The average annual cost of attending a private, four-year college or university climbed from less than $10,000 to more than $43,000 between 1986 and 2018. Even after accounting for inflation, tuition at private colleges and universities has more than doubled.
There are about 45 million Americans with outstanding student debt, totaling nearly $1.7 trillion — a higher debt burden than both credit card debt and auto loan debt. An estimated 62% of the members of the graduating class of 2019 have student loan debt, with an average burden of about $29,000, including both private and public school students.
The average cost to attend a private school is over $19,000 annually. And nearly every state is home to at least one four-year college or university that is much more expensive. Most states have at least one college that costs over $30,000 or even $40,000 per year.
To identify the most expensive college in every state, 24/7 Wall St. used data from the National Center for Education Statistics to rank all bachelor’s degree-granting schools based on net price — the annual cost of tuition, books, room and board, minus any financial aid — for full-time, first-time degree-seeking undergraduates students who received grant or scholarship aid for the 2018-19 school year.
The vast majority of schools that rank as the most expensive in their state are private schools. While many of these are liberal arts colleges, a number of institutions on this list are art schools or music conservatories. Though these schools cost tens of thousands of dollars per year, those with fine arts degrees tend to earn much less than those with other types of college educations. These are the highest and lowest paying college majors in America.
Click here to see the most expensive college in every state.
Click here to read our detailed methodology.
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