for 2008-2009, based on total cost (tuition + room and board), as compiled by CampusGrotto.com. Whooie, this is some pricey book-learnin’.

Highest Total Cost 2008-2009

College | Total Cost
1. Sarah Lawrence College | $53,166
2. George Washington University | $50,312
3. New York University | $50,182
4. Georgetown University | $49,689
5. Connecticut College | $49,385
6. Bates College | $49,350
7. Johns Hopkins University | $49,278
8. Skidmore College | $49,266
9. Scripps College | $49,236
10. Middlebury College | $49,210
11. Carnegie Mellon University | $49,200
12. Boston College | $49,020
13. Wesleyan University | $49,000
14. Colgate University | $48,900
15. Claremont McKenna College | $48,755
16. Vassar College | $48,675
17. Haverford College | $48,625
18. University of Chicago | $48,588
19. Union College (NY) | $48,552
20. Colby College | $48,520
21. Mount Holyoke College | $48,500
22. Tufts University | $48,470
23. Bard College at Simon’s Rock | $48,460
24. Franklin & Marshall College | $48,450
25. Bard College | $48,438

No thanks, I prefer my in-state tuition and debt-free-at-25 method of matriculation. But if you do have to go into debt, there’s an educated way to go about. This post talks about how you to maximize the lower-interest, i.e. federal, ones first before you go into those private student loans. Incidentally, if you do get a federal student loan and you end up having a problem or question about it, the FSA ombudsman is a good place to start to get it resolved.

However, if you, like many, get a private student loan, be sure to shop around first. Don’t just go with the list of “preferred lenders” provided by your bursar’s office. Sometimes, as State Attorneys General have discovered, banks and lenders will essentially pay colleges to get on those lists, and placement isn’t for those with the best terms for students, but those with the best goodies for the administrators printing out those lists.

Most Expensive Colleges for 2008-2009 [CampusGrotto] (Photo: Getty)

Comments

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  1. thesadtomato says:

    I prefer debt free, too. Unfortunately, state schools don’t offer what most these schools do: the SLAC experience and name recognition. Worth the extra cash.

  2. fizzyg says:

    How much aid do most of those give, on average, though? Lots of private schools really take down their total tuition based on aid provided.

    I went tuition free in-state due to our lottery’s scholarships, and mostly tuition free in graduate school. I still owe a lot, though, from various living expenses that went above and beyond what my jobs would pay for the 10 years that I was in college. People should never take for granted parents that can help you at all with your college expenses, because that makes a huge difference.

    • varro says:

      @fizzyg: The University of Chicago Odyssey Project covers nearly all of the costs for families making less than $60,000/year – the out-of-pocket expenses for a student’s family come out to $1980.

      For families making $60,000 – 75,000 a year, it’s $1980 plus an annual loan of $3000.

      More information here.

    • MoreFunThanToast says:

      @fizzyg: I agree, a lot of private schools provide full scholarships which significantly decreases the out of pocket tuition cost.

      It is the living expenses and material costs that in the end sucks up most of the money :(

    • Sasquatch says:

      @fizzyg: Also, a lot of the higher tier schools are able to be need-blind in their admissions, which means once you’re in, they do whatever they can to make sure you can afford to attend.

    • Michael Belisle says:

      @fizzyg: That’s a fair point. I’m of the impression that private schools seek to charge people as much as they can afford to pay. (Which is totally fine in my book.)

    • OhYeahAlright says:

      @fizzyg: Sarah Lawrence is broke and incredibly need aware. A friend of mine who went there got removed from the early decision list and put in with the regular decision because they couldn’t guarantee him or anyone in the early decision bracket aid. Its the price they pay for standing up to the College Board and the bullshit list in US News and World Report.

      • Anonymous says:

        @OhYeahAlright: It honestly has nothing to do with the college Board and USNWR. It’s all do with the fact that no one thought about an endowment there for more than 20 years.

    • Rache says:

      @fizzyg: Many of these schools need 100% of need. After you fill out your FAFSA, it gives you your EFC (expected family contribution), and many of these colleges make you pay only that. However, some (NYU for example) are not like that.

      • Anonymous says:

        @RochelleBattus:
        I went to NYU several years ago – then it was only $33k per year and I was able to pay for most of my tuition through scholarships and some small loans. NYU has a great endowment and lots of scholarship opportunities. I didn’t have to do anything special other than fill out the regular financial aid packet. And when my mother was diagnosed with cancer and my parents faced enormous medical bills, the bursar’s office worked with us to make sure I could stay in school.

    • onestrawplz says:

      @fizzyg: NYU is ridiculously stingy…theoretically they could afford to give out more aid if they stopped padding John Sexton’s (and the board’s) wallets and building overseas campuses in, say, Abu Dhabi.

      That being said, I do give into it and cough up the cash because I like almost everything else about the school.

    • Anonymous says:

      I go to Vassar (#16 on the list) and I must say that my financial aid package was fantastic! It should be noted that these schools most likely give out better financial aid packages. Vassar has a new policy where loans are no longer given out to families who make under a certain income which further reduces future debt. In my case going to a more expensive school was actually cheaper because schools in my state( NJ) would’ve cost more in the long run because they weren’t as generous with the aid and room and board was much more expensive.

    • Anonymous says:

      I was accepted into NYU for 08-09 and after looking at their extremely poor financial aid package, I automatically put my acceptance letter in the rejection pile. Since NYU is a private school, I got little help from FAFSA and I was also expected to take out $25,000 in loads every year for my 4 undergrad years. Ridiculous. Moreover, NYU ranks #1 on Princeton Review’s “Students Dissatisfied with Financial Aid”. NYU totally deserves that title.

    • Anonymous says:

      @fizzyg: its a general rule that private colleges, though their sticker prices are astronomically high, cost less than a lot of universities because of the financial aid package. my friend goes to middlebury (#10 on the list) and they are so generous with financial aid it’s rediculous. harvard is also a financial dream. lots of schools, expensive as they may seem, will do everything in their power to make sure money isn’t the reason you can’t attend the college.

    • WickedWitchoftheWest loves dough. says:

      @fizzyg: Boston University should be on the list, $48,468.00. My daughter receives no aid whatsoever, and we are not a wealthy family.

  3. BytheSea says:

    Is this undergrad? Hopkins is a med school, that could account for the cost.

    I’m surprised the 7 sisters are more expensive than the ivies.

    • denb says:

      @BytheSea: JHU offers both graduate and undergrad degrees. It has campuses all over Baltimore-DC corridor.

    • oneandone says:

      @BytheSea: This is undergrad… med school would be a billion times more. (Exaggeration)

      I don’t think there are any Ivies on the list…. unless my reading skills are failing me. It’s early.

      These are all great schools, but it’s funny how if you tell someone you went to Princeton/Duke/Yale they have a certain image of your financial situation, but if you say Frankling & Marshall or Carnegie Mellon they might think something else entirely. Without much basis in reality.

    • Wally East says:

      @BytheSea: You can indeed go to Johns Hopkins for an undergraduate degree.

