5 of the Most Expensive Colleges in the U.S.

About fifteen years ago, a student could easily find a public university that came with a price tag of less than $10,000 per year. This price would cover tuition, fees, room, and board. College has always been pricey, but these days, it’s more expensive than ever. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, between the 2000-01 school year and the 2011-12 year, prices for tuition, fees, room, and board at public colleges and universities rose 40 percent — and that’s after adjusting for inflation.

As of the last school year, the average cost of going to college (including room and board) at public, in-state schools was just under $20,000, and those who attended out-of-state or private colleges likely paid closer to $30,000 or $40,000. This is an extremely large amount of money — more than many people earn during an entire year.

Given the high bill that comes along with a college education, why do some students choose to attend schools in even higher price ranges? Is it the prestige? Maybe a specific college is part of their family’s legacy or maybe they’ve dreamed about going to a certain school for their whole lives?

Using research from Business Insider and the College Affordability and Transparency Centerwe ranked some of the most expensive schools in the country in order based on tuition costs, but also taking total cost into consideration as well. In addition to finding out how much these schools cost, we also wanted to know what they offer that makes them so pricey.

by: STAN HONDA/AFP/GettyImages

by: STAN HONDA/AFP/GettyImages

5. NYU

  • Tuition and Fees: $46,690
  • Room and Board: $16,782
  • Books and Personal: $3,070
  • Total Cost of Attendance: $66,542 for the 2014-15 school year

New York University was founded in 1831 — nearly 200 years ago. As one of the largest private universities in the U.S., NYU draws in a wide variety of academic achievers and the majority of NYU freshman were in the top 10 percent of their graduating class.

Its location, combined with its reputation for helping to produce successful graduates, makes NYU a choice school. NYU has an 85 percent graduation rate and a 5.4 percent annual return on investment, according to Payscale’s ROI report.