The definitive list of the 12 most expensive colleges in the United States [SLIDESHOW]

While people have complained about the costs of undergraduate education for generations, things have really gotten out of control in the last decade or so. Loans, scholarships and grants allow most students to attend at some kind of discount. But the retail cost of a year of education is close to unconscionable at a slew of colleges and universities.

It’s hard to get a handle on the exact price tag for attendance at most colleges. When it comes to surreptitiously adding costs, college administrators are as subtle as the best three-card monte dealers and twice as creative. Matriculation fees, technology fees and the like are common.

The calculation of annual cost on this list assumes that students are living in a dorm and eating campus grub. Otherwise, the cost only includes unavoidable charges: tuition, various required fees, books, and supplies. (The estimate for schools that did not list the cost of books and supplies is around $1,000.) The prices in this list do not include any personal expenses, or travel expenses, or toothpaste or beer. All those things will drive the price even higher.

Sarah Lawrence College is the most expensive college in America. This is no surprise, as the school has also sat atop other lists such as this one in recent years. It’s quite possibly part of Sarah Lawrence’s crafty marketing strategy to maintain a ridiculously high price. Whatever the case, you should take the order of schools with something of a pinch of salt. Exact costs are sometimes hard to pin down, as mentioned above. Ultimately, the sticker prices at each of these schools are all impossibly expensive.

The list of schools along with their unavoidable costs is below, but don’t miss the slideshow to find out exactly what you could buy instead of tuition at these overpriced schools.

12. Connecticut College, New London CT ($57,800)

11. The George Washington University, Washington DC ($57,935)

10. Vassar College, Poughkeepsie NY ($58,100)

9. Trinity College, Hartford CT ($58,600)

8. Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore MD ($59,020)

7. Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson NY ($59,070)

6. Claremont McKenna College, Claremont CA ($59,100)

5. Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh PA ($59,700)

4. Wesleyan University, Middletown CT ($59,300)

3. Columbia University, New York NY ($59,800)

2. New York University, New York NY ($60,907)

1. Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville NY ($62,236)


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The definitive list of the 12 most expensive colleges in the United States [SLIDESHOW]

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