Special Report

Most Expensive Colleges in Every State

skynesher / Getty Images

Over the past three decades, the average cost of four-year college tuition at a public institution in the United States has roughly tripled — and that is after adjusting for inflation. Over roughly the same period, college costs have increased at approximately eight times the rate of wages. Here is a year-by-year look at how the cost of college has climbed in recent decades

Because of the complex web of institutional funding programs, including student aid, grants, work-study, and loans, however, the top-line cost of attending college — the figure the public most commonly sees —  is often very different from what students actually pay. And the cost of attending college after tuition discounts still varies considerably by type of institution, family financial status, academic performance in the first year of college, and a range of other factors, including the geographic location of the institution.

To identify the most expensive college in every state, 24/7 Wall St. ranked states based on the average net price — the cost of attendance including tuition and fees, books and supplies, and on-campus room and board less any grant, scholarship, or aid from federal, state, local governmental or institutional sources — for full-time, first-time degree-seeking undergraduates who were awarded financial aid for the 2016-7 school year with data from the National Center for Education Statistics. Colleges that have four-year degree programs but are primarily two-year schools were excluded from consideration.

The most expensive schools in each state often have very little in common and vary a great deal in selectivity and prestige. In smaller states with fewer postsecondary institutions, some of the schools have relatively high acceptance rates. In larger states with more expensive schools, the most expensive school tends to be highly selective. Here is a look at the hardest colleges to get into.

Click here to see the most expensive colleges in every state
Click here to read our methodology

Alabama: Tuskegee University
> Annual net price: $30,847
> Statewide avg. 4-yr. public university tuition: $10,870
> Tuskegee University admission rate: 50.3%
> Total state student grant aid spending per student: $380

See all stories featuring: Alabama

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Source: Courtesy of Alaska Pacific University

Alaska: Alaska Pacific University
> Annual net price: $17,866
> Statewide avg. 4-yr. public university tuition: $7,820
> Alaska Pacific University admission rate: 86.0%
> Total state student grant aid spending per student: $940

See all stories featuring: Alaska
Source: Embry-Riddle Prescott / Wikimedia Commons

Arizona: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Prescott
> Annual net price: $34,120
> Statewide avg. 4-yr. public university tuition: $11,540
> Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Prescott admission rate: 76.5%
> Total state student grant aid spending per student: $60

See all stories featuring: Arizona
Source: John Brown University

Arkansas: John Brown University
> Annual net price: $22,338
> Statewide avg. 4-yr. public university tuition: $8,710
> John Brown University admission rate: 75.8%
> Total state student grant aid spending per student: $950

See all stories featuring: Arkansas

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Source: BART

California: San Francisco Art Institute
> Annual net price: $52,451
> Statewide avg. 4-yr. public university tuition: $9,870
> San Francisco Art Institute admission rate: 74.7%
> Total state student grant aid spending per student: $1,180

See all stories featuring: California

Source: Photo by Steven D Starr / Corbis via Getty Images

Colorado: University of Denver
> Annual net price: $35,163
> Statewide avg. 4-yr. public university tuition: $11,140
> University of Denver admission rate: 58.0%

See all stories featuring: Colorado

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Source: Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Connecticut: Sacred Heart University
> Annual net price: $40,177
> Statewide avg. 4-yr. public university tuition: $12,760
> Sacred Heart University admission rate: 60.3%

See all stories featuring: Connecticut

Source: Wesley College

Delaware: Wesley College
> Annual net price: $23,823
> Statewide avg. 4-yr. public university tuition: $12,700
> Wesley College admission rate: 61.5%
> Total state student grant aid spending per student: $580

See all stories featuring: Delaware

Source: Courtesy of Ringling College of Art and Design

Florida: Ringling College of Art and Design
> Annual net price: $49,828
> Statewide avg. 4-yr. public university tuition: $6,360
> Ringling College of Art and Design admission rate: 63.9%
> Total state student grant aid spending per student: $550

See all stories featuring: Florida

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Georgia: Savannah College of Art and Design
> Annual net price: $41,738
> Statewide avg. 4-yr. public university tuition: $8,580
> Savannah College of Art and Design admission rate: 92.9%
> Total state student grant aid spending per student: $2,030

