10 Colleges That Charge the Most for Room and Board

Living in the heart of the Big Apple comes at a price, even for undergrads living on campus.

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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.

Tuition isn't the only cost to consider when budgeting for college. Students also need the essentials: food and shelter. And just like tuition, fees for room and board are on the rise.

[Learn how to calculate a college's net price.]

Average charges for on-campus living – double occupancy and 19 meals per week or the maximum meal plan – climbed from $9,047 to $9,689 between the 2011-2012 and 2013-2014 school years, according to data reported to U.S. News by schools in annual surveys. Nearly 1,100 ranked colleges and universities reported room and board fees for 2013-2014.

Room and board fees can vary widely, though, and dorm life at a school with a prime location can come with a hefty price tag.

The New School, located in the heart of New York City, charged $18,490 for 2013-2014 room and board – more than any other college in the country. New York University, St. John's University, Fordham University and Marymount Manhattan University, all located in the Big Apple, are also among the 10 most expensive schools for room and board.

[Find out which schools offer inexpensive housing.]

At these 10 schools, room and board fees averaged $15,556 for the 2013-2014 school year. New York City isn't the only expensive locale for undergrads, though. Three California schools also made the list: University of California—Berkeley, Harvey Mudd College in Claremont and the University of California—Los Angeles.

Students can skirt high living expenses by attending a school close to home and living with their parents. An off-campus apartment can also be less expensive than campus housing in some cities.

[Discover 10 ways to save on college costs.]

Below is a list of the 10 schools with the most expensive room and board for 2013-2014. The five military academies, which charge no room and board fees in return for postgraduate service, were excluded from this list. Unranked schools, which did not meet certain criteria required by U.S. News to be numerically ranked, were not considered for this report.

School name (state) 2013-2014 room and board U.S. News rank and category
New School (NY) $18,490 135, National Universities
New York University $16,662 32, National Universities
St. John's University (NY) $15,880 152, National Universities
Fordham University (NY) $15,835 57, National Universities
University of California—Berkeley $15,180 20, National Universities
Harvey Mudd College (CA) $15,151 16, National Liberal Arts Colleges
Suffolk University (MA) $14,836 60, Regional Universities (North)
Marymount Manhattan College (NY) $14,600 RNP*, National Liberal Arts Colleges
Emerson College (MA) $14,516 11, Regional Universities (North)
University of California—Los Angeles $14,453 23, National Universities

*RNP denotes an institution that is ranked in the bottom one-fourth of its ranking 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 information, complete rankings and much more. School officials can access historical data and rankings, including of peer institutions, via U.S. News Academic Insights.

U.S. News surveyed nearly 1,800 colleges and universities for our 2013 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 Oct. 29, 2013.