    • Jabronimus says:

      @BytheSea: Ugh. I wish I hadn’t gone to Hopkins. Well, then again, I’m glad I got it “while the getting was good”???

    • Anonymous says:

      @BytheSea: The Ivies are mostly waiving tuition now (one of them started doing it and the others had to follow in order to compete for the top students). They can afford to, with their endowments worth tens of billions of dollars.

  4. LetMeGetTheManager says:

    Sucks for those super seniors.

  5. zigziggityzoo says:

    Out-of-state Tuition + room/board at U of Michigan is about $48,000, too. And that’s a Public University.

    • Etoiles says:

      @zigziggityzoo: In-state tuition (which includes mandatory fees, etc) plus room & board at UMass was up to about $23,000 / year by the time I was a senior. I graduated more than five years ago so I’m guessing it’s even worse now.

      Too bad state systems really aren’t the answer, either.

  6. dripdrop says:

    All I have to say is THANK GOD for Georgia’s HOPE scholarship. I attended the University of Georgia for 4 years and tuition cost my family not one red cent.

    • Pop Socket says:

      @dripdrop: I’m paying full retail out-of-state for my son to go to Georgia Tech. The drop in salary my wife and I would have to take to move to Atlanta wouldn’t cover the tuition long term.

    • tenuhcgal says:

      Yeah, me too. I didn’t get my full 4 years, because I dropped a lot of classes due to a change in major. But the 3+ years I did get it saved my family A LOT of money. I’m living off of loans now in my 5th year, but it’s better than having to have them all 5 years!

      P.S. I’m now living in Tennessee (I still get in-state tuition because I was enrolled when we moved) and if I had to pay for out-of-state tuition, it would cost close to 25,000 a year or more.

  7. dougkern says:

    CUNY ftw! 2k a semester, thanks!

  8. meduzagirl says:

    I graduated from CMC (#15) in 01 – the financial aid was pretty good – lots of work study, grants, scholarships and loans. I’m almost done with my last student loan, but in no hurry to pay it down. It’s a school offered interest free loan and we were very happy for it.

  9. Anonymous says:

    When will these lists start taking into consideration that GWU has fixed tuition?! Yes, we are #1 or #2 (depending on the year) most expensive school for incoming freshmen, but they pay THE SAME AMOUNT FOR 4 YEARS! I’m in my 5th year now after taking a leave of absence, and I’m still paying under $50K because I was in the first class when fixed tuition got introduced.

    • funkright says:

      @EldaFever:

      So.. let me get this.. you are now near a 1/4 of a million dollars in cost for a 4 year degree?

    • weakdome says:

      @EldaFever: wow… you… lucked out?
      Good For You!

    • Anonymous says:

      A LOT of schools have fixed tuition and it is great. But its a lot nicer to get fixed into the $15,000 category than the $50,000 grouping. I had an amazing education (and a wonderful experience overall) from the University of Illinois and am glad I didn’t pay a cent more for a more ‘prestigious’ education from a small private school.

  10. Bladefist says:

    No thanks, I prefer my in-state tuition and debt-free at 25 method of matriculation.

    Yea me too. But for me, college was just a formality. For some people, the more famous colleges help their careers. Plus I had to pay for my own college, so I wouldn’t have had the choice anyway to go to one of those colleges anyway

    • denb says:

      @Bladefist: It’s not what college you got, but who goes to that school with you. GTown, GWU, and NYU are full of celebrity off-springs and people with strong leadership potential.

    • AtwoodBullfinch says:

      @Bladefist:

      agreed, all you learn in college is networking…everything else you could just as easily learn from a book. I went to one of these expensive and well know colleges…my job out of college is making me as much as a lot of people make at age 35 (im 22) and i got the job solely based on the fact I had a name of my school on my resume. you pay for what you get.

      • Squot says:

        @AtwoodBullfinch: This completely depends on what you’re studying. While getting a job is based on who you know (and your skills), I don’t think it’s possible to learn to be a good graphic designer, or, say, a writer, from a book.

        • fizzyg says:

          @Squot: I agree with this. If your career has any sort of applied aspect, then it’s really necessary to be able to get that under the supervision of someone who knows what they’re doing. In some areas (business perhaps) this might be part of your first job, but in others it isn’t. I was a psych major, but one who desired to go on to be a researcher. You can read about how to do research all day long but it’s still different when you actually begin your own. Similarly for reading about schizophrenia vs. working with people who have it.

          • EarlNowak says:

            @fizzyg:

            Sometimes I feel like everything I learned in my Psych degree I could have picked up with a lot of free time and a subscription to Ovid.

  11. komodork says:

    Well, it all depends on what program you are going into. Programs like engineering cost double sometimes than normal programs such as life science. I am paying about $5200 for 2 semesters. Room will cost probably another 5k for 2 semesters. you can basically get your degree for for the price of 1 year at those universities!

  12. dasunst3r says:

    Wow! UT Austin costs *half* of what Bard College costs.

    • Anonymous says:

      @dasunst3r:

      I’m using my GIBill plus a small fed loan at UT Austin, and I get by more than comfortably even while living off campus. Before I transferred to UT Austin I attented UT Arlington (near Dallas fyi), and I was actually making money every month by simply being a full time student. Also, nice to know other Longhorns frequent the site.

  13. manaknight says:

    What’s scarier is realizing that these places cost about 25% less about 5 years ago. But it’s true about aid, I went to one of these and yearly bills were only about 15-20K. But then again only about 40% of the students going there were on aid…

  14. ElizabethD says:

    Yep, the schools with big endowments (rich private colleges) are often VERY generous with financial aid. I made my daughter apply to Bowdoin last year, even though she wasn’t very interested in it, because I’d read that it gave the most generous aid packages! She’s now at Syracuse, her first choice, and we are thankful for the grants and loans that make this possible. I’m actually surprised Syracuse isn’t in that list; it ain’t cheap.

  15. jamesmusik says:

    Price has little to do with money actually spent. Private schools have much better aid opportunities, because of their endowments. In public schools nearly everyone pays full price, but in private schools only those who are well off end up paying full price.

    • supercereal says:

      @jamesmusik: In fact, I ended up paying less for a private school than I would have for the public system in my state (yes, even with the in-state tuition rate). Private schools are generally quite generous.

      • alysbrangwin says:

        @supercereal: Your public schools must be extremely expensive. UNC-Chapel Hill costs about 15k a year if that for in-state students, and it’s a “public Ivy.” It was cheaper when I started there, but it’s still called one of the best deals in higher education. I guess I know why now.

        • supercereal says:

          @alysbrangwin: It’s not that the public system was expensive, it’s just that it offered (me anyway) less than a couple grand in aid. At my private school, I ended up with $32K (full tuition, fees, books) a year through various need and non-need awards. All in all, I would have paid more for the public system simply because (I suppose) their endowment wasn’t as big.

    • Anonymous says:

      Public students pay full tuition based on what is posted…..in the Univ. of Wisconsin system, the tax payers are already paying 2/3 or more of the COST…When I paid $1000 for six grad credits in 2003 and $2600 for six credits this year to keep my certification, I complained, but the COST was actually $8000 for those 6 credits.

