Before you send your kids off to college, you probably want to know the most expensive colleges in the US. You can never be too prepared for the cost of higher education. 

For example, did you know that the average annual budget for an in-state public school was $27,330 for the 2021-2022 academic year? A private college was $55,800. 

Keep in mind that these are just averages. But how much are the most expensive colleges in the US? 

This guide will explore the five most expensive colleges in the US. 

With that said, let’s begin. 

Top 5 Most Expensive Colleges In The US

1. California Institute Of Technology 

california institute of technology

Caltech is popular for its appearance on The Big Bang Theory, a highly successful situation comedy show. The legacy it has left behind, though, is entirely different.

Caltech has produced 40 Nobel laureates and is also home to several thriving businesses.

You’ll need about $84,000 to get an education at Caltech. The price tag may be massive. But it’s well-justified given the university provides fantastic possibilities and plans for students. 

Here’s a breakdown of the costs: tuition, housing and food, transportation, discretionary spending, textbooks and supplies, and others.

2. New York University

nyc university

Located in the heart of Manhattan, New York University is a prestigious private research institution. It was founded in 1831 as a home for Hamilton College, but it soon became an independent institution. 

It has been ranked as one of the world’s best universities by several publications, including:

  • Times Higher Education World University Rankings, 
  • U.S. News & World Report, and 
  • ARWU

NYU has the most Nobel laureates among American colleges and universities, with 26 Nobel Prizes won by alums or faculty members. 

It also has more distinguished alums than any other college or university in the U.S., with over 100 famous graduates like: 

  • Walt Disney and Arthur Miller (both writers), 
  • Jesse Jackson (civil rights activist), 
  • Bill Gates (Microsoft founder) and 
  • Jodie Foster (actress).

So it’s not surprising that it’s one of the most expensive colleges in the US. It can cost you about $65,860 to attend NYU. 

Also read: Where To Sell Books In NYC?

3. University of Chicago

University of Chicago

The University of Chicago is a prestigious private university in Chicago. It’s one of the most expensive colleges in America, with an annual tuition cost of $45,000. It also has an acceptance rate of 7%.

The University of Chicago was ranked first among all American universities on The Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings 2018. 

It was also ranked second globally after Harvard University in the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU). 

This university also offers its students many opportunities for research abroad, such as some programs at Princeton University and Oxford University.

The school has 15 Nobel Prize winners among its alums, including Milton Friedman and Richard Thaler.

4. The University of Southern California

University of Southern California

USC is a private research university in Los Angeles. It was founded in 1880 and is the oldest private research university in California. 

USC offers 137 different majors for undergraduate students. Students at USC also get access to programs such as study abroad opportunities and special events hosted by other organizations on campus.

The university has produced many billionaire graduates in the country (with 15 billionaires, according to Forbes). The university has been ranked as one of America’s top 10 universities for value by several sources, including: 

  • Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine, 
  • Princeton Review, 
  • Washington Monthly Magazine and 
  • Forbes Magazine.

USC is one of the most expensive colleges in the US, costing you about $64,482 to attend. 

5. University of Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania, also known as Penn or UPenn, is a private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia.

Founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1740, it has become one of the most prestigious universities in the world. 

The university consists of 12 professional and graduate schools and four undergraduate colleges. You can find some of the most expensive graduate programs at the University of Pennslyvania. 

There was around $20.5 billion in the University’s endowment as of 2021. In addition, more than 40 Nobel Prize winners and Justices or other Supreme Court justices are among the illustrious alums of the University of Pennsylvania. 

The University of Pennslyvania is number ten on Forbes’ “America’s Top Colleges.” 

It’s one of the most expensive colleges in the US because it can cost you around $78,044 to attend. 

Related: The Most Expensive College Textbooks

The Most Expensive Colleges In The US: Final Thoughts

Students who have the opportunity to attend the most expensive colleges in the US have a bright future ahead of them. 

However, they must also be prepared to pay if they want an education from one of these schools. 

Many factors decide which school is best for you and your family. 

But it’s important not to lose sight of what matters most when choosing the right school: quality teaching, affordability, and accessibility.