It is no secret that attending college or university can be a costly undertaking. Often people associate big names from the academic world such as Harvard, Oxford, and Yale with the largest price tag, however, this is not always the case. You will see mainly private institutions on the list. We will give you a countdown of the top ten most expensive universities and colleges in the world. Also, this list is the same as the most expensive universities in the USA because they are all universities in the United States.

Most Expensive Universities in the World and in the US

10. Trinity College

We start our countdown of the most expensive universities in the world with Trinity College, located in Hartford, Connecticut. This private liberal arts college was originally named Washington College when it was founded in 1823, which makes it the second oldest college in the state of Connecticut, after Yale University.

The college currently houses 2,117 undergraduate students. Trinity College prides itself on allowing every student to choose their own academic path and pursue any kind of career.

In their own words, they are strong believers in transcending boundaries and putting standard definitions of academics aside. They do so by offering their students more than 900 programs in 41 majors and 200 internship options.

Trinity College has been home to five Pulitzer Prize winners in the past and other notable alumni include Charles R. Perrin (former CEO of Duracell), Sam Kennedy (CEO of the Boston Red Sox), and David Gottesman (founder of First Manhattan Co. and American billionaire).


9. Boston College

Boston College takes the ninth spot on the most expensive universities with its confirmed 2019/2020 undergraduate tuition that rings the register at USD $57,640.

The liberal arts college was established in 1863 in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, and has a total enrolment of 14,500 students. The private institution was founded by The Society of Jesus, these values are still upheld today.

Boston College offers its students a total of 58 majors throughout eight different schools, including the College of Arts and Sciences, the Law School, the College of Advancing Studies, and the William F. Connell School of Nursing.

After obtaining their bachelor’s degree, students are able to continue their master’s and doctoral degrees at Boston College.


8. Tufts University

Tufts University is a private research university that operates under the Latin motto of “Pax et Lux”, which translates to “Peace and Light”. The campus is located in Medford and Somerville, Massachusetts, and was founded in 1852 by a Christian theology called the Christian universalists.

The university houses 12 different schools, including the School of Dental Medicine, the School of Biomedical Sciences, and the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, the only veterinary school in the state of New England.

The Cummings School offers a four-year program that includes One Health, a program that focuses on international medicine, wildlife, and human-animal interactions and the risks they bring.

The university is home to around 12,000 students that mostly all reside on its 150 acres of campus.


7. Amherst College

Amherst College has stayed on the smaller side compared to some of the institutions on our countdown of the most expensive universities in the world.

Since it was founded in 1821 in Amherst, Massachusetts the college currently has a student population of 1,849, of which the majority live on their 1,000 acres rural campus in one of the 34 residence halls.

Students are able to obtain their Bachelor of Arts degree in 40 majors in sciences, humanities, social sciences, and the arts. Students are free to choose their own direction and carry out more than one of these majors, design their own interdisciplinary major, study abroad, or engage in scholarships.

The university operates under the Latin motto “Terras Irradient”, which translates to “Let them enlighten the Lands”.

For the upcoming class of 2023, the college received a total of 10,567 applications and accepted 1,144 of these, which makes them a competitive school with an acceptance rate of 10.8%.

The Wall Street Journal awarded Amherst College with the title of best liberal arts college in the United States for 2018/2019 and Forbes placed them 16th out of all universities and colleges in the United States in 2018.


6. Columbia University

We have come to the only Ivy League institution on our list, Columbia University. This private university was founded in 1754 and was formerly known under the names King’s College and Columbia College.

The institution sits near the Upper West Side of Manhattan, New York, and has its name etched into the top ten-ranking universities of the world.

In 2019, the university has close to 9,000 students enrolled and in the academic year of 2017/2018, 2,145 undergraduate degrees were awarded.

Students can choose from a wide variety of majors throughout many departments offered by their 16 schools, including the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Columbia Law School, and the School of Professional Studies.


5. University of Chicago

The University of Chicago takes the sixth spot on the list of the most expensive universities in the world. This private institution has its campus located in the Hyde Park area of Chicago, Illinois.

The university was founded in 1890 by John Rockefeller and commenced its first lectures two years later in 1892. It has grown to currently have a student population of around 14,000.

The school is among the most prestigious in the world and according to The Times Higher Education is tenth on the World University Rankings of 2019.

It is famous for its abundance of extracurricular activities, excellent educational programs, and world-class researchers it has put forward.

A couple of fun facts about the university, former US president Barack Obama taught at the Law School within the university for more than 10 years before being elected president. The school also has more than 90 Nobel Prize winners in its ranks of alumni and (former) staff members.


4. Vassar College

This liberal arts college in the city of Poughkeepsie, New York, was founded in 1861 as the first American college that gave women the same opportunities as men to pursue an academic career.

Vassar College is part of the Seven Sisters, the first American liberal arts institution that awarded degrees to women. Today, the university is home to 2,456 students, of which women are still the majority and 342 faculty members.

Its students have a range of 51 majors to choose from and follow their own academic path as they are encouraged by the college to take a multidisciplinary approach to their degree.

The institution is one of the most competitive on our list as 691 of the 8,961 applicants were recently admitted to the future class of 2023, meaning an admission rate of 23.7%.


3. Reed College

Reed College is another liberal arts college located in the northeast of the United States and is one of the most expensive universities in the world. The college is on the smaller side with 1,400 students.

It is located in Portland, Oregon, the university is relatively young as it was founded in 1908 and lectures started in 1911. It offers students programmes across its 26 departments including Art, Theatre, Classics, Chinese, Economics and many more.

Many of the programmes have a focus on humanities, especially the department of Classics, as that is one of the main priorities the university has in carrying out its teachings. The university houses no fraternities or sororities and few extracurricular activities as the focus truly lie on academics.

Notable alumni at Reed College include Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger, philanthropist Peter Norton and author David Eddings.


2. Harvey Mudd College

Located in Claremont, California, Harvey Mudd College (HMC) is a private undergraduate engineering and science college that focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and liberal arts courses.

The foundation of their teachings consists of courses within these STEM disciplines as well as Humanities, Social Sciences, and the Arts (HSA).

After establishing this base, students are able to explore their interests in the academics through their major, which are often interdisciplinary and end with a research project.

HMC is a residential college where students live throughout the four years they attend school in one of the nine residence halls.


1. Franklin and Marshall College

As we have come to the end of our list of most expensive universities in the world, we have listed Franklin and Marshall College (F&M) which enrolls students for a tuition fee of USD $58,615 per year.

This private liberal arts college in Lancaster in the state of Pennsylvania was established in 1787 as Franklin College and currently houses approximately 2,300 students and 175 academic staff members.

Students all reside on the 220 acres campus, 80 miles outside the heart of Philadelphia, and have a variety of fields of study to compose their degree from.

F&M also has a campus in Bath, England for students to be able to study abroad on the Advanced Study in England program.


We hope that this article on the most expensive universities in the world and US was helpful. To know more information on studying abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students.

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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