  16. ravensfire says:

    Correction:

    It’s not “George Washington University,” it’s “The George Washington University.” The “the” is apparently very important to them.

  17. johnfrombrooklyn says:

    I teach at NYU. A couple years ago I figured that for NYU tuition, a typical undergrad could go out and spend $100-150 an hour, hire experts in their course matter for the same amount of class time, and spend about the same as NYU published tuition. Instead of sitting with 30 others in Freshmen Spanish, you could have one-on-one private instruction. What is sad is that so many universities – private and public – are using undergrad tuition to subsidize the rest of the university. At the same time, college students are much more demanding and expect nicer buildings, nicer dorm rooms, a wider course schedule (which costs money), customized degrees (which costs money) and lots of amenities that college students didn’t expect 20 years ago. I know plenty of undergrad liberal arts students that are going to graduate with $70K – $100K in student loan debt. An NYU degree may be more prestigious than SUNY-Albany but prestige doesn’t usually pay the bills. And when you’re 26 years old, living in your parent’s basement, and writing $1000 checks to the student loan agency, you may wish you’d taken a cheaper route.

    • Segador says:

      @johnfrombrooklyn:

      True, but for certain professions, like Psychology, the school you attend for your undergrad work pretty much dictates your options for grad school/Ph.D. programs. If you want to get into a very good school for graduate work, you pretty much need to attend a very good (and expensive) undergrad program that offers all these opportunities.

      • SkidooNevada says:

        @Segador: And an undergrad degree in psychology pretty much dictates your career options as barista or barista.

      • pandroid says:

        @Segador: What are you talking about? I went to a state school for undergrad, got plenty of experience working in a psych lab, and got into a top 20 Ivy graduate program. I didn’t stay there, but I certainly got in.

        • Segador says:

          @pandroid: There are many things that can influence a school’s decision to accept a student (minority, 1st-gen student, GRE, etc.) but with top-level programs accepting around 7% of applicants (the majority of which are highly qualified), a good undergrad program is often a deciding factor.

          • pandroid says:

            @Segador: I’m not a minority, or a 1st-gen student, and although my GRE scores were good, I still believe what got me in were recommendations from the research labs I had access to as a student at my state university. College is what you make of it, and your defeatist attitude doesn’t help anybody.

            • Anonymous says:

              @pandroid: And you worked for it. You did that lab work and earned your place.

              In more prestigious programs the name goes a lot farther so that people who didn’t do the lab work, or as much lab work, or as quality lab work, still get into top-tier programs. I mean, I did no extracurriculars besides publicity chair for the Disability Alliance, no internships, no job, etc. and I’m not only in one of the best media grad programs in the country but I got into MIT (but didn’t get enough aid to afford Boston). I never would have if I’d been competing from a state school or a school with a lesser reputation than my own, I’m sure of that.

              I think that’s what meant. That if you start out from a big name you have to do less to get more in a lot of cases, not that people with merit don’t get through and can’t get anything (defeatist). Just that they have to, unfairly, work harder because of built-in biases.

    • Brazell says:

      @johnfrombrooklyn: Prestige may not pay bills, but it certainly makes applying to grad schools a lot easier. While the SUNY schools are great instate options, not all states have instates that are as strong academically as their private counter-parts. The institution that I work for is still sub-$40k, but that is still a daunting number for a lot of folks around where we recruit (the North East).

      I suspect that as financing becomes much more difficult in the next several years, schools will have to lock in tuition costs or start tapping into the endowments, even as they lose their worth.

      I’m pretty happy. I have a hefty burden of college loans for where I went (Small, priv. school in the North East), but I’ve also got a good paying job, but I value my education in the Liberal Arts more so than I value the paycheck that I get.

    • mrosedal says:

      @johnfrombrooklyn: I tend to agree with you. I didn’t go to one of these schools on the list. I graduated debt free and I am payed quite well in my work. I think graduating from a bigger name school helps, but is no guarantee nor is it a guarantee that attending a lesser known school dooms you to a life of servitude under the graduates of bigger colleges. I am happy that I have no debt out of college!

      • Cat_In_A_Hat says:

        @mrosedal: Agreed. While I wanted to attend NYU (I still dream of attending someday) , my parents thought I was crazy for wanting to pay tuition plus out of state fees when I was offered a full scholarship to UC Berkeley. Looking back, I’m very happy and fortunate to not have any college debt and a degree from a prestigious university.

        • Hyman Decent says:

          @Cat_In_A_Hat: I don’t understand. Which of those schools would you have paid tuition plus out-of-state fees to? NYU is a private school, so it doesn’t charge out-of-state fees (does it?). And with a full scholarship to Berkeley, you wouldn’t have paid tuition.

    • jcahilellis says:

      @johnfrombrooklyn: Seeing as though you are a teacher at NYU, I was wondering if you can help me. I am graduating from a community college this year and will be receiving 4 associate degrees (which I know isn’t spectacular, but it’s a start). I want to major in sports management. I’m thinking of NYU, but I’m pretty sure I have to start back down at freshman level because only some classes will transfer, or I can go to a private (not well known) college in Michigan that is only $25 grand a year, and I start out as a junior. Do you think attending NYU and paying that cost is worth it for someone getting into Sports Management?

  18. katieoh says:

    i’m kinda shocked my school isn’t on there. i reckon we’re close to that $50k mark. tuition this year was $31,100, plus fees and other bs. oh, art school in nyc. how i love thee.

    [ps, due to my school’s financial aid, i’ll only be paying $5k out of pocket this year. score!]

  19. Erwos says:

    The irony is that the ease of availability of student loans is probably what drove a significant portion of the insane tuition increases these days.

    On the same topic, I also think that cost effectiveness of such loans is being swept under the rug by academia. Is it really a smart thing to be encouraging students to go into $100k-$200k of debt to get a journalism degree?

  20. Powerlurker says:

    It’s crazy how much the price has increased in the last few years. I graduated from Rice University in ’06 and when I while I was there, the tuition plus room and board was in the $26,000 to $30,000 range and indexed to inflation. That having been said, for those going to a high-end private school, it’s like buying a car, very few people pay the sticker price. Oh well, now that I’m working on a Ph.D in chemistry I get paid to go to school.

  21. televisionarie says:

    Oh Hopkins. That fancy new dorm for which you spent two years jackhammering right outside of my window is really paying for itself, I guess.

    • RamV10: The Axeman Returneth says:

      @televisionarie: Yeah but on the other hand you can actually drive through east Baltimore now without being shot at more than once.

      Even more amazing, there are parts of east Baltimore that you can walk through now.

      • Jabronimus says:

        @RamV10: Ha, Greenmount avenue will always be Greenmount avenue.

        • startertan says:

          @Jabronimus: I always called JHU the nexus of the universe. If you stood at the corner of Charles Street and University it was literally the center point between heaven and hell. If you went East or South you’d hit the ghetto (33rd, Greenmount, downtown Baltimore, etc.) and if you went West or North you’d hit all these expensive million dollar homes (Roland Park, Loyola).

