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Students looking for the right university must consider a number of factors, including location, academic offerings and cost. The most expensive universities are private schools with reputations for academic excellence and successful lives and careers for their alumni. Once accepted into an elite university, the challenge of paying for tuition, room and board and other fees begins.
5 Wesleyan University
At just over $58,200, Wesleyan University in Middlesex County, Connecticut is the fifth most expensive university. Its $45,000-plus tuition is actually higher than some universities in the top five, but lower room and board costs and fees contribute to its total price, which is $3,000 less than the most expensive university overall. Wesleyan’s location places it within the greater New York City metro region, meaning that three of the five most expensive American universities are in or around New York.
4 Columbia University
Another pricey New York university, Columbia is an Ivy League school in uptown Manhattan. Undergraduate students at Columbia paid over $58,700 to study liberal arts disciplines in the 2012-2013 school year, just a few hundred dollars less than at Harvey Mudd. Columbia’s historic status and many notable alumni make it an attractive choice for top scholars who can afford its high cost.
3 Harvey Mudd College
Harvey Mudd College is located in Claremont, California, just east of Los Angeles. As of the 2012-2013 academic year, students at Harvey Mudd were paying nearly $59,000 a year, of which over $44,400 was directly for tuition. According to CNN, Harvey Mudd’s 4.7 percent annual tuition increase is the steepest rise of all universities in the top five.
2 New York University
New York University is a private university with tuition pricing befitting its Manhattan location. Students pay just under $60,000, inclusive, for a year at the university’s urban Greenwich Village campus. NYU students can also take advantage of satellite campuses and study abroad programs around the world, although such programs sometimes require additional fees and costs.
1 Sarah Lawrence College
Located in upstate New York, Sarah Lawrence College has been among the most expensive places to receive a higher education since 2008, according to CNBC. As of the 2012-2013 school year, undergraduates as the historically female liberal arts college could expect to pay nearly $46,000 for a year’s tuition alone and more than $61,200 with fees, room and board included.