Campus Grotto: Country’s Most Expensive Colleges

The names on this list haven’t changed much over the years, writes the Campus Grotto, but the numbers sure have.

For the 4th year running, Sarah Lawrence College is once again named the most expensive college by total cost for the 2011-2012 school year. The college boasts one of the lowest student-teacher ratios in the country and all students receive one-on-one weekly guidance from faculty.

When they first started ranking colleges by cost back in 2007, only the George Washington University had a total cost of over $50K, now 111 do. Back then, not a single school had tuition over $40K, now 80 have passed that mark. There are now nineteen universities charging over $55,000.

Room and board is another cost that is often overlooked. Many colleges in the urban areas of New York, Boston, and the California coast have room and board expenses that run $13,000-$14,000 per year.

Many other fees can be optional and can vary per student and per major. A Student Health Insurance Fee, for example, is obviously not going to be required for a student already on their parents’ insurance plan. Some colleges have their yearly budget for students listed slightly higher than what you see here. This is because some colleges also add in estimated costs of books, personal expenses, and transportation costs, writes the Campus Grotto.

Tuition numbers were taken directly from each college’s website during the last week of September of 2011.

The Department of Education recently ‘ranked’ a list of expensive schools by net price.

The lists are meant to be a helpful tool for students and families, said Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in a news release:

“We hope this information will encourage schools to continue their efforts to make the costs of college more transparent so students make informed decisions and aren’t saddled with unmanageable debt,” he said.

Critics have said the data is flawed, since it is almost 2 years old and doesn’t reflect recent increases at public institutions that faced state budget cuts. It also ignores thousands of schools that rank in the middle, writes Karen Farkas at Cleveland.com.

The Campus Grotto rankings are only of private schools. Though, while public schools are more affordable, but it should be noted they are rising in price faster than private schools.