2017 RANKING & REVIEWS
TOP RANKING MOST EXPENSIVE SCHOOLS IN THE WORLD


Where Are the Most Expensive Schools in the World to Attend in 2017?

A good education doesn’t usually come cheap, but at some of the most expensive colleges, it costs significantly more than most.

There are a number of prestigious and expensive schools that have a reputation for providing a top notch education — and they charge the most expensive college tuition you’ll find.

Some of the most expensive colleges in the world offer amenities and perks you just can’t find anywhere else. Others are Ivy League and have instant name recognition that opens doors when it comes time to launch a career.

Most Expensive Schools In The World

Award Emblem: Top 6 Most Expensive Schools in the World

According to Collegedata, the annual cost for a public college for the 2016-2017 academic year averages $24,610, and at a private college, it’s $46,320. But at the most expensive schools in the world, our list shows that you can plan to spend somewhere between $64,650 and $94,078 per year.

You may be surprised to learn that while there are two Ivy League schools on our list of the most expensive school, those two universities are not the most expensive college in the world.

In our article about the top six most expensive universities in the world, we’ll review what makes each of these schools a standout and which one charges the most expensive tuition. We’ll also review the types of fees that are charged by the world’s most expensive school.

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AdvisoryHQ’s List of the Top 6 Best Most Expensive Schools in the World

List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the school names below to go directly to the detailed review section for that school):


Top 6 Most Expensive Universities in the World | Brief Comparison & Ranking

Most Expensive Colleges in the World

Tuition & Fees (First-Year)

Location

Bard College

$67,627

Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, USA

Dartmouth College

$69,879

Hanover, NH, USA

Harvey Mudd College

$74,678

Claremont, CA, USA

London Business School

$94,055

(converted from £75,100 GBP)

London, UK

Sarah Lawrence College

$67,823

Bronxville, NY, USA

Yale University

$67,039

New Haven, CT, USA

Table: Top 6 Most Expensive Schools in the World | Above list is sorted alphabetically


Most Expensive Universities in the World FAQ | What Makes up the Tuition & Fees?

When first looking over the tuition and fees page of the most expensive colleges in the world, it can seem like the fees just keep adding up. The actual school tuition is only one part of what you pay when you attend the most expensive school in the world.

Beyond just paying the most expensive college tuition you’ll find at a lot of these schools, there are room, meals, and health insurance charges, and a variety of other fees included in the overall total you’ll pay to attend the most expensive colleges.

Most Expensive Colleges In The World

Image Source: Most Expensive Colleges in the World

Here’s a breakdown of the main fees you’ll find when researching the costs of the world’s most expensive universities:

Tuition

This is the main charge for attending classes, and it will usually be broken down by semesters at these expensive schools.

Room/Housing

This is the charge for living at the college during the school year.  You will occasionally run across a most expensive school that charges room and board together. Many of them split up the housing and meal charge.

Board/Meals

This fee includes getting meals while going to school, usually at a choice of one or more main cafeterias. Some of the most expensive universities in the world also have several meal plan options to choose from, like Sarah Lawrence College does.

Health Insurance

The fee for health insurance is often optional at the most expensive universities if you have a waiver signed or have coverage under a parent’s health plan.

Books

Books are rarely included in the totals for the most expensive tuition estimates, because they vary according to classes. But many schools will include rough estimates.

Student Activity Fee

This fee covers miscellaneous student activities and usually runs between $125 to $225 per year.

Miscellaneous Fees

You may run across a few other miscellaneous fees or options when you’re reviewing the most expensive college in the world, such as:

  • New student orientation fee
  • Computer package
  • Health services fee
  • Senior class dues
  • ID card fee
  • Security deposit

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Detailed Review – Top Ranking Best Most Expensive Colleges in the World

Below, please find a detailed review of each school on our list of most expensive schools in the world. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these most expensive colleges to score so highly in our selection ranking.



Bard College Review


Being founded in 1860, Bard College has a rich history and is grounded in teaching the liberal arts and sciences.

One of the reasons they landed on our list as a world’s most expensive school is they have an exceptionally low student to faculty ratio of 10:1. That personal attention is why they can charge one of the most expensive college tuition and fees.

Most Expensive Colleges

Image Source: Bard College | Most Expensive Colleges

You’ll never get bored touring the campus of this most expensive school. It contains more than 70 buildings, including three historic estates, and borders the Hudson River. You can also roam around 1,000 acres of fields and forest.

