100 Colleges Charge More Than $50K

Here’s a milestone Americans would prefer not to celebrate.

According to a recent report from the Chronicle of Higher Education, there are now exactly 100 colleges in this country that charge $50,000 or more per year for tuition, fees, room and board. Just call them the Cadillac Colleges.

More than a third of the schools on this list are new entries to the $50,000 club. Universities like Emory, Loyola and M.I.T. each had tuitions in the high 40s as of the 2009-2010 school year, but raised rates enough this school year to break the $50,000 hump. Perhaps the most notable new entry is the University of California, Berkeley, which now charges $50,649 and is the first, and so far, the only public university to make the list.

The most expensive school continues to be Sarah Lawrence College, which is charging $57,384 for the 2010-2011 school year, up from $55,788 the previous year.

Of course, these colleges are not the only ones to raise their rates. As we reported recently, the cost of college tuition increased by 7.9% for the 2010-2011 school year for both in-state four-year institutions and private nonprofit universities. However, the average private nonprofit university charges $27,293 for tuition and fees, which is certainly expensive, but even with room and board factored in, it is still likely to be at least $10,000 less than the universities on this list.

Unfortunately, the rising cost of college is clearly taking its toll on family finances. The average student loan debt for the class of 2009 was an astounding $24,000, and given the difficult job market graduates are now facing, it’s unlikely these students will be able to pay those debts any time soon.

Before you commit to making such a heavy investment, check out MainStreet’s roundup of 10 colleges that are actually worth the money.

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