Special Report

Most Expensive Colleges in Every State

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The class of 2020 college graduates had quite the different commencement ceremonies, and they went into a job market upended by the COVID-19 pandemic. Though unemployment has improved considerably since the pandemic first hit, it reached over 14% in April 2020 – a high not seen since the Great Depression.

In October 2020, according to Pew Research Center, 69% of 20 to 29-years-old who had graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree or higher during the previous spring were employed, a considerably lower figure than the 78% share in October 2019. 

Once again, the age-old question of whether college is worth it has been debated. True, workers with a college education tend to earn considerably more than those with high school education, but the price of attending college has also increased considerably in recent decades, necessitating taking more and more debt. 

The average cost of college – both public and private institutions – more than doubled in the past 35 years after adjusting for inflation.

To identify the most expensive college in every state, 24/7 Wall St. used data from data from the National Center for Education Statistics, ranking schools based on average net price for full-time, first-time degree-seeking undergraduates who were awarded financial aid for the 2019-20 school year. Net price includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and on-campus room and board minus any grant, scholarship, or aid from federal, state, local governmental or institutional sources.

By and large, the schools on this list are private institutions. The cheapest college on this list is a public school, University of Wyoming, with a net price of $12,224. All other schools on this list range in price from just under $20,000 to almost $70,000. Utah’s Neumont College of Computer Science is the most expensive on the list with a net price of $69,400.

Many arts, liberal arts, and design colleges such as California Institute of the Arts, Rhode Island School of Design, and Massassuchettes’ New England Conservatory of Music are among the most expensive in their respective states. Others are affiliated with churches, such as Alaska Pacific University, Montana’s University of Providence, and Connecticut’s Sacred Heart University. (Find out which are the lowest paying jobs for college grads.)

There are also quite a few science and research universities on the list, including Arizona’s Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Prescott, Indiana’s Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, and Maine’s University of New England. Compared to other, often cheaper, universities, however, most have quite high admission rates. These are the hardest colleges to get into.

Click here to see the most expensive colleges in every state.

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 2019-20 school year with data from the National Center for Education Statistics. Only colleges that are predominantly bachelor’s-degree granting and have at least 250 students were considered. 

Data used to calculate acceptance rates for the 2019-2020 school year and undergraduate enrollment as of Fall 2020 also came from the NCES. Data on the median annual earnings of students six years after entry into the institution who are working, meant to capture graduate earning potential, are for the cohort of students who entered college in the 2003-04 or 2004-05 school year and are working in the 2014-2015 calendar year. Earnings data is in 2017 dollars.

Source: Courtesy of Alaska Pacific University

Alaska: Alaska Pacific University
> Avg. annual net price: $20,944
> Admission rate: 90.7%
> Fall 2020 undergraduate enrollment: 312
> Median annual earnings 6 yrs. post graduation: $40,200
> Located: Anchorage, AK

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Alabama: Tuskegee University
> Avg. annual net price: $36,528
> Admission rate: 61.1%
> Fall 2020 undergraduate enrollment: 2,280
> Median annual earnings 6 yrs. post graduation: $35,500
> Located: Tuskegee, AL

Arkansas: John Brown University
> Avg. annual net price: $21,578
> Admission rate: 58.9%
> Fall 2020 undergraduate enrollment: 1,820
> Median annual earnings 6 yrs. post graduation: $45,800
> Located: Siloam Springs, AR

Source: Courtesy of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Arizona: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Prescott
> Avg. annual net price: $36,356
> Admission rate: 66.8%
> Fall 2020 undergraduate enrollment: 2,961
> Median annual earnings 6 yrs. post graduation: $66,200
> Located: Prescott, AZ

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California: California Institute of the Arts
> Avg. annual net price: $59,367
> Admission rate: 27.4%
> Fall 2020 undergraduate enrollment: 762
> Median annual earnings 6 yrs. post graduation: $37,900
> Located: Valencia, CA

Source: Faina Gurevich / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

Colorado: University of Denver
> Avg. annual net price: $38,322
> Admission rate: 60.7%
> Fall 2020 undergraduate enrollment: 5,699
> Median annual earnings 6 yrs. post graduation: $56,500
> Located: Denver, CO

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Source: Courtesy of sacredheart.edu

