The U.S. News Short List, separate from our overall rankings, is a regular series that magnifies individual data points in hopes of providing students and parents a way to find which undergraduate or graduate programs excel or have room to grow in specific areas. Be sure to explore The Short List: College and The Short List: Grad School to find data that matters to you in your college or grad school search.
Savings-savvy students are finding ways to cut their overall college costs. Students are negotiating scholarship packages, avoiding applications fees, and taking on part-time jobs to help pay for their higher education pursuits. One student paid for an entire semester by cashing in on mail-in rebates, according to a recent article by Business Insider.
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Students are also saving by skipping dorm life for the comforts of home. Slightly more than 50 percent of college students are avoiding sometimes costly room and board charges by living with their parents, according to a July report by Sallie Mae, a financial services firm.
On average, colleges are charging $9,315 in room and board fees for the 2012-2013 school year, an increase of more than $250 over the previous year, according to data reported by 1,066 ranked schools in an annual survey to U.S. News.
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While a handful of schools, including military colleges such as the United States Naval Academy, offer free room and board to their students, others charge more than $14,000 per year for students to stay in residence halls and participate in school meal plans.
Among the 10 priciest schools for room and board, the average charge was $14,624 for 2012-2013. With dormitory and meal plan charges totaling $15,374 for the 2012-2013 academic year, Fordham University in New York is the most expensive school for room and board. St. John's University, also in New York, charges $15,270 for lodging and food. Eight of the schools on this list are located in either New York or California.
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Below are the 10 schools with the most expensive room and board fees for the 2012-2013 academic year. Schools designated by U.S. News as Unranked were not considered for this report. U.S. News did not calculate a numerical ranking for Unranked programs because the program did not meet certain criteria that U.S. News requires to be numerically ranked.
|School name (state)||Room and board (2012-2013)||U.S. News rank and category|
|Fordham University (NY)||$15,374||58, National Universities|
|St. John's University (NY)||$15,270||147, National Universities|
|University of California—Santa Cruz||$14,861||77, National Universities|
|Suffolk University (MA)||$14,730||61, Regional Universities (North)|
|Harvey Mudd College (CA)||$14,471||12, National Liberal Arts Colleges|
|SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (NY)||$14,400||77, National Universities|
|Loyola Marymount University (CA)||$14,395||3, Regional Universities (West)|
|Catholic University of America (DC)||$14,274||120, National Universities|
|University of California—Los Angeles||$14,232||24, National Universities|
|Marymount Manhattan College (NY)||$14,228||RNP, National Liberal Arts Colleges|
*RNP denotes an institution that is ranked in the bottom one fourth of its rankings category. U.S. News calculates a rank for the school but has decided not to publish it.
Don't see your school in the top 10? Access the U.S. News College Compass to find room and board statistics, complete rankings, and much more.
U.S. News surveyed more than 1,800 colleges and universities for our 2012 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 come 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. The room and board data above are correct as of September 18, 2012.