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The Most Expensive Universities in the World: These Ones Made Our List

Updated: July 19, 2022 | Published: September 9, 2019

Updated: July 19, 2022

Published: September 9, 2019


We all know that higher education can come with an extreme cost, and the United States is no exception. Compared with some European countries offering free education to their students, the U.S. is home to some of the most expensive degree programs. But, even around the world, education typically requires a large financial investment. Keep reading to discover more about the 15 most expensive universities in the world!

Photo by Cole Keister on Unsplash

Many students choose to earn their degrees in the US because of the wide range of degree options. While your education should not cost you an arm and a leg, we’ve compiled this list of expensive but prestigious American universities.

Most Expensive Universities in the U.S.

1. Harvey Mudd College – $72,478

A private science and engineering school in Claremont, California, Harvey Mudd College is an undergraduate institution with a 13% acceptance rate and a total enrollment of just 815.

2. Columbia University – $70,826

Columbia University is a private Ivy League research university and is, in fact, the oldest higher education institution in New York. Located in the city itself, Columbia University was founded in 1754, making it the 5th oldest higher education institution in the United States!

3. University of Chicago – $70,551

With 217 acres of land spanning its campus near Lake Michigan, the University of Chicago has a huge enrollment of students, totalling 16,445. As a well-respected research institution, their famous slogan is “Let knowledge grow from more to more, and so be human life enriched.”

4. University of Southern California – $69,208

Founded in 1880, the University of Southern California is the oldest private research university in the whole state. The school has a pretty high acceptance rate, at 18%, but it also has a very large student body, with a total enrollment of 45,687.

5. Northwestern University – $68,725

Based in Evanston, Illinois, Northwestern’s highly collaborative environment makes it one of the country’s leading research and teaching universities. And, because of its international presence, more than 32% of its undergraduate students complete their degrees with an international experience, such as study abroad or field study.

6. Tufts University – $68,372

Tufts University was founded in 1852 as a charter member of the New England Small College Athletic Conference. Today, it is a well-known private institution with a total enrollment of 11,489 students and a 16% acceptance rate.

7. Georgetown University – $68,368

Located in Washington, D.C., Georgetown University is one of the country’s oldest and largest research universities, originally founded in 1789. It now has 9 different undergraduate and graduate schools and a total enrollment of 17,849 students.

8. Duke University – $68,298

With 10 undergraduate and graduate schools, Duke offers students a chance for academic achievement, local engagement with Durham, North Carolina, and athletic competition. Founded in 1838, it is one of the country’s oldest and largest universities, enrolling over 16,000 students at a 12% acceptance rate.

9. New York University – $68,128

While NYU’s primary campus is in Greenwich Village, the school now has campuses throughout the world, including Abu Dhabi, Shanghai, Berlin, Florence, and Madrid, among other locations. It was founded in 1831 and enrolls almost 52,000 students.

10. Johns Hopkins University – $68,080

Founded in 1876, Johns Hopkins University is America’s first research university and maintains the slogan “The truth will set you free.” The institution believes that sharing knowledge and discoveries is a necessity in the improvement of societies, which is why its graduates are known as some of the most well-respected teachers and global leaders.

Photo by Ben Duchac on Unsplash

While the United States is most famous for its ultra-high university tuition fees, there are also universities around the world that come with quite a hefty cost to attend. Here are some of the most expensive universities in the world, outside of America.

Most Expensive Universities Outside of the US

1. University of Queensland – Queensland, Australia

  • MBA: $53,875
  • Undergrad: $30,086

2. University of Melbourne – Melbourne, Australia

  • MBA: $41,974
  • Undergrad: $28,291

3. University of Toronto – Toronto, Canada

  • $23,485

4. Ryerson University – Toronto, Canada

  • $23,066

5. Regent’s University London – London, England

  • Undergrad: $22,291
  • Graduate: $23,223

Looking for Something More Affordable?

It’s no secret that students in the United States have some of the highest amounts of debt after graduation. Today, one in four Americans rely on student loans in order to pay for their college degrees. Reportedly, this debt has tripled from $480 billion in 2006 to $1.48 trillion today. However, these numbers should not discourage students from pursuing their education.

Online degree programs, for instance, are readily available to those looking for a bit more flexibility and, of course, lower tuition costs. Plus, by enrolling online, you can study from just about anywhere!

With UoPeople, students earn their degrees completely online and tuition-free. We believe that education is a key component to promoting world peace and economic development, and that is why education plays a fundamental role. At University of the People, we offer affordable, high-quality education to qualified students from a wide range of backgrounds.


It is important to keep in mind that a higher tuition cost does not automatically mean a better college degree. Of course, employers consider the name of your alma matter when making hiring decisions, but your passion and eagerness to learn will set you apart from the other candidates. Remember, don’t be discouraged by how expensive a university is — credentials and GPA are just your first step in the door!