As any American, student or not, can tell you: College is very expensive these days. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the average tuition and required fees (so excluding things like room and board) at a four-year not-for-profit private school — the hundreds of private liberal arts colleges, for example, that dot America — was $37,222 as of the 2021-2022 academic year.
The academic year 2021-2022 is the latest data the NCES has. We at BrokeScholar wanted to find data that was more recent on the tuition costs, specifically that for the academic year 2023-2024, in order to identify what the most expensive college in the US is. We rounded up the data for four-year bachelor's degree-awarding public and private not-for-profit colleges in the US and determined which school was the most expensive college in the US.
Read on to find out the answer to the question “what is the most expensive college in the US?”.
Table of Contents
- The Bottom Line on the Most Expensive College in the US
Looking at typical four-year bachelor's degrees-awarding colleges, the most expensive college in the US is one you might no expect, though it is a very popular college among high schoolers to search for and apply to.
Kenyon College is the most expensive college in the US, with a cost of tuition and required fees for the 2023-2024 academic year of $69,330. This amount includes the $69,030 per year for tuition plus the $300 per year Student Activities Fee. Bear in mind that the above cost does not include any meal plans, room and board, books, etc.
We went state to state, examining various tuition costs (and required fees) at hundreds of colleges. So, we also found some of the other most expensive colleges in the US. For the academic year 2023-2024, the five most expensive colleges in the US include:
|Rank||Most Expensive Colleges||2023-2024: Tuition and Required Fees per Year||State|
|2||Franklin and Marshall College||$68,380||Pennsylvania|
|3||Brown University||$68,230||Rhode Island|
|5||Vassar College||$67,805||New York|
|6||Columbia University||$67,681||New York|
|7||University of Southern California (USC)||$67,603||California|
In the end, the most expensive college in the US is a fairly unexpected one — pretty selective liberal arts college in Gambier, Ohio. But some of the other most expensive colleges in the US, such as Columbia University or USC, may have been more expected. Interestingly, Columbia University and Brown University are the only Ivy League school to rank among the top 10 most expensive colleges in the US, thus many popular and academically strong private liberal arts colleges occupy the remainder of the list.
Though these tuition costs are among the most expensive in the country, there are more affordable colleges that offer top-notch education too. Public colleges, such as big state schools, tend to have much cheaper tuition costs when the student resides in-state versus all other types of colleges. And many of these large public universities offer excellent education and state-of-the-art research facilities. Fortunately, you can bring down the burden of tuition on your finances even more by applying to and winning college scholarships. Even if it doesn’t cover the full cost of tuition, any scholarship amount helps. And when you find your perfect school, take advantage of BrokeScholar's database of student discounts and coupons.