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Most expensive colleges: GU, GWU getting cheaper?

The latest edition of CampusGrotto's tally of most expensive colleges is out. It's trivial, I guess, but oddly addictive.

Colleges presumably go to great lengths to avoid being at the top of this list, which members of the news media tap when they write about some of the nation's more expensive schools.

There has been much talk lately of an upper limit to what families are willing to pay, considering the steep rise in tuitions since the 1980s and the lingering economic downturn. There was a collective shudder when several colleges reached the $40,000 tuition threshold in the last couple of years.

Middlebury College, which has fallen (in a good way) from 17th to 24th on this list, froze its comprehensive fee at inflation plus one, which doesn't sound like much, but -- trust me -- it's less than the average annual increases at many of its peer schools over the past decade.

George Washington University gets unfairly maligned on this list, because it has an unusual policy of charging students the same tuition for all four years. (Actually, as many as five years, I believe.) GWU is down several spots on this year's list. Georgetown, too, has moved down, suggesting that both schools have either minimized tuition increases or capped living expenses.

Here's the top 20, in tuition, fees and living expenses, courtesy of CampusGrotto. The plus or minus figure shows how their rank has changed since last year. (A dash means no change.)

1. Sarah Lawrence College $56,420 -
2. New York University $53,589 -
3. Wesleyan University $53,406 +8
4. Harvey Mudd College $53,331 +5
5. Bates College $53,300 -1
6. Johns Hopkins University $53,190 -
7. Connecticut College $53,110 +1
8. Claremont McKenna College $52,995 +4
9. The George Washington University $52,980 -6
10. Scripps College $52,686 +13
11. Bard College $52,650 +8
12. Vassar College $52,640 -2
13. Bard College at Simon's Rock $52,610 +9
14. Haverford College $52,606 +1
15. Georgetown University $52,526 -8
16. Bowdoin College $52,465 -
17. Eugene Lang College $52,440 +24
18. Duke University $52,405 +9
19. University of Chicago $52,341 +9
20. Union College (NY) $52,329 +15

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By Daniel de Vise  | October 20, 2010; 11:10 AM ET
Categories:  Administration, Finance, Rankings  | Tags:  GWU, Georgetown, highest tuition, most expensive colleges, most expensive universities  
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How about a list of the least expensive colleges?

Posted by: allenwrothenberg | October 20, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Does this list include out-of-state tuition at state universities, or only in-state tuition, when making the comparison?

Posted by: AnonymousBE1 | October 20, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Your wish is my command...

Posted by: WesD | October 20, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

"Cheap" is not a synonym for "inexpensive.

The former suggests a product of little value while the latter means "of a low price."

Posted by: jbartelloni | October 21, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

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