Students who wish to remain in their home state when they venture to college—rather than attend a private institution or a state school beyond their state's borders—are poised to save tens of thousands of dollars a year in tuition and required fees (though out-of-state students may be able to pay in-state tuition at some institutions).
Even at the most expensive public schools for in-state students in the country, average tuition and fees hover around $13,000, compared to approximately $40,000 at the most expensive private schools. Pennsylvania State University has the highest tuition and fees for in-state students, $15,250 for the 2010-11 academic year, according to data the school reported to U.S. News.
[See the 10 least expensive public colleges for in-state students.]
In all, 452 of the 573 undergraduate programs at public institutions surveyed by U.S. News reported in-state tuition and fee data. Among them, the average tuition and required fees were $7,042 for the 2010-11 academic year, compared with an average of $13,762 at the 10 most expensive schools (listed below).
Seven of the 10 most expensive public schools for in-state students are in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions of the country. Only one, the Colorado School of Mines, where students paid $13,425 in tuition and fees in the 2010-11 academic year , is located in the western half of the country.
[See the nation's most expensive private colleges.]
Despite the relatively higher costs, only two schools on the list—the Maine Maritime Academy and the College of New Jersey—place in the top 10 of their U.S. News rankings category. The schools are ranked as a regional college (North) and a regional university (North), respectively.
Below is a list of the 10 most expensive public colleges schools for in-state students based on tuition and required fees (figures do not include room and board, books, and other miscellaneous costs):
|School Name||In-state Tuition & Fees (2010-11)||U.S. News Rank & Category|
|Pennsylvania State University—University Park||$15,250||47, National Universities|
|Maine Maritime Academy||$14,665||9, Regional Colleges (North)|
|University of Vermont||$14,132||94, National Universities|
|University of New Hampshire||$13,675||104, National Universities|
|University of Illinois--Urbana-Champaign||$13,640||47, National Universities|
|St. Mary’s College of Maryland||$13,630||88, National Liberal Arts Colleges|
|Colorado School of Mines||$13,425||72, National Universities|
|College of New Jersey||$13,273||4, Regional Universities (North)|
|University of Illinois—Chicago||$13,074||143, National Universities|
|New Jersey Institute of Technology||$12,856||139, National Universities|
Don't see your school in the top 10? Access the U.S. News College Compass to find tuition data, complete rankings, and much more.
U.S. News surveyed more than 1,700 colleges and universities for our 2010 survey of undergraduate programs. Schools self-reported a myriad of data regarding their academic programs and the makeup of their student body, among other areas, making U.S. News's data the most accurate and detailed collection of college facts and figures of its kind. While U.S. News uses much of this survey data to rank schools for our annual Best Colleges rankings, the data can also be useful when examined on a smaller scale. U.S. News will now produce lists of data, separate from the overall rankings, meant to provide students and parents a means to find which schools excel, or have room to grow, in specific areas that are important to them. While the data comes from the schools themselves, these lists are not related to, and have no influence over, U.S. News's rankings of Best Colleges or Best Graduate Schools.