Connecticut: Sacred Heart University
> Avg. annual net price: $43,313
> Admission rate: 65.5%
> Fall 2020 undergraduate enrollment: 6,417
> Median annual earnings 6 yrs. post graduation: $56,000
> Located: Fairfield, CT

Delaware: Wesley College
> Avg. annual net price: $25,549
> Admission rate: 58.6%
> Fall 2020 undergraduate enrollment: 813
> Median annual earnings 6 yrs. post graduation: $42,900
> Located: Dover, DE

Source: Courtesy of Ringling College of Art and Design

Florida: Ringling College of Art and Design
> Avg. annual net price: $53,496
> Admission rate: 68.5%
> Fall 2020 undergraduate enrollment: 1,624
> Median annual earnings 6 yrs. post graduation: $33,200
> Located: Sarasota, FL

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Source: MichaelWarrenPix / iStock Unreleased via Getty Images

Georgia: Savannah College of Art and Design
> Avg. annual net price: $45,798
> Admission rate: 77.9%
> Fall 2020 undergraduate enrollment: 11,679
> Median annual earnings 6 yrs. post graduation: $36,400
> Located: Savannah, GA

Source: Ingus Kruklitis / iStock via Getty Images

Hawaii: Hawaii Pacific University
> Avg. annual net price: $29,827
> Admission rate: 81.4%
> Fall 2020 undergraduate enrollment: 3,800
> Median annual earnings 6 yrs. post graduation: $49,900
> Located: Honolulu, HI

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Source: Wolterk / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

Iowa: Grinnell College
> Avg. annual net price: $32,091
> Admission rate: 19.2%
> Fall 2020 undergraduate enrollment: 1,493
> Median annual earnings 6 yrs. post graduation: $49,100
> Located: Grinnell, IA

Source: Courtesy of Northwest Nazarene University

Idaho: Northwest Nazarene University
> Avg. annual net price: $21,616
> Admission rate: 76.8%
> Fall 2020 undergraduate enrollment: 1,389
> Median annual earnings 6 yrs. post graduation: $39,600
> Located: Nampa, ID

Source: Daniel Boczarski / Getty Images

Illinois: School of the Art Institute of Chicago
> Avg. annual net price: $51,606
> Admission rate: 77.8%
> Fall 2020 undergraduate enrollment: 2,487
> Median annual earnings 6 yrs. post graduation: $33,500
> Located: Chicago, IL

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Source: Courtesy of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology via Facebook

Indiana: Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
> Avg. annual net price: $43,606
> Admission rate: 76.6%
> Fall 2020 undergraduate enrollment: 1,972
> Median annual earnings 6 yrs. post graduation: $80,900
> Located: Terre Haute, IN

Source: Courtesy of MidAmerica Nazarene University

Kansas: MidAmerica Nazarene University
> Avg. annual net price: $29,406
> Admission rate: 63.8%
> Fall 2020 undergraduate enrollment: 1,222
> Median annual earnings 6 yrs. post graduation: $42,900
> Located: Olathe, KS

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Source: Courtesy of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Kentucky: The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
> Avg. annual net price: $27,314
> Admission rate: 77.3%
> Fall 2020 undergraduate enrollment: 964
> Median annual earnings 6 yrs. post graduation: N/A
> Located: Louisville, KY

Source: RAUL RODRIGUEZ / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

Louisiana: Tulane University of Louisiana
> Avg. annual net price: $47,413
> Admission rate: 11.1%
> Fall 2020 undergraduate enrollment: 8,537
> Median annual earnings 6 yrs. post graduation: $61,700
> Located: New Orleans, LA

Source: ChandraDhas / iStock Unreleased via Getty Images

Massachusetts: The New England Conservatory of Music
> Avg. annual net price: $50,651
> Admission rate: 36.3%
> Fall 2020 undergraduate enrollment: 404
> Median annual earnings 6 yrs. post graduation: $32,100
> Located: Boston, MA

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Source: aimintang / iStock Unreleased via Getty Images

Maryland: Maryland Institute College of Art
> Avg. annual net price: $45,106
> Admission rate: 89.8%
> Fall 2020 undergraduate enrollment: 1,331
> Median annual earnings 6 yrs. post graduation: $37,300
> Located: Baltimore, MD

Source: Courtesy of une.edu

Maine: University of New England
> Avg. annual net price: $36,474
> Admission rate: 87.3%
> Fall 2020 undergraduate enrollment: 4,065
> Median annual earnings 6 yrs. post graduation: $46,300
> Located: Biddeford, ME