          Haven’t been back to campus in years but I laugh at the fancy touch screen kiosks they installed which I heard were all broken (due to shoddy products not vandalism) within like a year.

          • Jabronimus says:

            @startertan: I like your analogy! First of all, a very Hopkins thing to say. But, its also very accurate. The fancy touch screens were definitely the laughingstock of the campus for a while. (I graduated in ’06, btw.)

            @-emory-: Well, I graduated a few years ago as well, but I went back there about a month ago. There are definitely the same certain areas that you don’t want to be at night – Greenmount is one of them, as is the area down near stadiums.

        • -emory- says:

          @Jabronimus: And yeah, I moved out of taht area about 4 years ago, is it still as bad as it used to be?

    • ainsworth2 says:

      @televisionarie: I never got to step foot in that fancy dorm. I remember when Charles Commons was Royal Farms! Those were the days.

  22. ConroyCotta says:

    here in Maine, Colby & Bowdoin let Maine students attend for free/scholarship $$

    • ElizabethD says:

      @ConroyCotta:
      That’s awesome. Good for Colby and Bowdoin. They are relatively affluent colleges, and Maine is not an affluent state, so this is a perfect community goodwill gesture. Of course, the Maine students have to qualify for admission… Still, excellent opportunity for the smart kids there.

    • Anonymous says:

      Evidently you don’t go to Bowdoin. Bowdoin only gives need based financial aid, so living in Maine has nothing to do with how much you have to pay. A student from California and a student from Maine who had the same family income would receive the same financial aid package. I can’t speak for Colby, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they had the same system.

      • Anonymous says:

        @YarkonaSkylark: That’s not true. Bowdoin has a handful of special scholarships, including some for Maine residents. They also give merit based aid to National Merit Scholars. The most significant move Bowdoin has made in the last year or so is to switch to awarding aid only in the form of grants and work study and not in the form of loans. It is the only school with an endowment of less than $1 Billion to take on this challenge (several Ivies and Northwestern have adopted this policy) and make such a commitment to socio-economic diversity.

  23. ManiacDan says:

    For those that care, I’ve compiled the Ivy League:
    Brown (71st $46,950)
    Columbia (56th $47,450)
    Cornell (31st $48,144)
    Dartmouth (51st $47,694)
    Harvard (not in the top 100)
    Princeton (84th $45,695)
    Yale (82nd $46,000)

    My poor parents put me though the 52nd most expensive school in the country. And I didn’t even like it!

    • formerglory says:

      @ManiacDan: Can’t forget the Ivy of the Midwest, Notre Dame: $49,030 for 2008/2009.

      They have 160,000+ of my dollars (and the fed.gov’s, and my bank’s). Go Irish!

    • pete says:

      @ManiacDan: There are eight Ivy League schools. Penn is listed right before Cornell on the list.

      • oneandone says:

        @pete: I was shocked it wasn’t higher, but I think it might have to do with cost of living in Philly being relatively low.

        And now I can go through the rest of the day puffed with pride. Most expensive ivy league tuition (for next year)! My brain must be so valuable. In funny irony, I’m surrounded by Penn State toxicologists making quite a bit more than me. Maybe in a few years I’ll out earn them, but we’ll see. Don’t underestimate the power of public school networks. In some fields, they are super-strong.

        /not a toxicologist, but I work with them

      • ManiacDan says:

        @pete: Can’t believe I forgot an ivy! *shame*

    • capitolm94 says:

      @ManiacDan:

      Wheres Penn on the list?

  24. bmwloco says:

    The GA HOPE tuition thing has transformed Athens GA. Gone are the little independent cafes and restaurants, replaced by condos and parking spaces for all the kids new cars.

    Parents don’t have to pay tuition if they maintain a “B” average. Perks follow.

    I dunno, I miss my old Athens, but then again, time marches on.

  25. goodpete says:

    I’m going to have to agree with pretty much everyone here. I went to Illinois State University, graduated with a degree in Computer Science, debt free. I turned 24 yesterday and I own my own house and my own (new) car. I get through life with no (financial) assistance from my parents.

    Meanwhile, some of my coworkers went to some of these crazy expensive schools and are still living with (and financially dependent on) their parents because they have $100,000 in student loans to pay off. Of course we all ended up at the same job for the same company, so you have to wonder what advantage they had from going to a fancy school?

    • dragonvpm says:

      @plamoni: Cost does not equal quality. My ex went to a pretty lame school that cost quite a bit (in the low $30k range a few years back) and in that case, I’d totally agree with you. That was a total waste of money to avoid going to a state school.

      However, if you go to a school like MIT, CalTech, etc… then you’ll see quite a difference in your earning potential and job opportunities both right out of college and a few years down the road. You did a good job in not racking up a ridiculous amount of debt for a stock 4-year CS degree, but that doesn’t mean that everyone who spent some money getting theirs made a mistake.

      They might not be debt free at 24, but by 30 or 35 they might be, plus they might be seriously out-earning you just because the school on their resume gets that sort of recognition. That’s not a hard and fast rule by any means, but it’s something to consider when making decisions about undergrad and graduate studies. It may not be “fair” but it’s a legitimate way to stack the deck in your favor if you can (assuming you can get in and finish at one of those top tier schools) and it’s usually not hard to figure out what the best (not necessarily most expensive) schools in any give field are.

    • solarpowerspork says:

      @plamoni: You’re also lucky you got your degree in a field that is currently hiring in this economy. And from a field that is pretty standardized – computer science, for the most part, would be the same no matter where you went.

      However, ISU (where I also went) had a huge problem with funding, and had to keep their tuitions so low because they were a state school, and some majors did suffer. They cut the art department’s funding for job searches, so the only way for anyone in that department to easily find a job outside of college was to know somebody in the field already. In this case, going to fancy school would have helped. I was lucky when I got out that I knew someone and got a job, but when I lost that job because of the economy, I had nowhere to turn – there is no leg up for me, being that I only went to a state school.

      Before this sounds like a boo-hoo, I know I put myself in a corner by getting my degree in photography. However, by cutting programs to help art students get jobs (but yet, other majors had job fairs, business in particular), my degree becomes a hinderance because I had no exposure to the job world before having to jump in head first. Yeah, I’m just as qualified for any job in my field as someone who went to the Art Institute of Chicago, but since my degree has ISU stamped on it, I’m less likely to get the job.

      But, like I said, that’s also because I went into a crap field.

      • bluebearbank247 says:

        @solarpowerspork: Being an art major at expensive college does not mean they get a job or better opportunities, etc. I wanted to study and pursuit career in design, but ended up in engineering… well, I graduated University of Cincinnati, and actually their art major program is very well known. UC is a state school, and job is almost guaranteed if you graduate their art department. So, what is the catch? cheap and job opportunities even though you call it, “crap field,” that seem to be no demand. Well, the thing is, while I was awake 2days straight studying(as most of engineering degree requires), they(art people) were also up working on their projects without sleep. It did not seem “fun,” at all. My point is, anything comes with opportunities is hard. All of my colleagues in engineering degree hated engineering, because it is hard, but it gets you where you’d want to be. As well as art major, competition is high so that you may have to be awake days to get your project right, but after few years later, it will get you where you want to be.
        If you think it was a crap field, then re-think how you were back in college. If you think you worked so hard til the point where you can’t grab a pen, then I am sorry. I believe opportunities comes to the college where students get harder tasks by them.

