The most expensive colleges in America -- really

When it comes to higher education, tuition isn't the only price to pay. When all costs are taken into account, these are the 20 priciest schools in the nation.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 11, 2013 3:17PM

By Kelley Holland, CNBC


CNBC on MSN MoneyLadies and gentlemen, we have a winner.


A dubious one, anyway.


The absolute priciest four-year college education in the country can be had at . . . New York University, according to a new survey.


Image: College student © Stockbyte, Getty ImagesThe analysis by Business Insider ranks the all-in cost of attending college -- not just tuition, but also books, room and board, fees, and late night pizzas.


An earlier analysis, by the Department of Education, ranked NYU 64th among private four-year colleges, but that listing counted just tuition.


Apparently pizza and beer are pricey in New York. Who knew?


College education costs have been rising steadily for years, outpacing inflation.


Between 1982-1983 and 2012-2013, tuition and fees for a private four-year college education rose 167%, and the price tag for a public four-year education climbed 257%, according to the College Board.


NYU is followed closely by Harvey Mudd College, part of California's Claremont Colleges, and Bard College in upstate New York.


The top 20, in descending order of cost for one year, are:


1. New York University, $61,977

2. Harvey Mudd College, $61,760

3. Bard College, $61,446

4. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, $60,779

5. Sarah Lawrence College, $60,656

6. Wesleyan University, $60,214

7. Dartmouth College, $60,201

8. University of Chicago, $60,039

9. Bard College at Simon's Rock, $60,003

10. Trinity College, $59,860

11. Johns Hopkins University, $59,802

12. Fordham University, $59,802

13. Carnegie Mellon University, $59,632

14. University of Southern California, $59,615

15. Occidental College, $59,592

16. Scripps College, $59,570

17. Oberlin College, $59,474

18. Haverford College, $59,446

19. Pitzer College, $59,416

20. Northwestern University, $54,389


Not surprisingly, student loan debt is also a growing problem, particularly now that Congress has allowed interest rates on student loans to double.


Luckily, Fiske has published its list of colleges that offer the best buys in terms of academics and affordability. The flagship public universities on the list, in no particular order, include the University of Florida, the University of Iowa, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, the University of Oregon and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Affordable is relative, however. College Board pegged a moderate budget for the 2012-2013 school year at a public university at more than $22,000, and more than $43,000 for a private institution.


Get your wallet ready.


More from CNBC:



Jul 12, 2013 4:04AM
Advanced education tuition is a crime. in fact the whole system is a crime
Jul 12, 2013 3:51AM
sorry but the cost of higher education is screwy lewy - there is no reason for the high fees and tuitions - oh yeah and then the interest rates on the loans that most have to take out to get this higher education - we really need to make higher education a priority in America if we ever expect to "make it" in the world - and raising tuition, fees, and interest is definitely not the way to go!
Jul 12, 2013 9:12AM
In Tulsa, OK, a graduating high school senior can earn a four-year degree through the local community college (FREE) and then two years at an Oklahoma State University campus in Tulsa, for under $20,000.00, before grants and scholarships, if they live at home during that time.

As for the high-priced colleges, study after study says that the name brand may get your foot in the door, but after about five years, it all evens out, depending more on experience and work ethic than what school you went to. Except that the pricey-college students will have student loan debt for the rest of their lives.

A good education doesn't have to be expensive. You just have to choose wisely, with your head, and not your pride.
Jul 12, 2013 8:30AM

Some of what contributes to these sky high costs is the pompous administration overpaying themselves for the "QUALITY" work they put out.  And that's not all, many of them make poor financial decisions, spending public and private funding without concern for the source or the student, and then they intimidate/harass the whistleblowers when they open Pandora's Box.  It's not just the prestigious institutions mentioned in the above article, it's the smaller, "less expensive" schools, too.  Just look at the community college system in Pennsylvania.  Almost all say they have such low, affordable tuition, and it's such a great place to complete your first two years - ha, look at what it's costing administratively to provide that "low-cost" education.  Let's just say that producing a couple hundred "competent" graduates each year using $ 30 million dollars from the state, counties, school districts, and, oh yeah ! - the students/parents (all of the aforementioned translates to YOU, THE TAXPAYER), ain't such a good deal, my friends. 

