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The 10 most expensive colleges
College tuition for freshmen is costly in many places, but nowhere more so than at these schools.
October 28, 2005: 6:21 AM EDT
By Jeanne Sahadi, CNN/Money senior writer
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Here's a list of the most expensive tuition bills for 2005-06, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education. The figures do not include room, board or other costs of attendance.
George Washington U.$36,4007.0%
U of Richmond$34,85031.4%
Sarah Lawrence$34,0425.0%
Simon's Rock College of Bard$33,3647.0%
Hamilton (NY)$33,3505.2%
*Figures represent tuition and required fees for first-time, full-time undergrads.
Source:Chronicle of Higher Education

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Tuition at the most expensive four-year college is up only 2.7 percent from last year. But a small increase on an already big number is still gob-smacking.

Landmark College, the school with the priciest tuition since at least 1998, is charging $37,738 for tuition this year, according to data from the Chronicle of Higher Education. That's up $11,238, or 42 percent, from 1998.

Of course, not everyone is aiming to go to Landmark, a school in Putney, Vt. that provides a liberal arts education to kids with learning disabilities and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

But the price tag isn't that much lower at the other nine schools that charge the highest tuition.

George Washington University in Washington, D.C. ranks No. 2 with a tuition of $36,400, up 7 percent from last year.

The No. 3 school, the University of Richmond in Virginia, is charging $34,850, up a whopping 31.4 percent from last year.

The school's trustees cited several factors for the hike, but said it "will use a sizeable portion of the increased tuition revenue to continue its policy of meeting 100 percent of a student's demonstrated financial need." Sixty-five percent of the school's undergrads receive some form of financial aid, and the school places a $4,000-per-year cap on loans and work-study funding, which means the rest of a student's need would be met with grants, which don't need to be paid back.

Indeed, student aid is one of the reasons why costs have been rising at so many schools. So is the competitive drive to offer state-of-the-art facilities and increased healthcare costs for faculty and staff.

Meanwhile, Sarah Lawrence in Bronxville, N.Y. and Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio each charge roughly $34,000, a year-over-year increase of 5 percent at Sarah Lawrence and 5.5 percent at Kenyon. Poughkeepsie, N.Y.-based Vassar College, No. 6 on the list, posts a tuition of $33,800, up 7.8 percent from last year.

And to those who haven't heard of Simon's Rock College of Bard, No. 9 on the list, it's a college in Great Barrington, Mass. geared to students of high school age who typically have completed 10th or 11th grade. (See correction.)

What about State U.?

For students attending public colleges and universities, the tuition bills are significantly lower than those at private institutions if you're an in-state student. The tuition at the top 20 most expensive public schools ranges from $12,500 to $10,200.

But for out-of-state students, the price tag can be far steeper and on par with the cost of many private institutions. The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, for instance, charges $27,601 in tuition to out-of-state students, making it the No. 1 most expensive public school for out-of-state students.

Others in the top 5 are University of California at Davis, with a tuition of $25,277; University of Vermont, which charges $24,934; University of California at Santa Barbara, where out-of-state students pay $24,813; and University of California at Santa Cruz, where the tuition totals $24,769.

Tuition costs, of course, are not the whole nut. Including room and board, it costs an average of $29,026 to attend a four-year private college, and $12,127 to go to a four-year public university, according to the latest data from the College Board.

As is the case at the University of Richmond, a majority of students don't end up paying full-fare. Sixty-three percent of students receive some form of aid -- through loans, grants, work-study, tax benefits or all four.

Loans, of course, will eventually come due. But grants and tax benefits are money that doesn't need to be repaid. On average, full-time students at private institutions get $9,600 in grants and tax benefits, while at four-year public schools, they receive an average of $3,300, according to the College Board.

For more on the College Board's findings, click here.

Find the cost of any four-year college.

Correction: The article originally stated that Simon's Rock is "geared exclusively to students who completed high school early." In fact, it is geared toward students who completed the 10th or 11th grade, but did not receive a high school diploma. CNN/Money regrets the error. (Return to story.)


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