  26. paco says:

    Man, Brandeis has slipped. In the late eighties, we vied with Tufts and Sarah Lawrence for top honors.

    • DreamingInGreen says:

      @paco: In the years of 1998-2002 we were on equal pricing par as well. But the school made a pretty firm commitment to (relative) affordability (social justice and all that). They were also incredibly generous with financial aid when I was there – it’s the reason I actually went. You can’t argue with an $18,000 grant and work study! Very few private schools of that caliber were committed to that level of aid.

  27. Segador says:

    The problem is that often, the name of the school on your degree completely dictates your options for post-graduate work. Very few quality universities accept grad students with a degree from Bob’s Community College.

  28. zibby says:

    Looks like now is a good time to start telling the kid she’ll get out of it what she puts into it.

  29. lastingsmilledge says:

    conn college: where rich kids from NYC who can’t get into a quality school have gone since 1911.

    i’m somewhat surprised one of the diploma mills didn’t make the list (particularly johnson and wales) – way to stay under the radar.

  30. ohayou_kun says:

    wow, thats over 5 times my tuition. I pay 8 grand tops, but technically i’m not paying, mommy and daddy are paying… Being the oldest has its benefits.

  31. couldbebopeep says:

    hahaha. i go to school in scandinavia for under 100usd a semester! plus i get approximately a 6000usd stipend for passing my classes each semester!

  32. Dacker says:

    They forgot MIT:

    Student expense budget is $50,100 for 2008-09

    I was surprised Bennington College was not at the very top; they must have used endowments to hold-back tuition increases.

  33. StanislausBabalistic says:

    Good to see us finally back on top. The problem with Sarah Lawrence is that we have NO endowment. It’s only something like $27 million, which means that the college can’t give very good scholarships at all. The vast majority of kids here are well-off enough to pay that absurd sum out of pocket, and then there’s another good chunk that’s paying for it with loans. It sucks, too, because there’s a pretty lousy financial diversity, and so everyone assumes that everyone else is just as wealthy.

    I can tell you though, that this school will only be worth it for about 5 more years – then we’re going the way of Antioch. Too much overly PC crap, spiking tuition paying for more and more degraded facilities/etc. each year… The end is nigh.

  34. Anonymous says:

    I don’t even think my four years totaled Bard College’s total for one year. I can’t imagine having to fork that much money over for underage boozing and general debauchery.

  35. SkidooNevada says:

    I thought this was a list of Schools of The Dumb Rich.

  36. designmartini says:

    It would be interesting to see how this list maps against which schools give scholarships. Many of the Ivy Leagues don’t give merit-based scholarships, only financial aid (which can be impossible if your parents are middle class but don’t want to sell their house and cars to finance your education). Thanks to scholarships, NYU was far cheaper for me than any of the schools in the top 100.

  37. Anonymous says:

    One additional factor is that schools are under little pressure to reduce the sticker price. The prevailing idea is that the basic cost for a school correlates with its reputation. People tend to think that a school costing that much must be worth it. As a result, it is a better strategy to reduce tuition through the back door – grants, scholarships, aid, etc. while keeping the sticker price high.

    Of course, I still think that tuition costs too much. I am a great believer in the value of an education at a smaller liberal arts college. Indeed, from my various experiences through academia (my chosen profession), these schools have provided the best educational opportunities. Unfortunately, the associated high cost makes them a class privilege.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Canadian schools! Check’em out. I went to McGill from ’99-’03 for a TOTAL of $40K as an international student. It’s a bit more expensive now thanks to W and the weakened US dollar, but it is still an ace-tastic deal (as are U of Toronto, Queens, UBC, Dalhousie, etc).

  39. LostAngeles says:

    Wow.

    UCLA is about $8k for fees (public universities cannot charge tuition to residents, so we have, “fees.”) Room and board brings it up to about $17k depending on where you live and financial aid budgets on-campus residents for $22k/year.

    Supposedly, most of the school’s income comes from grants and merchandising. If I could find a budget sheet and not blah blah on certain aspects of the budget, then I could say for certain. But with the recent budget cuts, the UC Regents are starting to pass the costs on to us.

    By about $500/year last I heard.

  40. Zernhelt says:

    I’m at George Washington now, and I can’t speak for most students here, but the engineering school gives out a ton of money. It’s rare that you’ll find someone who is an engineering major and isn’t receiving some money from the school. I think the majority of engineers have the engineering school paying for somewhere from half to three-quarters of the tuition.

  41. Robobot says:

    The good news about GW is that it also offers some of the best financial aid in the country. There are plenty of decent colleges with lower tuition within a few miles of GW, but if you have your heart set on GW it’s worth looking into.

    Also: University of Richmond? Really?!

    • Anonymous says:

      @Robobot:

      What’s the issue with Richmond? Yes, the tution is high but they also offer some of the best financial aid packages in the country. Look at the school’s website under affordability.

    • CollegeCamel says:

      @Robobot: Hells yeah U of R. My brother goes there, its basically a country club. And its not cheap.

      My parents are, of course, thrilled that their two oldest children chose #15 and #5 on this list for college…

  42. RosalbaShard says:

    I had the same dilemma:

    1. Go to an elite Ivy league school with more prestige (and pay $30k out of pocket, including aid)

    or

    2. Free ride to a good/decent state school, but have an uphill battle to land a job in iBanking, since it’s not a target school.

    No debt is nice, but that first job out of school is heavily based on your alma mater.

    *** You’re doomed if you’re part of the middle class. The poor get a free ride (free tuition to Harvard if you make less than $40k), and the rich can afford it.

  43. BaronVonHawkeye says:

    I am getting a kick out of these kinds of stories. I basically had to go to a state school since I was going into engineering and nowhere near smart enough for MIT, Cal Tech, etc. No matter where I was looking at going, it was going to be under $30,000 a year, even with out-of-state tuition.

  44. ChChChacos says:

    Ha, yeah, try Purdue University in Indiana. I went there for a year and had to leave because of how expensive it was. As an aviation flight student major at Purdue I was paying roughly $40,000 a YEAR. Yes, that’s insane. That’s why I transferred and left.

  45. handyr says:

    Unless you’re a Kennedy, you won’t pay full sticker

  46. itmustbeken says:

    Does these numbers reflect costs for beer and weed?
    Add another 10% to be safe.

  47. milesabove says:

    There is a small, highly specialized school in southern Vermont called Landmark College that costs $51,700/year. It is accredited, and seeing as how I paid for 2 years of it, I feel like it belongs on the list. Granted its a 2-year school, I think it should be listed.

  48. CarolynEll says:

    Woo Mount Holyoke! I just knew my alma mater would make the list.

