The 10 Most Expensive Colleges in the World


Most people have a pretty good idea of what an expensive college looks like. They picture Oxford, the University of Paris, or some

ostentatious institution of higher learning somewhere in Switzerland that only the super-rich can ever afford to attend.
On the contrary, every one of the top most expensive colleges in the world is in the United States. While other countries with high tuitions, like Australia and the United Kingdom, come close and even average higher than the average U.S. education ($33,500 in the UK, versus $32,990 in the U.S.), the schools that truly charge astronomical rates are in U.S. borders. In places like mainland Europe, government funding takes care of most of the cost of university. No so in the U.S. So university educations get rather more expensive there, especially with the proliferation of private schools charging massive tuitions as a way to further weed out students. By the way, if you decide to go to an expensive college don’t waste your time and major in most useless college degree of all time.
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10. Bard College at Simon’s Rock, Massachusetts – $50,200

Bard College at Simon's Rock, Massachusetts

A division of the larger Bard College in New York, this four-year residential liberal arts college is what’s known as an ‘early college’–students enroll after 10th or 11th grades, rather than after their senior year of high school. It was the first school ever to do this and remains the only one that pursues this policy with every single one of its students. The school’s educational system is highly rated–beyond the typical ‘college rankings,’ investigators who looked at the school’s academic techniques and the achievement of its students rated it on par with most of the Ivy League schools–which, interestingly, are not among the most expensive colleges in the world. 

9. Franklin and Marshall College, Pennsylvania – $50,400

Franklin and Marshall College, Pennsylvania Most Expensive Colleges in the World

Another small liberal-arts institution, Franklin and Marshall College–also known as F&M–consistently appears about halfway down the list, somewhere in the 30s, on most of the rankings of school quality, diversity, and rigorousness. It is considered the best in the nation for faculty accessibility, however, as professors make themselves readily available and often work closely with students to improve their academic performance. 

8. Carnegie Mellon University, Pennsylvania – $50,400

Carnegie Mellon University, Pennsylvania

Originally founded as the Carnegie Technical School by Andrew Carnegie around the year 1900, this institution became a true degree-granting four-year college known as the Carnegie Institute of Technology twelve years later. In 1967, the school merged with the Mellon Institute to become Carnegie Mellon University. Today, the school holds a prestigious place–though not the most prestigious place–among the world’s colleges, ranking 22nd and 65th worldwide, according to two different studies or worldwide education. 

7. George Washington University, D.C. – $50,400

George Washington University, D.C.

Until the last few years, George Washington University frequently topped the list as the single most expensive college in the world. But other institutions have caught up, however, and it ranks seventh total. The Times Higher Education review put George Washington on its list of Top 100 Schools Producing Millionaires, ranking it 52nd on the list. Those millions may prove necessary when it comes time pay back your student loans, if this is where you chose to go to college. 

6. Amherst College, Massachusetts – $50,500

Amherst College, Massachusetts

Amherst is one of the few colleges on this list that ranks higher in terms of educational quality than it does in terms of cost. Among liberal arts colleges, U.S. News and World Reports ranked Amherst College second in the nation, ninth out of all colleges and universities in the country. 

5. Oberlin College, Ohio – $50,500

Oberlin College, Ohio

Yet another pricey private liberal arts institution, Oberlin College ranks among the first institutes of higher learning to admit women and African-Americans into its educational programs. It also boasts the oldest continuously-operating music school in the country, the Oberlin Conservatory. 

4. Tufts University, Massachusetts – $50,600

Tufts University, Massachusetts Expensive Colleges

Another private institution–as every college on this list is–Tufts University is a research institution founded by Christian Universalists looking for an alternative to the Methodist, Lutheran, Baptist, and Catholic colleges that abounded in the mid-1850s. They eventually succeeded with the help of Charles Tufts, who donated the land because he wanted to see “the light set on the hill.” 

3. Trinity College, Connecticut – $50,800

Trinity College, Connecticut

This liberal arts school is the second oldest in Connecticut after Yale University. The school was ranked 46th among the nation’s liberal arts colleges, which it apparently did not appreciate. It shortly thereafter joined the Annapolis Group, comprised of a number of liberal arts colleges who refuse to acknowledge the U.S. News and World Report’s’ rankings of colleges. 

2. Sarah Lawrence College, New York – $51,000

Sarah Lawrence College, New York

While it’s the second-highest ranked in terms of expense, Sarah Lawrence College has repeatedly been ranked among the best in the United States for its quality of faculty. The professors here are reputed to truly care about their students, and the college operates on the Oxford model, where student-teacher interactions are kept at an absolute maximum, and one-on-one interaction is encouraged. 

1. Vassar College, New York – $51,300

Vassar College, New York

Here it is–the most expensive of the most expensive colleges in the world. Originally founded as an all-women’s school, it still boasts a student body comprised largely of women. Today, it is thought to have the most selective admissions standards in the U.S. and has a historic relationship with Yale University.
One other college, Columbia University, which was the highest-priced college in the U.S. once, didn’t officially report its costs–so it’s anyone’s guess what the actual cost of attending Columbia will be.

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