There's no doubt that the cost of a college education is going up, but if you had a strong case of sticker shock when you saw the costs of a state university, you're really in for a shock when you read about our top five most expensive private colleges. With the top five coming in above $40,000 without adding the costs of housing, books and other associated expenses, these highly selective schools may cost nearly $250,000 by the time the student graduates depending on his or her chosen major.
Columbia University $45,290
Columbia is the oldest higher learning institution in New York, fifth oldest in the country and one of nine colonial universities founded before the American Revolution. Founded in 1754 in New York City, N.Y., Columbia administers the Pulitzer Prize and has been associated with more Nobel Prize laureates than any other higher learning institution in the world. Its graduates include 20 living billionaires and 9 Supreme Court Justices.
Vassar College $44,705
Vassar College is a 2,400 student Liberal Arts College located in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. It's 100 buildings include two national historic landmarks along with modern science and arts facilities. Ranked No. 14 among liberal arts colleges by U.S. News and World Reports, Vassar College has a student to teacher ratio of 8:1, with a majority of the faculty living on campus.
Trinity College $44,070
Trinity College is a 2,300 student Liberal Arts College located in Hartford, Conn. It is the second oldest college next to Yale and has a student to faculty ratio of only 10:1 offering 38 majors and 26 minors. Known as one of the most beautiful campuses in America, Trinity underwent a roughly $34 million renovation project in 2009 to restore the historic campus.
St. John's College $44,056
St. John's College has two campuses, one in Annapolis, Md. and the other in Santa Fe, N.M. It is one of the oldest higher learning institutions in the country receiving its charter in 1784. According to St. John's, the school focuses on a balanced and well-rounded education where students are required to study everything from music composition or performance to calculus and chemistry.
Connecticut College $43,990
Known as one of the "little ivies," Connecticut College is a liberal arts college located in New London, Conn. It was ranked No. 62 on the Forbes best colleges list and 37th on the U.S. News and World Report's best liberal arts school list. Sixty-six percent of all classes have less than 20 students, and standardized test scores are optional in the application process.
Tuition may be getting more expensive across the board, but these post secondary institutions stand out as having the highest fees in the country. However, for many the added cost is often worth it because it will help secure jobs for graduates. Add the costs of books and student housing to tuition and things are even more expensive.