By Brian Burnsed

Tuition and required fees at these private schools are the highest in the nation

When many think of the most expensive schools in the nation, top ranked institutions such as Harvard University and Williams College likely first come to mind. While tuition and required fees cost about $40,000 annually at each school, neither is amongst the top 10 most expensive private universities.

Connecticut College, ranked 41st in U.S. News's rankings of national liberal arts colleges -- schools that award the majority of their degrees in the liberal arts and emphasize undergraduate education -- reported the highest tuition and required fee costs in the nation among private colleges for the 2010-11 school year. In all, tuition and required fees at Connecticut cost $43,990, and the total cost of attending the school is even more, as that figure does not take into account books, housing, and living expenses.

Of the top 10 most expensive private schools, seven were liberal arts colleges, while two -- Columbia University and Carnegie Mellon University -- are national universities (schools that offer degrees of every level and emphasize research). Bard College at Simon's Rock in Barrington, Mass., which costs $41,990 annually, is ninth on the list and falls under the regional college category because it focuses on undergraduate education but grants fewer than 50 percent of its degrees in the liberal arts.

The average combined total for tuition and required fees in the 2010-11 school year was $42,604 among the 10 most expensive private schools, compared to an average of $26,079 among the 817 private schools that reported the data to U.S. News.

Below is the complete list of the most expensive private schools in terms of the combined cost of tuition and required fees (figures do not include room and board, books, and other miscellaneous costs):


University Tuition U.S. News Rank
Source: U.S. News & World Report
Connecticut College$43,99041, National Liberal Arts Colleges
Columbia University$43,3044, National Universities
Vassar College$43,19012, National Liberal Arts Colleges
St. John's College (MD)$42,592166, National Liberal Arts Colleges
Trinity College$42,42036, National Liberal Arts Colleges
Bucknell University$42,34230, National Liberal Arts Colleges
St. John's College (NM)$42,192187, National Liberal Arts Colleges
Wesleyan University$42,08412, National Liberal Arts Colleges
Bard College at Simon's Rock$41,99020, Regional Colleges (North)
Carnegie Mellon University$41,94023, National Universities

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10 Most Expensive Private Colleges