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Source: Courtesy of College for Creative Studies

Michigan: College for Creative Studies
> Avg. annual net price: $36,203
> Admission rate: 55.4%
> Fall 2020 undergraduate enrollment: 1,462
> Median annual earnings 6 yrs. post graduation: $44,100
> Located: Detroit, MI

Source: Courtesy of Macalester College

Minnesota: Macalester College
> Avg. annual net price: $35,589
> Admission rate: 38.7%
> Fall 2020 undergraduate enrollment: 2,049
> Median annual earnings 6 yrs. post graduation: $47,600
> Located: Saint Paul, MN

Source: Courtesy of Kansas City Art Institute

Missouri: Kansas City Art Institute
> Avg. annual net price: $29,566
> Admission rate: 59.1%
> Fall 2020 undergraduate enrollment: 698
> Median annual earnings 6 yrs. post graduation: $31,200
> Located: Kansas City, MO

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Source: CRobertson / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

Mississippi: Millsaps College
> Avg. annual net price: $24,263
> Admission rate: 69.8%
> Fall 2020 undergraduate enrollment: 669
> Median annual earnings 6 yrs. post graduation: $48,100
> Located: Jackson, MS

Source: Courtesy of University of Providence

Montana: University of Providence
> Avg. annual net price: $25,023
> Admission rate: 98.5%
> Fall 2020 undergraduate enrollment: 790
> Median annual earnings 6 yrs. post graduation: $32,500
> Located: Great Falls, MT

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

North Carolina: High Point University
> Avg. annual net price: $40,719
> Admission rate: 77.0%
> Fall 2020 undergraduate enrollment: 4,628
> Median annual earnings 6 yrs. post graduation: $39,000
> Located: High Point, NC

Source: Courtesy of University of Jamestown

North Dakota: University of Jamestown
> Avg. annual net price: $19,744
> Admission rate: 71.9%
> Fall 2020 undergraduate enrollment: 912
> Median annual earnings 6 yrs. post graduation: $43,800
> Located: Jamestown, ND

Nebraska: Creighton University
> Avg. annual net price: $32,355
> Admission rate: 64.0%
> Fall 2020 undergraduate enrollment: 4,458
> Median annual earnings 6 yrs. post graduation: $59,700
> Located: Omaha, NE

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Source: Courtesy of Southern New Hampshire University

New Hampshire: Southern New Hampshire University
> Avg. annual net price: $41,217
> Admission rate: 93.5%
> Fall 2020 undergraduate enrollment: 111,599
> Median annual earnings 6 yrs. post graduation: $45,400
> Located: Manchester, NH

Source: Michael Bocchieri / Getty Images

New Jersey: Stevens Institute of Technology
> Avg. annual net price: $40,303
> Admission rate: 53.1%
> Fall 2020 undergraduate enrollment: 3,791
> Median annual earnings 6 yrs. post graduation: $89,200
> Located: Hoboken, NJ

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Source: Courtesy of St. John's College

New Mexico: St. John’s College
> Avg. annual net price: $26,913
> Admission rate: 68.9%
> Fall 2020 undergraduate enrollment: 268
> Median annual earnings 6 yrs. post graduation: $33,500
> Located: Santa Fe, NM

Source: Courtesy of Chamberlain University Nevada

Nevada: Chamberlain University – Nevada
> Avg. annual net price: $34,580
> Admission rate: 83.3%
> Fall 2020 undergraduate enrollment: 508
> Median annual earnings 6 yrs. post graduation: N/A
> Located: Las Vegas, NV

Source: mizoula / Getty Images

New York: School of Visual Arts
> Avg. annual net price: $53,227
> Admission rate: 71.5%
> Fall 2020 undergraduate enrollment: 3,192
> Median annual earnings 6 yrs. post graduation: $41,800
> Located: New York, NY

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Source: uschools / Getty Images

Ohio: Oberlin College
> Avg. annual net price: $42,745
> Admission rate: 35.4%
> Fall 2020 undergraduate enrollment: 2,647
> Median annual earnings 6 yrs. post graduation: $40,800
> Located: Oberlin, OH

Source: Courtesy of University of Tulsa

Oklahoma: University of Tulsa
> Avg. annual net price: $25,333
> Admission rate: 69.2%
> Fall 2020 undergraduate enrollment: 2,929
> Median annual earnings 6 yrs. post graduation: $48,500
> Located: Tulsa, OK

