Family income, unfortunately, hasn't been growing enough to offset these increases, making it even more difficult for many people to afford higher education.
Although many students apply for scholarships and financial aid, there is still a substantial amount of student debt taken out each year to cover all the costs.
So, how much does a single year of college cost? For a four-year college, tuition alone can range from less than $1,500 to more than $50,000.
Using data from The College Board, we have compiled a list of 25 colleges in the United States with the highest tuition fees. Although only private four-year colleges make the list, public, private, and for-profit two- and four-year colleges were all considered.
These prices don't include room and board, books, health care, or any other fees that students may need to pay.
Click through to see if your college made the list.
25. Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Hobart and William Smith Colleges are independent liberal arts colleges that operate under a coordinate college system. The colleges share the same campus and faculty, but maintain their respective traditions, athletics and student government.
24. Dartmouth College
Dartmouth is a private research institution and is the only one of the Ivy League schools to follow the quarter system. This system allows students to choose when to stay on campus and when to take time for internships, community services or study abroad.
23. Colgate University
Colgate is a private liberal arts college whose Liberal Arts Core Curriculum is well regarded across the country. Under this curriculum, students must take courses including Legacies of the Ancient World, Communities and Identities and Scientific Perspectives on the World during their first two years.
22. Bard College
Bard is a private liberal arts college and conservatory that, in addition to inter-divisional programs and concentrations, offers courses of study in four divisions: arts; languages and literature; science, mathematics and computing; and social studies. The college has more than 35 affiliated programs, institutes and centers, including campuses in Boston, California, Germany, New York City and Russia.
21. University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university where students take an interdisciplinary approach to their research. Beyond their studies, undergraduates at the university have more than 400 student organizations from which to choose.
20. Hampshire College
Hampshire is a private liberal arts college that is well known for its alternative approach to curriculum. Students can personalize their programs of study and receive narrative evaluations, rather than receive grades or grade point averages to rate their course performances.
19. Wesleyan University
Wesleyan is a small, private liberal arts school that was one of the first New England institutions to go co-ed, enrolling four women during the fall of 1872. Today, students are able to choose from more than 900 courses each year and have the option to create, with the help of faculty, individual courses of interest.
18. University of Southern California
USC is a private research institution that is committed to combine liberal and professional education. The average unweighted GPA for entering 2014-2015 freshman class was 3.73, and 14% of these freshman were first-generation college students. Athletes at USC have won a combined 135 gold medals at the Olympics, representing more than 60 countries.
17. Tulane University
Tulane is a private research university where undergraduate students are registered into one of the five schools that houses their major in addition to the over-arching Newcomb-Tulane College. Many of Tulane's research, learning and community service opportunities have been affected by the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
16. Williams College
Williams is a private liberal arts college that meets 100% of all admitted students' demonstrated financial need for four years. 96% of students are involved in at least one of the 150 extracurricular activities available at the college.
15. Union College
Union is a private, non-denominational liberal arts college that aims to integrate the humanities and social sciences with science and engineering. Union offers a wide range of courses, as well as study abroad, research and internship opportunities.
14. Bucknell University
Bucknell is a private, mostly undergraduate liberal arts college on a 450-acre campus. All classes are taught by faculty members, and about 97% of faculty have a doctorate or other terminal degree.
13. Franklin & Marshall College
Franklin & Marshall is a four-year private liberal arts college where professors combine academic work with out-of-class learning, whether it is in labs, the community or abroad.
12. Amherst College
Amherst College is a private liberal arts four-year college and a member of the Five College Consortium, in which the colleges and university operate independently but share a number of institutions and resources. The college has a farm on campus, the Book & Plow Farm, through which students can work and intern to produce high-quality organic vegetables.
11. Bard College at Simon's Rock
Great Barrington, Mass.
Simon's Rock is a four-year liberal arts college that enrolls students directly after 10th or 11th grade in high school. About 50% of students receive associate's degrees after two years and transfer to other colleges and universities, while the other half stays to complete Bachelor of Arts programs at Simon's Rock.
10. Harvey Mudd College
Harvey Mudd is a private liberal arts college and a member of the Claremont Colleges, a consortium of colleges and universities that share institutional support services. Harvey Mudd specializes in science, engineering and mathematics.
9. Tufts University
Tufts is a private research university with two undergraduate programs and eight graduate schools. The university presents many opportunities for undergraduate students to take part in international study, internships, and research both locally and abroad.
8. Oberlin College
Oberlin is a private liberal arts college that was the first institution of higher education in the United States to admit African-American students. Oberlin was also the first college to grant bachelor's degrees to women in a coeducational program.
7. George Washington University
GW is a private, coeducational research university that is the largest institution of higher education in D.C. Students of the 10 schools and colleges have access to almost 100 research centers and institutes, as well as the diverse range of opportunities available throughout the nation's capital.
6. Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon is a private research university with a distinct interdisciplinary approach. About 96% of faculty members at the university have a Ph.D. or equivalent degree in their field, and students are encouraged to work across departmental lines.
5. Trinity College
Trinity is a private liberal arts college that is the second-oldest institute of higher education in Connecticut. All classes are taught by faculty members, not teaching assistants or graduate students, and more than 95% of the faculty at Trinity hold the highest degree in their field.
4. Vassar College
Vassar is a private liberal arts college that was originally founded as a women's college, though it is now coeducational. The college has one of the oldest college art collections in the country, as well as more than 400 acres of farm land where students and faculty can engage in research projects
3. Sarah Lawrence College
Sarah Lawrence is a private liberal arts college where students don't declare majors. Instead, students choose concentrations, which emphasize individualized courses of study. There are no graduate assistants, instructors or adjunct lecturers, and students have full access to all teachers.
2. Columbia University
Columbia is a private Ivy League research university and is the oldest institution of higher learning in New York. Columbia has three official undergraduate colleges: Columbia College, the liberal arts college that offers a Bachelor of Arts degree; the School of General Studies, the liberal arts college that offers a Bachelor of Arts degree for returning and non-traditional students; and Columbia Engineering, the engineering and applied science school that offers a Bachelor of Science degree.
1. Landmark College
Landmark College, a private college established in 1985, was the first college to serve students with dyslexia. Today, Landmark's two- and four-year programs are extended to students with other diagnosed learning disabilities or learning difficulties, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or autism spectrum disorder.