Best College Tuition List

See our college tuition list to help you choose the best college. College rankings are shown for the top national universities, with tuition and fees noted.

Last updated on July 17, 2024 by College Financial Aid Advice.

College Tuition List

Yale University, CT

College Tuition List Rankings Best National Universities

Here is a college tuition list for the best national universities in the US, as ranked by U.S. News and World Report for 2024. Some of these excellent schools also offer great financial aid packages too!

University 2024 Tuition and Fees Type State
Princeton University $59,710 Private NJ
Massachusetts Institute of Technology M.I.T. $60,156 Private MA
Harvard University $59,076 Private MA
Stanford University $62,484 Private CA
Yale University $64,700 Private CT
University of Pennsylvania $66,104 Private PA
California Institute of Technology (CalTech) $63,255 Private CA
Duke University $66,172 Private NC
Brown University $68,230 Private RI
Johns Hopkins University $63,340 Private MD
Northwestern University $65,997 Private IL
Columbia University $65,524 Private NY
Cornell University $66,014 Private NY
University of Chicago $65,619 Private IL
University of California, Berkeley $48,465* or $15,891 Public CA
UCLA $46,752* or $13,752 Public CA
Rice University $58,128 Private TX
Dartmouth College $65,511 Private NH
Vanderbilt University $63,946 Private TN
University of Notre Dame $62,693 Private IN
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor $57,273* or $17,786 Public MI

*Out-of-state tuition and fees. In-state tuition and fees are signifantly less for state residents.


Financial Aid at Best Colleges

College Tuition Rankings

Harvard University, rated one of the best national universities in the USA

Many of the top private universities have large endowment funds, and are able to offer significant financial aid packages. In fact, for these large private universities, about half of the students have some sort of financial aid package.

How much? Most financial aid packages will be based upon financial need, as most students who are accepted are top students who qualify based upon merit. So if the tuition and fees cost about $60,000 per year, other expenses like room and board will bring the total cost up to about $80,000 per year. But those making more than $100,000 might only pay $50,000, while those with lower incomes might pay $0 (full ride scholarship) to only $10,000 per year.

Of course, remember that only 5 - 20% of applicants are accepted (think 5% for those universities at the top of the list).


How to Get Accepted at Top University

While there are no guarantees, see the 10 steps to improve your college admission chances.

I also think you should consider what you want in life and for your career, if you even know that. Is it your parent who wants you to become a doctor, or is it your dream? Have you volunteered to work at a hospital and shadowed a doctor to decide if you might like it? I've known several people who went to medical school, went over $300,00 in debt, and then decided they hated being a medical doctor!

Another student, who originally wanted to be a doctor, due to financial considerations went to a community college first. She planned to be a pre-med biology major, but she also had some interest in business so she took an accounting class - and loved it! She switched her major from pre-med to accounting, went on to get an accounting degree from a great state university, and is now a partner in one of the large public accounting firms. Had she attended any of the universities on this list, that major and career path wouldn't have been an option! 

So if your grades and test scores are high, and your dream is to get into one of these top universities, then go for it. But you also have other options to consider too, such as other private colleges, state universities, and starting at a community college

Remember, there are many private and public colleges and universities to choose from, so you will want to apply at multiple schools, and have a back-up school in case you don't get admitted.

We know a student with perfect SAT scores and GPA 4.6 get a full-ride scholarship to Harvard University, and a student with similar credentials that got rejected by all of the schools that he applied to. He ended up going to community college for one year and took a lot of units, and combined with his AP classes, was able to enter UCLA, one of the top schools on this list, in his second year of college as a junior. He even graduated a year ahead of his former classmates. So you never know what might happen - learn to be flexible!


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