Highlights That Make Bard College Stand Out on Our List of Most Expensive Universities in the World

While this may not be the most expensive school in the world, they do have a high cost to attend. First-year students can expect to pay about $67,627. But there are reasons beyond the small student to teach ratio that allow them to charge a most expense tuition when compared to other schools.

Outstanding Faculty

It’s no surprise that the most expensive schools in the world has distinguished and award-wining members among their faculty. Top schools attract top talent.

Among the honored faculty that have taught at this most expensive school are:

  • Five MacArthur Fellows
  • Four Recipients of the Nobel Prize in Literature
  • Notable professionals: Soprano Dawn Upshaw, journalist Ian Buruma, composers Joan Tower and George Tsontakis, poet Robert Kelly, and writers Luc Sante and Francine Prose

Center for Civic Engagement

Bard College’s mission includes to inspire curiosity, a love of leaning, idealism, and a commitment to the link between higher education and civic participation. Their mission is embodied in their Center For Civic Engagement.

They may be considered a world’s most expensive school to attend, but they make it a point to teach civic duty and social consciousness. Their projects include:

  • Student-Led Initatives
  • Local Partnerships
  • Transforming Secondary Education
  • Innovations in Science and Sustainability
  • Student Opportunities
  • International Partnerships
  • Reimagining Prison Education
  • Engaged Liberal Arts and Sciences

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Dartmouth College Review


Dartmouth College is one of the prestigious schools in the Ivy League. It was founded in Hanover, New Hampshire in 1769 before the U.S. even became an independent nation. While it may not be the most expensive school in the world, it ranks high on the list of most expensive universities.

The school regularly ranks among the world’s great academic institutions in addition to the most expensive colleges in the world. In addition to 40 academic departments and programs, Dartmouth also has three professional schools.

Highlights That Make Dartmouth College Stand Out on Our List of Most Expensive Schools in the World

As a first-year student, you can expect to pay about $69,879, but even though this is among the most expensive schools, they do try to make the school affordable for as many as they can, noting that about 44 percent of undergraduates receive financial aid.

Lifelong Learning

Dartmouth isn’t just about getting a 4-year degree; it has a number of lifelong learning opportunities that they offer people of all ages. They may have the most expensive college tuition of many schools, but their other learning opportunities are much more affordable, some even free.

The ongoing learning opportunities of this world’s most expensive school include:

  • Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Dartmouth
  • Regular Campus Events
  • Dartmouth Libraries
  • Community Medical School Public Lecture Series
  • Tuck Executive Education at Dartmouth
  • Hopkins Center for the Arts
  • Hood Museum of Art
  • Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning
  • Office of Human Resources Courses and Workshops
  • Dartmouth Alumni Opportunities

Distinguished Graduate Schools

Another reason that Dartmouth deserves to be on the list of most expensive universities in the world is their top graduate school opportunities. They have four of them to choose from:



Harvey Mudd College Review


Located on the other side of the U.S. in Claremont, California is one of the premier engineering, science, and mathematics colleges in the country, Harvey Mudd College.

While the school may not be as well-known as some of the others on our most expensive colleges in the world list, there are some publications that rank it the most expensive college in the world for math and engineering degrees.

Highlights That Make Harvey Mudd College Stand Out on Our List of Most Expensive Schools in the World

They have the second most expensive tuition of the schools on our most expensive universities in the world list. A freshman or transfer student can expect to pay about $74,678 their first year, which includes a one-time $250 orientation fee.

Clinic Program

Harvey Mudd College gives its students an opportunity to collaborate with industry in their Clinic Program. Since inception in 1963, over 1,500 projects have been completed for more than 450 corporate, national laboratory, and agency sponsors.

This is another reason they can be the most expensive school in the world for science and engineering: they offer real world experience that can lead to internships and employment after graduation.

High Paying Career Prospects

When the median starting salary for the class of 2016 is $105,555, the fact that this is one of the most expensive colleges in the world comes into perspective. With that kind of earning potential, student debt can be paid off much sooner.

Some of their rankings deal with potential earnings:

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London Business School Review


If you’re looking for the ultimate in an MBA degree, then the most expensive school on our list, London Business School, would be the one. For a Master of Business Administration, you can expect to pay $94,055 (converted from £75,100 GBP), which also covers a Global Business Experience.

Most Expensive Universities

Image Source: Forbes | Most Expensive Colleges in the World

This is the most expensive college in the world for MBA programs, and they pride themselves on being at the center of global business for 50 years. Some of their global diversity statistics include:

  • 150,000 students from 130 countries have attended the school
  • 2,000 degree students from over 100 countries attend each year
  • 100% of the world’s leading financial institutions are represented in London

Highlights That Make London Business School Stand Out on Our List of Most Expensive Colleges in the World

Located in bustling London at the heart of international commerce, the location is part of the reason this is one of the most expensive colleges you’ll find. The school capitalizes on their cosmopolitan classroom feel by offering a diverse and rich connection to global business.

