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California Association of Private Postsecondary Schools

Education Dept. Unveils New Lists of Most and Least Expensive Colleges

06/30/2014

The Chronicle of Higher Education ~ June 30, 2014. The U.S. Department of Education updated on Monday the information that informs its lists of the most- and least-expensive colleges in the country. It is the fourth time the department has updated the College Affordability and Transparency information, which is used to call attention to colleges that do the best and worst jobs, respectively, at charging affordable tuition and fees.

The utility and effectiveness of the six lists, which appeared first in 2011 under the provisions of the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, have been called into question. For instance, the vast majority of public and private colleges that appeared on the previous list of the most expensive institutions did not significantly reduce tuition the next time around. And public awareness of the lists’ existence is believed to be low.

Here are some standouts in the new lists:

  • Public, four-year institution with the highest tuition and required fees (2012-13 year): University of Pittsburgh ($16,590)
  • Private, nonprofit, four-year institution with the highest tuition and required fees: Landmark College ($49,793)

According to the new data, tuition at public, four-year institutions rose by an average of 13 percent from 2010-11 to 2012-13. In that same period, tuition at private, nonprofit, four-year institutions rose by 10.9 percent, on average.

Meanwhile, the public, four-year institution with the lowest tuition and required fees was Haskell Indian Nations University, in Kansas, which charged $80 in 2012-13. The private, nonprofit, four-year institution with the lowest tuition for the same period was Turtle Mountain Community College, in North Dakota, which charged $2,250.