See all stories featuring: Georgia

Source: nesneJkraM / Getty Images

Hawaii: Hawaii Pacific University
> Annual net price: $28,706
> Statewide avg. 4-yr. public university tuition: $10,800
> Hawaii Pacific University admission rate: 74.7%
> Total state student grant aid spending per student: $80

See all stories featuring: Hawaii

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Source: Stevens-Henager College

Idaho: Stevens-Henager College
> Annual net price: $25,998
> Statewide avg. 4-yr. public university tuition: $7,590
> Stevens-Henager College admission rate: N/A
> Total state student grant aid spending per student: $130

See all stories featuring: Idaho

Source: Daniel Boczarski / Getty Images

Illinois: School of the Art Institute of Chicago
> Annual net price: $45,728
> Statewide avg. 4-yr. public university tuition: $13,970
> School of the Art Institute of Chicago admission rate: 69.8%
> Total state student grant aid spending per student: $750

See all stories featuring: Illinois

Indiana: Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
> Annual net price: $41,536
> Statewide avg. 4-yr. public university tuition: $9,490
> Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology admission rate: 60.9%
> Total state student grant aid spending per student: $1,110

See all stories featuring: Indiana

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Source: Wolterk / Getty Images

Iowa: Grinnell College
> Annual net price: $29,492
> Statewide avg. 4-yr. public university tuition: $9,080
> Grinnell College admission rate: 28.9%
> Total state student grant aid spending per student: $390

See all stories featuring: Iowa

Source: Kansas Wesleyan University

Kansas: Kansas Wesleyan University
> Annual net price: $25,631
> Statewide avg. 4-yr. public university tuition: $9,100
> Kansas Wesleyan University admission rate: 53.6%
> Total state student grant aid spending per student: $120

See all stories featuring: Kansas

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Source: Sullivan College of Technology and Design

Kentucky: Sullivan College of Technology and Design
> Annual net price: $27,930
> Statewide avg. 4-yr. public university tuition: $10,710
> Sullivan College of Technology and Design admission rate: 76.3%
> Total state student grant aid spending per student: $1,320

See all stories featuring: Kentucky

Source: Chris Graythen / Getty Images

Louisiana: Tulane University of Louisiana
> Annual net price: $33,886
> Statewide avg. 4-yr. public university tuition: $9,550
> Tulane University of Louisiana admission rate: 21.5%
> Total state student grant aid spending per student: $1,310

See all stories featuring: Louisiana

Source: Courtesy of University of New England via Facebook

Maine: University of New England
> Annual net price: $33,204
> Statewide avg. 4-yr. public university tuition: $10,230
> University of New England admission rate: 80.7%
> Total state student grant aid spending per student: $380

See all stories featuring: Maine

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Maryland: Maryland Institute College of Art
> Annual net price: $41,386
> Statewide avg. 4-yr. public university tuition: $9,900
> Maryland Institute College of Art admission rate: 61.6%
> Total state student grant aid spending per student: $450

See all stories featuring: Maryland

Source: nasacommons / Flickr

Massachusetts: Worcester Polytechnic Institute
> Annual net price: $43,027
> Statewide avg. 4-yr. public university tuition: $13,200
> Worcester Polytechnic Institute admission rate: 48.5%
> Total state student grant aid spending per student: $300

See all stories featuring: Massachusetts

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Source: Bryan Duggan / Wikimedia Commons

Michigan: Kettering University
> Annual net price: $37,703
> Statewide avg. 4-yr. public university tuition: $13,420
> Kettering University admission rate: 70.3%
> Total state student grant aid spending per student: $280

See all stories featuring: Michigan

Source: sshepard / Getty Images

Minnesota: University of St Thomas
> Annual net price: $31,470
> Statewide avg. 4-yr. public university tuition: $11,540
> University of St Thomas admission rate: 84.2%
> Total state student grant aid spending per student: $870

See all stories featuring: Minnesota

Mississippi: Millsaps College
> Annual net price: $23,413
> Statewide avg. 4-yr. public university tuition: $8,420
> Millsaps College admission rate: 48.9%
> Total state student grant aid spending per student: $270

See all stories featuring: Mississippi

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Source: pauladamsphotos / Flickr

