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Top 10 Most Expensive Colleges and Universities In The US Today. Photo KnowInsiders

Last year, millions of college students across the U.S. attended classes online rather than in person because of the pandemic.

Nevertheless, college tuition prices remained largely unchanged or even increased during the 2020–21 school year, especially at some of the country’s priciest institutions, according to a new report from ACE Cash Express, a loan provider.

The list of top 10 most expensive colleagues and universities in the US

10. Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H.

9. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

8. University of Southern California, Los Angeles

7. Brown University, Providence, R.I.

6. Scripps College, Claremont, Calif.

5. Barnard College, New York City

4. Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill.

3. Harvey Mudd College, Claremont, Calif.

2. Columbia University, New York City

1. University of Chicago, Chicago

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What Are The Most Expensive Colleges and Universities In The US Today?

10. Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H.

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Photo Getty

Average tuition costs: $77,152

Median early career pay: $77,600

Return On Investment (ROI): 6%

Dartmouth College is a private institution that was founded in 1769. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 4,170 (fall 2020), its setting is rural, and the campus size is 237 acres. It utilizes a quarter-based academic calendar. Dartmouth College's ranking in the 2022 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, #13. Its tuition and fees are $60,870.

Why Is College So Expensive?

There are a lot of reasons why college is so expensive these days. In general, college tuition prices have been creeping up thanks to factors such as inflation, decreased state funding, higher enrollment, and more. However, some schools can also be more expensive than others due to certain characteristics.

9. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

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Photo Getty

Average tuition costs: $77,264

Median early career pay: $78,300

ROI: 7%

Private vs. Public Colleges

Private universities tend to be more expensive than public ones, in part because of how they’re funded. While public schools receive funding from the federal, state, and local governments, private schools rely on donations and tuition money to cover costs. However, even though private colleges tend to be more expensive on paper, it’s possible for an expensive private school to have a lower net cost than a public school if it awards a significant amount of financial aid to its students.

8. University of Southern California, Los Angeles

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Photo Getty

Average tuition costs: $77,459

Median early career pay: $70,400

ROI: 5%

University of Southern California is a private institution that was founded in 1880. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 19,606 (fall 2020), its setting is urban, and the campus size is 226 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. University of Southern California's ranking in the 2022 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, #27. Its tuition and fees are $60,275.

7. Brown University, Providence, R.I.

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Photo Getty

Average tuition costs: $77,490

Median early career pay: $74,700

ROI: 6%

Brown University is a private institution that was founded in 1764. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 6,792 (fall 2020), its setting is city, and the campus size is 146 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Brown University's ranking in the 2022 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, #14. Its tuition and fees are $62,404.

6. Scripps College, Claremont, Calif.

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Photo Getty

Average tuition costs: $77,588

Median early career pay: $59,900

ROI: 3%

Scripps College is a women’s liberal arts college in Claremont, CA, known for its rigorous interdisciplinary curriculum. It is part of the Claremont College consortium. The campus is known for its Spanish Colonial Revival architecture and natural beauty. Scripps offers more than 65 majors and 2,000 courses through the Claremont consortium. The school’s most popular majors are in biology, psychology and the social sciences. Since the 1930s, the Scripps community has held afternoon tea on Wednesdays. Each graduating clasdesigns a mural on the Graffiti Wall.

5. Barnard College, New York City

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Photo Facebook

Average tuition costs: $78,044

Median early career pay: $64,300

ROI: 4%

4. Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill.

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Photo Getty

Average tuition costs: $78,654

Median early career pay: $68,800

ROI: 5%

Northwestern is an elite private university located in Evanston, Illinois in the Chicago Area. It is a mid-size institution with an enrollment of 8,284 undergraduate students. Admissions is extremely competitive as the Northwestern acceptance rate is only 9%. Popular majors include Economics, Psychology, and Journalism. Graduating 94% of students, Northwestern alumni go on to earn a starting salary of $58,900.

3. Harvey Mudd College, Claremont, Calif.

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Photo Facebook

Average tuition costs: $79,539

Median early career pay: $97,700

ROI: 8%

Harvey Mudd is a highly rated private college located in Claremont, California in the Los Angeles Area. It is a small institution with an enrollment of 894 undergraduate students. Admissions is extremely competitive as the Harvey Mudd acceptance rate is 14%. Popular majors include Engineering, Computational and Applied Mathematics, and Computer Science. Graduating 92% of students, Harvey Mudd alumni go on to earn a starting salary of $72,500.

2. Columbia University, New York City

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Photo Getty

Average tuition costs: $79,752

Median early career pay: $78,200

ROI: 7%

Columbia University is a private institution that was founded in 1754. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 6,170 (fall 2020), its setting is urban, and the campus size is 36 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Columbia University's ranking in the 2022 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, #2. Its tuition and fees are $63,530.

1. University of Chicago, Chicago

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Photo Getty

Average tuition costs: $81,531

Median early career pay: $70,400

ROI: 5%

The University of Chicago is an elite urban research university tucked away in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. UChicago’s broad core curriculum has been in place since the 1920s, and aims to teach students “how, not what, to think.” It requires coursework in the humanities, social and physical sciences, and a sequence in the historical development of a civilization. Research opportunities are plentiful. The school operates the Argonne National Laboratory in DuPage, Illinois, and the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory

for the Department of Energy. It’s also at the cutting edge of economics research, and has several Nobel Prize winners on faculty. Beginning with the Class of 2023, students whose families make less than $125,000 annually will have free tuition thanks to the UChicago Empower program.

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