    I gotta say though, the Chef Jeff cookies were worth my $25K in loans…

  49. jcargill says:

    College of DuPage AA =$450 1989
    Worked while attending College of DuPage and took a semester off to work 70hrs a wk.
    Illinois State University BA=$6000 (w/board) 1991
    Worked Summer Break, Winter Break, Spring Break…

    Debt free after college= Priceless

    Can’t do that anymore: I should add that during college I had a UNION job that does not exist anymore.

  50. Anonymous says:

    For my PhD, Johns Hopkins wanted a total of over $250,000 in tuition (not including room and board) and would not provide funding. I’m at a better school (and I’m not saying that ’cause I’m bitter, in the worldwide rankings it’s in the top 5) and all I’m paying is a well subsidized room and board. Debt free PhD here I come!

  51. startertan says:

    Yay! There’s my alma mater coming in at #7!!! Yeah Hop!!! Man, when I graduated in 2001, I think Tuition was about $32K and R&B was almost $8K. Nice to see that tuition has gone up 25%. Thank god I was a broke @ss Chinamen and they gave me enough in grants to pay for 2 years. Don’t worry though, Mayor Bloomberg routinely gives them several million dollars per year in donations.

  52. bluewyvern says:

    Huh. When I picked a school, Sarah Lawrence and Skidmore were both on my list, but I picked Bard, which was the most expensive choice. Maybe the others just offered me more aid, but I thought it had the highest sticker price at the time. Has it slipped in outrageous cost since then? (Barely even makes the list now! This is the worst upset since we lost the #1 ranking in “Reefer Madness” from TPR.)

  53. kachunk says:

    Thus the bumper sticker: “My kid and my money go to Carnegie Mellon”

  54. wickedpixel says:

    #7 Hopkins – class of ’02. If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t.

  55. CherriSpryte says:

    As a GW alum, I can vouch for the fact that they do have lots of financiad aid/scholarship money . . . but I also knew a fair few kids who were paying full tuition. It was amazing the things those people could do and not get in trouble with the school, whereas the kids on financial aid were dealt with much more harshly. (This is totally anecdotal on my part, clearly, but I know of several instances of both)

    Also, I knew a professor who was of the opinion that GW deliberately kept their prices high because they thought people would believe they were getting a better education if they were paying more.

    This was not the case.

  56. Desk_hack says:

    Jeebus. When I was looking at colleges 17 years ago, Bennington was the most expensive in the country at $25k/year.

  57. maneki neko says:

    Oh Vassar (#16).
    Four years ago our tuition was only about $42,000. And yet still, they have the audacity to ask my parents for donations. Repeatedly.

  58. Miraluka says:

    I don’t know how accurate this list is in determining the most expensive schools, as this is purely based upon tuition only costs.
    I know for a fact that students at Stevens Institute of Technology are paying upwards of $47,000+ with combined tuition room&board…but because the tuition alone is about $35,000, it’s rather low on the list (#85)

  59. CJG says:

    Sweet! My Tufts Education has appreciated $16k in value in just 6 years.

    Now if I can just figure out how to sell it back, maybe I can pay off my student loans.

  60. FromThisSoil says:

    I was surprised to see that some colleges that I’d expect to see as the most expensive, were in the bottom 15% of the top 100.

  61. Anonymous says:

    $65,000 to attend Full Sail University

  62. varro says:

    UChicago – #18, but like many of the other schools, the financial aid was very generous – I ended up with a grand total of $5000 in student loans after I graduated in 1992. (Then, tuition/fees/R&B was about $17K – 18K a year.)

  63. glorpy says:

    The University of Rochester is $48060 for tuition, room and board ($37250 of that is tuition). Factor in books and fees and the place is estimated to cost $50550 in 2008-2009.

    Tuition for two classes in a part-time program is over $9000 a semester.

    This makes me wonder what other schools got left off the list.

  64. bwilliams18 says:

    Dont forget these aren’t universitys these are only schools of higher learning that only have an undergrad program

  65. -emory- says:

    Thank Science for LSU’s Legacy scholarship. 75 percent off the out of state because both my parents graduated here, and then I got another 8 grand a year off, dropping it down to 4 grand a year. I’m actually paying more in off campus apartment than I am for school!

  66. malcs says:

    this is very interesting, here in London, UK, for myself, University tuition fees are a standard £3000, which is about $4600, plus about $1400(converted) for room and board a month, which works out at about $15800 all in a year, Then again, it is different for international students who can pay upwards of $50,000 for tuition alone.

  67. squidpants says:

    Something George Washington does a terrible job advertising is that they also give the most financial aid in the country per student. Almost no one pays full tuition, and most get tons of money. That’s the only way I could afford to go there.

  68. Squeaks says:

    wow, I’m impressed that MIT isn’t on that list…I’m still feeling the pain from those student loans…

  69. JiminyChristmas says:

    I would never discourage someone from applying to a college based on price. If you’re a qualified student, the college wants you, and the college has the means to fund financial aid, the school could be well within your means. On paper, I went to a moderately expensive school but the truth is that the portion I had to pay was never more than 50% of the ‘list’ price.

    As far as what degrees from those fancy schools get you; it’s hard to describe but there is some value there even if it doesn’t directly translate into employability. I was a graduate teaching assistant for three years and the trait that always jumped out at me was writing skills.

    I distinctly recall a few occasions when grading papers thinking that English had to be the second language for the student, but I knew they were native Midwesterners. They were all graduates, with good grades, from public universities. I think it’s really hard to get through a private school, especially a small one, and still have that sort of deficiency.

    • Robobot says:

      @JiminyChristmas:
      I think you’re absolutely correct about the writing instruction at fancy-pants schools. Smaller classes are crucial in fostering writing skills. It’s the expensive universities and tiny community colleges who can best offer the one-on-one instruction a student needs when transitioning from high school to more scholarly writing.

  70. smurph0404 says:

    Yikes. Luckily my dad payed for my college. Like his dad did for him, and like I probably will for my kids. Now I’m out and debt free at 22 with a good job. Not a bad chain to get going.

  71. jimnor says:

    where is Stanford on the list?? its one of the best universities out there.

    oh, that’s right.

    “Families earning less than $45,000 need not make tuition contribution”

    -Stanford Report, March 15, 2006

  72. Dave_Surfs says:

    The new GI Bill (signed into law July ’08) provides for the cost of tuition up to the cost of the most expensive “in state” tuition. Those funds can be applied to a state school (meaning tution free for the student) or they can be applied to a private school, significantly reducing the amount to be funded by other means.

    In addition to the tuition, the student gets a housing allowance pegged to that of a Sergeant(E-5) (Average approx $1100/month) for housing, and another $1,000 a year for books, lab fees, etc).

    Service Members need to serve for 36 months to be elligible for the full amount, although benefits begin to accrue after as little as 90 days of ative duty and hit 50% after 12 monhs. For those who make the Armed Forces a career, the tutition benefit can be passed on to a spouse or child.