Missouri: Conception Seminary College
> Annual net price: $32,239
> Statewide avg. 4-yr. public university tuition: $8,670
> Conception Seminary College admission rate: 100.0%
> Total state student grant aid spending per student: $520

See all stories featuring: Missouri

Source: Dngvandaele / Wikimedia Commons

Montana: Carroll College
> Annual net price: $26,636
> Statewide avg. 4-yr. public university tuition: $7,100
> Carroll College admission rate: 77.8%
> Total state student grant aid spending per student: $30

See all stories featuring: Montana

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Source: The Creative Center via Facebook

Nebraska: The Creative Center
> Annual net price: $36,338
> Statewide avg. 4-yr. public university tuition: $8,510
> The Creative Center admission rate: 65.1%
> Total state student grant aid spending per student: $230

See all stories featuring: Nebraska

Source: Courtesy of DeVry University

Nevada: DeVry University-Nevada
> Annual net price: $31,241
> Statewide avg. 4-yr. public university tuition: $7,660
> DeVry University-Nevada admission rate: 75.0%
> Total state student grant aid spending per student: $550

See all stories featuring: Nevada

Source: DeLarge77 / Wikimedia Commons

New Hampshire: Southern New Hampshire University
> Annual net price: $39,638
> Statewide avg. 4-yr. public university tuition: $16,460
> Southern New Hampshire University admission rate: 78.0%
> Total state student grant aid spending per student: $0

See all stories featuring: New Hampshire

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Source: Michael Bocchieri / Getty Images

New Jersey: Stevens Institute of Technology
> Annual net price: $38,469
> Statewide avg. 4-yr. public university tuition: $14,180
> Stevens Institute of Technology admission rate: 43.9%
> Total state student grant aid spending per student: $1,410

See all stories featuring: New Jersey

New Mexico: St. John’s College
> Annual net price: $31,845
> Statewide avg. 4-yr. public university tuition: $7,130
> St. John’s College admission rate: 63.2%
> Total state student grant aid spending per student: $1,290

See all stories featuring: New Mexico

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Source: Courtesy of Jewish Theological Seminary of America

New York: Jewish Theological Seminary of America
> Annual net price: $49,210
> Statewide avg. 4-yr. public university tuition: $8,190
> Jewish Theological Seminary of America admission rate: 52.7%
> Total state student grant aid spending per student: $1,110

See all stories featuring: New York

Source: Bandwidth47 / Wikimedia Commons

North Carolina: High Point University
> Annual net price: $39,101
> Statewide avg. 4-yr. public university tuition: $7,220
> High Point University admission rate: 80.7%
> Total state student grant aid spending per student: $820

See all stories featuring: North Carolina

Source: Courtesy of Trinity Bible College and Graduate School

North Dakota: Trinity Bible College and Graduate School
> Annual net price: $20,408
> Statewide avg. 4-yr. public university tuition: $8,660
> Trinity Bible College and Graduate School admission rate: 42.4%
> Total state student grant aid spending per student: $480

See all stories featuring: North Dakota

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Source: Theseus.u / Wikimedia Commons

Ohio: Cleveland Institute of Music
> Annual net price: $40,676
> Statewide avg. 4-yr. public university tuition: $10,790
> Cleveland Institute of Music admission rate: 43.1%
> Total state student grant aid spending per student: $290

See all stories featuring: Ohio

Oklahoma: Oklahoma City University
> Annual net price: $27,234
> Statewide avg. 4-yr. public university tuition: $8,750
> Oklahoma City University admission rate: 71.7%
> Total state student grant aid spending per student: $630

See all stories featuring: Oklahoma

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Source: Jed Jacobsohn / Getty Images

Oregon: Lewis & Clark College
> Annual net price: $35,872
> Statewide avg. 4-yr. public university tuition: $10,610
> Lewis & Clark College admission rate: 71.4%
> Total state student grant aid spending per student: $460

See all stories featuring: Oregon

Pennsylvania: Drexel University
> Annual net price: $40,977
> Statewide avg. 4-yr. public university tuition: $14,770
> Drexel University admission rate: 79.0%
> Total state student grant aid spending per student: $860

