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The Most Expensive Colleges in the U.S.

With unemployment on the rise and the economic crisis still in full swing, people in the workforce don’t exactly have it easy, but college students may have it even worse. A new report by the College Board revealed that public colleges raised their tuition by an average of 6.5 percent over the last year, while private colleges increased their costs by 4.4 percent.

Historically, college enrollment rises during periods of recession, so the cost of attendance increase is fairly predictable. Although tuition has risen across the board, some schools remain astronomically more expensive than others. Here is a list of the ten most expensive colleges in the United States (note: estimates include tuition, room, and board per year, but do not account for how much students actually pay after scholarships and other financial aid).

  1. Sarah Lawrence College: $54,410 - for the second year in a row, the small liberal arts college in Yonkers, NY takes top honors. Sarah Lawrence is known for its small student-to-faculty ratio of 9 to 1. The college began as a women’s-only institution but became coeducational in 1968. Sarah Lawrence has become one of the many institutions that considers the SAT optional for undergraduates.
  2. New York University: $51,991 - NYU’s colossal cost of attendance mostly has to do with its premier location in the heart of New York City.
  3. The George Washington University: $51,730 - this private school is located in Washington, D.C.
  4. Bates College: $51,300 - a private liberal arts college in Lewiston, Maine, Bates is the oldest continuously operating co-ed school in New England.
  5. Skidmore College: $51,196 - located in Saratoga Springs, NY, Skidmore was named one of the 25 “New Ivies” by Newsweek and Kaplan for excellent educational quality outside of the Ivy League network.
  6. Johns Hopkins University: $51,190 - Hopkins’ location in Baltimore, Maryland and prestigious reputation as a research institution account for its high tuition bill.
  7. Georgetown University: $51,122 - Georgetown is located in Washington, D.C., where the high cost of living contributes to a pricey cost of attendance.
  8. Connecticut College: $51,115 - located in New London, CT, Connecticut is considered one of the “Little Ivies.”
  9. Harvey Mudd College: $51,037 - a private liberal arts college in Claremont, CA, Harvey Mudd offers programs in math, science, and engineering.
  10. Vassar College: $50,875 - nestled in Poughkeepsie, NY, Vassar began as an all-women’s college that became co-ed in 1969. Alumni include actresses Meryl Streep and Lisa Kudrow.