Most Expensive Colleges Ranking Methodology

The Most Expensive Colleges ranking assesses the average net price of a college. Average Net Price is the total cost a typical first-year student should expect to pay after accounting for scholarships and grants. This does not include student loans. For four-year colleges this generally includes the cost of housing, food, and books.

1713 Colleges Assessed

At the time of analysis, our database contained records for 1,713 public and private, traditional four-year colleges and universities across the United States. For the purposes of this ranking, a "traditional" college is considered to be any accredited, non-profit post-secondary institution that primarily offers four-year degree programs (as opposed to two-year or less). Some colleges were not included in this ranking if: (1) they were not located in one of the 50 U.S. states, Puerto Rico, or the District of Columbia; (2) they had fewer than 100 full-time undergraduate students; or (3) they had insufficient data (see below).   Of the colleges that met the required qualifications, we were able to rank 1,656.

For more details about how we compute our rankings, click here.

Factors Considered

Average Net PriceAverage cost after financial aid for students receiving grant or scholarship aid, as reported by the college.U.S. Department of Education100.0%

Statistics obtained from the U.S. Department of Education represent the most recent data available, usually from either 2013–2014 or 20142015, as self-reported by the colleges.