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Source: Courtesy of Willamette University

Oregon: Willamette University
> Avg. annual net price: $37,913
> Admission rate: 80.2%
> Fall 2020 undergraduate enrollment: 1,302
> Median annual earnings 6 yrs. post graduation: $51,100
> Located: Salem, OR

Source: Courtesy of The University of the Arts via Facebook

Pennsylvania: The University of the Arts
> Avg. annual net price: $40,269
> Admission rate: 75.8%
> Fall 2020 undergraduate enrollment: 1,380
> Median annual earnings 6 yrs. post graduation: $32,600
> Located: Philadelphia, PA

Source: Scott Wintrow / Getty Images

Rhode Island: Rhode Island School of Design
> Avg. annual net price: $40,048
> Admission rate: 27.1%
> Fall 2020 undergraduate enrollment: 1,736
> Median annual earnings 6 yrs. post graduation: $51,100
> Located: Providence, RI

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Source: catnap72 / iStock via Getty Images

South Carolina: Furman University
> Avg. annual net price: $37,761
> Admission rate: 65.2%
> Fall 2020 undergraduate enrollment: 2,345
> Median annual earnings 6 yrs. post graduation: $51,200
> Located: Greenville, SC

Source: Courtesy of Augustana University

South Dakota: Augustana University
> Avg. annual net price: $24,322
> Admission rate: 71.4%
> Fall 2020 undergraduate enrollment: 1,735
> Median annual earnings 6 yrs. post graduation: $43,700
> Located: Sioux Falls, SD

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Source: alexyurchenko / iStock via Getty Images

Tennessee: The University of the South
> Avg. annual net price: $36,244
> Admission rate: 56.1%
> Fall 2020 undergraduate enrollment: 1,716
> Median annual earnings 6 yrs. post graduation: $45,500
> Located: Sewanee, TN

Source: freelancing / E+ via Getty Images

Texas: Southern Methodist University
> Avg. annual net price: $41,444
> Admission rate: 52.7%
> Fall 2020 undergraduate enrollment: 6,827
> Median annual earnings 6 yrs. post graduation: $60,700
> Located: Dallas, TX

Source: Courtesy of Neumont College of Computer Science

Utah: Neumont College of Computer Science
> Avg. annual net price: $28,097
> Admission rate: 90.7%
> Fall 2020 undergraduate enrollment: 529
> Median annual earnings 6 yrs. post graduation: $69,400
> Located: Salt Lake City, UT

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Source: Courtesy of Hampden-Sydney College

Virginia: Hampden-Sydney College
> Avg. annual net price: $33,331
> Admission rate: 47.0%
> Fall 2020 undergraduate enrollment: 881
> Median annual earnings 6 yrs. post graduation: $52,200
> Located: Hampden-Sydney, VA

Source: Courtesy of Champlain College

Vermont: Champlain College
> Avg. annual net price: $35,870
> Admission rate: 85.2%
> Fall 2020 undergraduate enrollment: 3,512
> Median annual earnings 6 yrs. post graduation: $45,400
> Located: Burlington, VT

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Source: Courtesy of Cornish College of the Arts

Washington: Cornish College of the Arts
> Avg. annual net price: $39,440
> Admission rate: 78.9%
> Fall 2020 undergraduate enrollment: 482
> Median annual earnings 6 yrs. post graduation: $29,100
> Located: Seattle, WA

Source: patty_c / iStock Unreleased via Getty Images

Wisconsin: Marquette University
> Avg. annual net price: $34,732
> Admission rate: 82.5%
> Fall 2020 undergraduate enrollment: 8,024
> Median annual earnings 6 yrs. post graduation: $62,600
> Located: Milwaukee, WI

Source: Courtesy of Wheeling University

West Virginia: Wheeling University
> Avg. annual net price: $30,366
> Admission rate: 76.8%
> Fall 2020 undergraduate enrollment: 582
> Median annual earnings 6 yrs. post graduation: $46,200
> Located: Wheeling, WV

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Source: Theo Stroomer / Getty Images

Wyoming: University of Wyoming
> Avg. annual net price: $12,224
> Admission rate: 94.2%
> Fall 2020 undergraduate enrollment: 9,342
> Median annual earnings 6 yrs. post graduation: $47,300
> Located: Laramie, WY

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