See all stories featuring: Pennsylvania

Source: Scott Wintrow / Getty Images

Rhode Island: Rhode Island School of Design
> Annual net price: $39,777
> Statewide avg. 4-yr. public university tuition: $12,530
> Rhode Island School of Design admission rate: 31.9%
> Total state student grant aid spending per student: $150

See all stories featuring: Rhode Island

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Source: Courtesy of Erskine College

South Carolina: Erskine College
> Annual net price: $34,550
> Statewide avg. 4-yr. public university tuition: $12,950
> Erskine College admission rate: 54.5%
> Total state student grant aid spending per student: $2,190

See all stories featuring: South Carolina

Source: Dakota Wesleyan University

South Dakota: Dakota Wesleyan University
> Annual net price: $20,948
> Statewide avg. 4-yr. public university tuition: $8,690
> Dakota Wesleyan University admission rate: 76.0%
> Total state student grant aid spending per student: $150

See all stories featuring: South Dakota

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Source: Courtesy of SAE Institute of Technology-Nashville via Facebook

Tennessee: SAE Institute of Technology-Nashville
> Annual net price: $36,730
> Statewide avg. 4-yr. public university tuition: $9,950
> SAE Institute of Technology-Nashville admission rate: N/A
> Total state student grant aid spending per student: $1,690

See all stories featuring: Tennessee

Source: Tom Pennington / Getty Images

Texas: Baylor University
> Annual net price: $37,745
> Statewide avg. 4-yr. public university tuition: $10,300
> Baylor University admission rate: 38.9%
> Total state student grant aid spending per student: $870

See all stories featuring: Texas

Source: Stevens-Henager College

Utah: Stevens-Henager College
> Annual net price: $27,665
> Statewide avg. 4-yr. public university tuition: $6,990
> Stevens-Henager College admission rate: N/A
> Total state student grant aid spending per student: $60

See all stories featuring: Utah

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Vermont: Landmark College
> Annual net price: $51,032
> Statewide avg. 4-yr. public university tuition: $16,610
> Landmark College admission rate: 58.0%
> Total state student grant aid spending per student: $650

See all stories featuring: Vermont

Source: Devry University

Virginia: DeVry University-Virginia
> Annual net price: $33,227
> Statewide avg. 4-yr. public university tuition: $13,490
> DeVry University-Virginia admission rate: 70.0%
> Total state student grant aid spending per student: $1,110

See all stories featuring: Virginia

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Source: Joe Mabel / Wikimedia Commons

Washington: University of Puget Sound
> Annual net price: $40,065
> Statewide avg. 4-yr. public university tuition: $9,760
> University of Puget Sound admission rate: 83.9%
> Total state student grant aid spending per student: $1,270

See all stories featuring: Washington

Source: Courtesy of Salem University

West Virginia: Salem University
> Annual net price: $19,540
> Statewide avg. 4-yr. public university tuition: $8,290
> Salem University admission rate: N/A
> Total state student grant aid spending per student: $1,140

See all stories featuring: West Virginia

Source: Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images

Wisconsin: Marquette University
> Annual net price: $32,377
> Statewide avg. 4-yr. public university tuition: $9,080
> Marquette University admission rate: 89.3%
> Total state student grant aid spending per student: $540

See all stories featuring: Wisconsin

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Source: Theo Stroomer / Getty Images

Wyoming: University of Wyoming
> Annual net price: $13,441
> Statewide avg. 4-yr. public university tuition: $5,400
> University of Wyoming admission rate: 96.8%
> Total state student grant aid spending per student: $750

See all stories featuring: Wyoming

Methodology

To identify the most expensive college in every state, 24/7 Wall St. ranked states based on average net price — the cost of attendance including tuition and fees, books and supplies, and on-campus room and board less any grant, scholarship, or aid from federal, state, local governmental or institutional sources — for full-time, first-time degree-seeking undergraduates who were awarded financial aid for the 2016-7 school year with data from the National Center for Education Statistics. Data on acceptance rates also came from the NCES. Colleges that have four-year degree programs but are primarily two-year schools were excluded from consideration.

Data on average published in-state tuition and fees at public four-year institutions for the 2018-19 school year and student needs-based grant aid spending per full-time-equivalent undergraduate student for the 2016-17 school year by state came from the College Board.

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