From time to time, various media outlets create the hardy perennial that is a list of the 10 most expensive colleges in the United States. These lists are all a little different. Virtually everyone agrees that Sarah Lawrence College is the most expensive, for example, but an outfit called Gothamist gives Bates College the dubious honor. Numbers 2-10 are never quite the same. We scoured a bunch of lists to find the 10 schools that show up as most expensive most often. Forget order. We can say with confidence that all 10 of these undergrad schools are absurdly expensive. Today, we present...
Claremont, California (in the eastern reaches of suburban Los Angeles)
Annual tuition, fees, and room and board: $56,268
Students who apply to Harvey Mudd also frequently apply to: California Institute of Technology, Claremont McKenna College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Random rankings: #18 (U.S. News, national liberal arts colleges), #4 (Washington Monthly, Liberal Arts Colleges)
$56,268 perks: Students can access resources at nearby Pitzer, Scripps, Claremont McKenna, and Pomona Colleges (which all have exorbitant sticker prices in their own right). Also, according to a reputable 2010 report, Harvey Mudd grads make more money mid-career ($126,000 a year on average) than graduates of any other school in the country. Take that, Caltech.
Celebrity alumni: Jonathan Gay (the guy who created Flash software), George "Pinky" Nelson (the first American to walk in space with no tether)
What you could buy with $56,268 instead: 1990 Caterpillar 621E earth mover ($56,000, firm)