Jul 12, 2013 10:02AM

I am sick and tired of seeing my tuition dollars used to support pricey sports programs and outrageous salaries for athletic department employees. The cost of books is ridiculous. I just graduated from a public 4 year college in 3 years and still owe $40,000. I can't even afford to go to any of the 3 law schools that accepted me, despite partial scholarships. Higher education is just another pyramid scheme. Go lobos,  yeah right!


Jul 12, 2013 8:36AM
Save your money and become a Tradesman or tradeswoman err tradesperson whatever the correct term is these days.  A plumber/electrician/etc makes big money.  There is also the railroad they have their own retirement separate from social security... and you get to say doo dah all the day long.
Jul 12, 2013 9:29AM
Funny how these articles never attempt to explain the increase in tuition costs. And I'm afraid the cost of a public education has increased a little more than 257%. My school room and board was $2,400 in 1979, last year it was $23,000. More like 950%.
Jul 12, 2013 7:42AM
Aren't colleges run by liberal professors and administrators??? Champions of the little guy!!!!     : /
Jul 12, 2013 10:23AM
People, let's be real, there are too many universities that are not that expensive.  This is a matter of choice.  If you want to be able to brag and say you graduated from NYU, you have to pay the price...  If you don't care about bragging, then go to whatever college fits your budget and don't get into gigantic debt.  It is that easy, but of course, everybody likes to criticize and talk too much.  If you don't have the money for a Rib eye steak you just don't eat it!!!  If you don't have money for a lobster you don't even ask for it on the restaurant...  And yes, online degrees are just the biggest joke and rip off!!!
Jul 12, 2013 9:53AM
Like nearly everything in our economy, education is market-driven. Why do these "elite" colleges cost so much? Because there are enough idiots in the world who will pay that much, in the vain belief that a name-brand college will give them a superior education or that employers will fall down in worship and beg graduates to work for them.

As one who hires employees, I would look with suspicion at a candidate with a degree from one of these colleges. They obviously have no concept of a dollar.
Jul 12, 2013 10:27AM
Costs go up because of the academia-publishing industrial complex. Pay professors too damn much and buy expensive books every year (eBooks?). Then pay for capital improvements for fancy buildings and upgades. Look for value, not prestige, then build your own career achievements.
Jul 11, 2013 6:05PM
Not up to date - school my son goes to, just tuition, room and board are more than some of the schools on the list, not even counting books, fees, pizza and beer.
Jul 12, 2013 11:19AM
Tuition can get under control!!!! Too many overpaid professors, many with poor communication skills, too many unnecessary classes in the and,and some days are filled with ONE class. How about an eight to three thirty day,like the first twelve years of a students education? OH MY GOODNESS maybe a professor would earn their salary.  OH MY GOODNESS maybe a college education would only take three years. I could go on for days, but back to work for me,so i can pay for my childs education at one of the overpriced higher education universities on today's list.  
Jul 12, 2013 5:16AM

While tuition and fees may be outrageously high, at least testbooks are still cheap.


$200 for a hundred page paperback textbook is a bargain!



Jul 12, 2013 8:55AM

My last of 4 children just got her degree from Colorado State University. Her tuition, books, fees,

and room and board averaged 13k a year for the 4 years. The advantage of staying in state.

My oldest graduated from Pitzer in 98, but the costs were 1/2 of what they are now.

Jul 12, 2013 10:42AM
expensive??????????? not for illegals.......they can attend colleges for free.........thanks to the liberals!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Jul 11, 2013 3:55PM

I say the online rip off colleges are most expensive. If you buy a nice meal it cost a good bit. If you put your quarter in a gum ball machine and nothing comes out .......... well see what I mean.

Jul 12, 2013 7:58AM
YEAH ... We want it all for "FREE" what don't you people understand "FREE" is the word of the new generation, everything FREE and high paying jobs working only 20 hours a week .... FREE got it ??
Jul 12, 2013 8:14AM
- I got an idea to make America stronger lets increase interest rates on student loans and increase tuition costs and all the surrounding costs to go to higher education... derp derp derp chomp-a-chewie-chomp...Timmae!
sar·casm  /ˈsɑrkæzəm/ [sahr-kaz-uhm]  noun
1. harsh or bitter derision or .
2. a sharply ironical taunt; sneering or cutting remark: a review full of sarcasms. .)
Jul 12, 2013 2:48PM

Soon no one will go to college, no one will buy a house and no one will retire.  And then there will be no one left to pay for everything!

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