    • Anonymous says:

      @Dave_Surfs:
      Wow Dave,

      I didn’t know that. I used my GI BILL to finish my private uni education. I am debt free which is very nice… I still have some left over and want to go for my Masters.

      I have a decent job but I always wanted to go back for my Masters but never really had a reason.

      Does this apply new law apply as I got out in 01. I served 5 years in the military.

      Would be nice to have a debt free Masters too.

      • Dave_Surfs says:

        @ShampaMelpomene:
        Shampa,
        It depends on when in ’01 you got out. This bill requires active duty service after 9/11, and any benefits you derive from it would be reduced by the amount of old GI bill benefit you’ve used. That having been said, it’s definitely worth your time to contact the local VA rep and clarify the specifics of your case. The new bill may not fund your entire Masters, but you may have some $ still coming your way if you were on active duty post 9/11. Best of Luck!

  73. Anonymous says:

    Umm… Bennington College costs $48,950 for tuiton, room and board… so it should probably be on the list.

    http://www.bennington.edu/go/about-bennington/facts-and-figures

  74. Anonymous says:

    What these high tuitions only manage to achieve is pre-determining that a only a select group of people will be able to attend these institutions. What an elitist way to run a college. Either you get financial aid or you’re affluent enough to pay the tuition. How about all the intelligent kids in between? Hey Obama and McCain-this is our future we’re talking about…how about equal access to all who qualify??

  75. Anonymous says:

    Strange that University of Southern California isn’t on here… On my financial aid document our estimated cost of attendance is 51,968, which would place it at #2. Maybe the fact that California living is expensive is taken into account. But to answer the previous question posted before mine, between 60 and 75% of students receive financial aid, although this likely varies from school to school.

  76. Anonymous says:

    What a waste of money. It seems like all the comments show how proud everyone is to have spent so much money for their educations. Woo-hoo! I went to a stupid little Big 10 state school which happened to be one of the top engineering schools and I didn’t have to go into huge debt for it.

  77. Anonymous says:

    The University of Southern California’s cost of attendance for 2008-2009 school year is $52,000. Fortunately, their financial aid office offered me $50,000 in grants. But lets admit that mostly all private schools are swimming in “private donations” that is why they are able to give large amounts of money for an outpriced school.

  78. Anonymous says:

    76 % of the students at Mt. Holyoke get aid — average aid in grants and loans is 35 K grants / 4K in loans

    If you want to go to one of these great schools, get accepted, then figure put how to pay for it. I would like to see the stats on average starting salaries and % who go to grad schools from these places– the raw cost is not enough info. A proud graduate of the oldest of the Sisters!

  79. Anonymous says:

    School tuition is in a ‘bubble’ just like housing and commodities were recently–and has been fueled by the existence of easy credit and loans. Now that loans for college are drying up, schools will have to do what all businesses do–lower prices. No one is exempt from the rules of the marketplace and basic economics.

  80. Anonymous says:

    Most of the private schools are going with a family cap. In other words if you are Joe the Plumberand total family income is $250k then Harvard would cost you $25k.

  81. Anonymous says:

    Yale, MIT, Tufts, Michigan and a whole bunch of great schools also offer courses ON LINE for FREE– Google Open Courses– it is amazing! Not everyone will go for the regular route. Post USA economic debacle we may see prices / costs come down– Thanks George Bush!

  82. Anonymous says:

    To think that in many countries the education is free or almost free. What do we need to do to get there? I went to two Universities during my undergrad that cost me one semester $800 and $1,000 the other (without room and board) but never like the one I finished and it’s cheaper than the universities listed above. It’s also the same cost for grad.

  83. Anonymous says:

    Hi there, I went to Suffolk University in Boston Mass. I (my Dad) remember paying around $28,000 k a year. Seems like the tuition have stayed the same. My brother went to NYU in the late 90’s and payed similar to what the tuition is right now.

  84. Anonymous says:

    I’m a freshman at Wesleyan University (#13) this year, and am receiving a substantial amount of financial aid. (It’s cheaper than going to my state university) However, there is a portion of the student body that does pay full price. (maybe 20%? i don’t really know)

    The price seems ridiculous, but most of the top schools are “need-blind” by now, and really do an amazing amount to facilitate attendance by students who come from poor backgrounds.

  85. Anonymous says:

    I currently attend Mount Holyoke College, and let me say you get what you pay for. The dorms are amazing, the food is always good with many different options for meals, plus the resources you have available and the opportunities for you are endless. Let me just say that going to an elite, expensive college is definitely worth it now and it will be worth it down the road even if I do have some debt. I have the security of knowing that if I do well here that I will have many more doors open after graduation then my friends who went to state colleges. My resume will be worth so much more than theirs. Thousands of people graduate from state schools each year. Only a handful graduate from Mount Holyoke, which is the oldest women’s college in the US and one of the most renowned. You can say that you were happy with your state school experience, however you don’t know what you’re missing. ;]
    – A Mount Holyoke Student

  86. Anonymous says:

    A curious fact I learned on a visit to Duke: A Duke education (~$45000+/year) actually costs the university around $75000/year, but various endowments, etc help make up the difference. Harvard and Princeton, though, really should be sending every student (except the absolute wealthiest) to school for free with their combined $70 billion endowment. There’s a bill in Congress that would require nonprofits to spend 5% of endowments yearly to keep tax-exempt status, and Ivies would be practically free for everyone if they were required to do that…but I agree, most private schools are very generous with aid

  87. Anonymous says:

    Why would somebody go to a private college to begin with at double to quadruple the cost? Take UNC/Dook, eight miles apart. UNC is a third the cost. Do you really think you are going to learn dramatically more at one school versus the other? Just a complete rip off.

    • Anonymous says:

      @BelindaDesomma:

      Because, in a lot of cases, private schools can actually be cheaper after financial aid is factored in. Or because the name recognition can get you into a better graduate program (med school, law school, PhD) without having to do the same amount of work those without the name recognition to fall back on have to do to stand out from the pack. Sometimes the connections fostered at a “privileged” school can be the difference between a good entry-level job and one that doesn’t make ends meet. Etc, etc. There’s lots of reasons and only an individual will know which one is best for her/him.

      • CollegeCamel says:

        @ArmandDampner: also, its about size. most public schools have a giant student body. My parents might be paying $49,385 for me to go to Conn, but its got a student body of 1900 which is where I’m comfortable.

  88. Anonymous says:

    As many have already mentioned, few actually pay the full tuition—meaning only the ‘rich’ kids who don’t qualify for aid do. Another example of how the wealthy subsidizes education and everything else. No one actually calculates these things when talking about increasing taxes on the wealthy (and 250K a year is not exactly very wealthy in expensive areas like NY and CA). Does anyone who benefit actually thank the wealthy for their extra share of contributions? Of course not, just vote to tax ‘em more. No wonder they hate the rest of us. It’s fundamentality not fair to get the same education and some have to pay 200K for their degrees and others pay almost nothing. If you can’t afford the high tuition, go to a less expensive state school, many are just as competitive and prestigious (UC Berkeley, for example). Don’t demand your deserve the most expensive when you don’t pay for it.