The World’s Most Flexible MBA

One reason that London Business School gives for being one of the most expensive schools in the world is that they have “the world’s most flexible MBA” program. Their curriculum can be tailored specifically to support a specific career path and can be finished in 15, 18, or 21 months.

Some of the flexibility offered if you get a degree at this most expensive school includes:

  • Over 70 electives and applied learning opportunities
  • Integrated project work
  • International exchanges
  • Internships at prestigious companies

Outstanding Rankings

When you’re ranked #1 in the international MBA rankings for a two-year MBA program by Forbes, you can charge the most expensive college tuition.

The London Business School has a number of other impressive rankings as well from publications like Bloomberg Business Week and Financial Times, which make it no surprise that this is the most expensive college in the world for a MBA.



Sarah Lawrence College Review


Liberal arts school Sarah Lawrence College has a number of creative alumni, such as director J.J. Abrams (class of ’88). The school is located near New York City, in Bronxville, NY., and is one of the most expensive universities in the world.

The school was founded in 1926 and is continuously ranked among the leading liberal arts colleges in the country. The campus of this most expensive school occupies 44 wooded acres and is just a 30-minute train ride into Midtown Manhattan.

Highlights That Make Sarah Lawrence College Stand Out on Our List of Most Expensive Schools in the World

If you’re choosing the #1 meal plan at this pick for most expensive universities in the world, then you can expect to pay about $67,823 to attend. However, the school offers a break from their full tuition with an optional fee per instruction, per credit.

Flexible Meal Plans

Of all the schools on our list of the most expensive colleges in the world, Sarah Lawrence has one of the most flexible meal plans of all, with several different choices.

The options range from $2,598 per semester, offering 19 meals per week, to $610 per semester, which offers 16 meals total and 375 units of credit, which is about 1 meal per week and some al la carte purchases.

That meal plan flexibility can help to shave thousands off the tuition and fees for this most expensive college in the world.

Notable Alumni

When you look over the list of alumni, this does look to be the school to attend if you’re in the film or television arts. This may be one of the most expensive colleges in the world, but that doesn’t stop notable artists from attending in droves.

But art isn’t the only category where you’ll find famous alumni; they also have them in the business world, such as Vera Wang (class of ‘71), as well as in medicine, journalism, and more.

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Yale University Review


Yale University is the second Ivy League school on our list of the most expensive universities in the world. It has a rich history going back over 300 years and is nortoriously well-known for the secret Skull and Bones Society.

It’s somewhat expected that this New Haven, Connecticut university would be on our list of the most expensive schools in the world with that kind of heritage. The school is also well respected for its over 30 men’s and women’s varsity teams and top of the line athletic facilities.

Highlights That Make Yale University Stand Out on Our List of Most Expensive Universities in the World

If you can get past the admissions process and get accepted, you’ll be paying about $67,039 a year to attend one of the most expensive schools in the world. But for many, the pedigree of being a Yale graduate opens so many doors, it’s more than worth it.

World-Class Althetic Facilities

Yale has some of the finest and most expansive althetic facilities of any of the most expensive universities in the world. The facilities include a golf course, centers for tennis, polo, sailing, ice hockey, and more, which is another reason for them having some of the most most expensive college tuition and fees.

You can find helicopter views to give you a bird’s eye view of their many athletic facilities on their site here.

Yale and the World

You don’t hang around for 300 years as one of the most expensive colleges in the world without making some excellent international partnerships. Yale students enjoy a global connection that includes China, Africa, Europe, South America, and multiple other regions.

They ensure a global connection and provide a number of opportunities for global academics and research, including:

  • Centers & initiatives
  • Faculty research & activities
  • Library collections
  • Museums & galleries
  • Yale digital content
  • Open Yale courses

Conclusion – Top 6 Most Expensive Schools in the World

As you’re looking through the list of the most expensive colleges around, you may think that their costs and the most expensive tuition and fees are out of reach, but that may not be the case.

Most Expensive Universities In The World

Image Source: The Most Expensive School in the World

Many of the most expensive universities in the world have scholarships and financial aid packages that can help them become much more affordable. You’ll want to be sure to thoroughly review your options on their websites.

The bottom line is that even though these are the most expensive colleges in the world, they bring a lot to the table, from high future salary prospects to opening lifetime doors for alumni that makes their price tag a little more understandable.



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