  89. Anonymous says:

    I attend Carnegie Mellon University, and what they did for me is they took the total cost of the tuition, boarding, etc. and subtracted my EFC from the FAFSA. They actually gave me a little more than that too. It’s called the undergraduate grant. I believe that I have to stay above a 3.0 to maintain it.

  90. Anonymous says:

    After spending $100K+ on my college education at a top 10 Engineering School, I do feel like I got ripped off. I would advise student to go to an in-state public school and pay a lot less. In the end, if you are talented you will rise to the top regardless of where you went to school. Plus if you need the additional Ivy League credentials, there is always grad school.

  91. Anonymous says:

    It’s funny because my sister went to a technical college and is a Registerd Nurse and makes over 60,000 a year and I went to a four year college and teaching for 35, 000 per year. I am trying to figure out the facts. How is it possible that I have more education then her but making less money?

  92. Anonymous says:

    I have two sons who are going off to college in te next 2 years. I have saved 200K for their education.

    I believe that a better investment would be to purchase shares of beaten down high dividend paying American companies (VZ,T,PM, etc) with the money and sending their butts to community college for 2 years. 100K each will go a long way toward funding their retirement.

  93. Anonymous says:

    I laugh when I see people singing the praises of their school and saying “It’s worth the $200,000″…it’s similar to when someone buys a car or house..they always got the best deal or price..funny….in the end if you are a savvy, well educated consumer you can weed out the poor choices (ie, very expensive privates that really offer little except that they are “private”) from the best value (ie, small, public, inexpensive, exclusively undergraduate)….to me you should pursue the most intensive, least expensive undergraduate program available and then as a well educated and more mature student pursue your advanced degree at the larger research Universities….University of Minnesota-Morris, Truman State (MO), St. Mary’s (MD) and other small, public, academically intensive and inexpensive Universities offer the best deals in the nation

  94. Anonymous says:

    I went to Scripps and paid full freight. I am lucky enough that my parents could afford it, but I know that several of my friends who couldn’t got excellent aid packages. And I appreciate Scripps offering some diverse and wonderful people those packages or my time there wouldn’t have been the same.

  95. Anonymous says:

    Our son applied to several private schools last year and chose Springhill in Mobile, AL and even though it cost 31K.yr, he was able to get 18.5/yr for academics with a 3.2 gpa in hs. Great little Catholic School that winds up being the same as state college after aid.

  96. Anonymous says:

    So let’s see.. I could pay $50,000 a year to go to a small liberal arts school that hardly anyone other than it’s graduates has heard of.. Or I could go to an outstanding public school such as The University of North Carolina or the University of Virginia and pay less than that for 4 years at a school ranked in the top 25 universities in the nation by US News and World Report..

  97. Anonymous says:

    Fordham University now costs 48,000$ and change. When I graduated in 98 it cost about 34,000$ Scary how much it’s gone up, although the name has really opened doors for me. Jesuit colleges are, unfortunately, notoriously stingy with any kind of aid. Thank god for parents.

  98. Anonymous says:

    My current boss started his business over thirty years ago. He sold it a year ago for upwards of $50 million. He barely graduated high school. Hope you have fun paying off your loans.

  99. Anonymous says:

    You may also want to look into McGill University in Montreal Canada. It is a superb university, ranked amoungst the top 20 universities in the world…better than many american schools, and the tuition/fees for an international student is about $15,000/academic year

  100. Anonymous says:

    My son is in his first year at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. Total Tuition, with room and books, $57,000.00 for 2008-2009

  101. Anonymous says:

    I go to Colgate (#14 on the list) and I can tell you from experience its true. If I wasn’t on financial aid (for which Colgate is really good for), I would be in about 200k of debt right now. But you guys have to understand that the parents of the typical people who attend these colleges are in those 5% of Americans that Obama doesn’t want to give tax breaks to :). As in, trust fund kids with too much money and expensive cars on their hands.

  102. Anonymous says:

    It’s funny. They got something wrong. I’m paying much more than most of those colleges at Columbia University in Manhattan, and it’s not even on that list. It’s muuuuuuuch more expensive than 40 of them. Maybe we are getting ripped off because it’s not official and they shouldn’t charge that much?

  103. Anonymous says:

    I have to say, going to Bates (woohoo #6!) may not be worth it in terms of cost, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I was lucky enough to have parents willing to pay full sticker price tuition (and those who pay full price subsidize financial aid, and the university subsidizes everyone) and for me, this is the best possible place that I could be. I’m lucky that I’ll graduate with little to no debt, I have a great degree that will open doors for me (well, if I’m in the northeast) and when I’m applying to grad schools, I can get my foot in the door.

    For me? Worth it. I know you can shine and rise to the top from anywhere, but I like having that little extra boost, and I’m lucky that my parents could give it to me.

  104. Anonymous says:

    Thanks to the Government I haven’t paid any expenses towards college except those beyond room and board. I got my Undergrad with Georgia’s Hope Scholarship and am working on my Grad with GI Bill and Army Tuition Assistance.

    I am 25 and debt free, that is pretty hard to beat. I really couldn’t imagine what it would be like to be 25 and in over $200,000 of debt from school, especially now when we are in a recession and there isn’t as many job openings now. Were I am from you can buy a nice house with that kind of money.

  105. Anonymous says:

    Went to a small private school for undergrad, then a big state school for both grad degrees, and came out with $10K total debt for 10 years of education. The first school was nearly comparable with some of those listed in terms of cost, but it was easy to get 60% of tuition in grants and scholarships (and the only people getting less in those areas than I was had parents with six figure salaries).

    But, there are other advantages to small schools . . . for instance, I knew every prof. I had a class with and am still in touch with many of them eight years later. Those connections have gotten me more connections within my field and to other fields. And everyone on campus knew the college president, we were all on a first name basis with him, and that connection has helped as well.

  106. Anonymous says:

    Sure they cost a lot, but most of them are ultra rich private schools with massive endowments. The “sticker price” is not what you pay out of pocket.

    Another thing; you will notice that the most expensive schools are ones in major cities; of course it costs more to live in NYC than it does in the middle of no where. The benefits of culture gained via living in an urban environment far outweigh the money saved by going to school for 4 years in a frat house on the farm.

    100k for a top tier education? That isn’t crap. I own a car which costs more than that. You should attend the best school you can get into, period.

  107. Anonymous says:

    “This post talks about how you to maximize the lower-interest, i.e. federal, ones first before you go into those private student loans.”

    What? This shows what a “cheap” public school education gets you…

  108. kwsventures says:

    Overpaying for a college education is a major mistake.

  109. polymergirl says:

    I graduated from Mount Holyoke (one of the schools on the list in 2000. The grants and aid that they provided made it significantly cheaper than going to my state school. The number listed is rarely the actual price paid by students. In fact, a few years ago the Princeton Review listed MHC as a “best buy” based on the average price paid by students to attend.

  110. Anonymous says:

    I find it strange that people are ready to pay those prices. Why don’t you come to study to Europe? In most countries it is free and there are a lot of international and english speaking programs in universities.