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The cost of attending the best colleges in the US

Princeton was named the best college in the US by US News and World Report.

Headed to college in 2018? U.S. News and World Report just released its annual ranking of the best colleges in the nation.

Topping the list for the 5th year in a row is Princeton University, a private Ivy League institution in Princeton, N.J. In addition to notable alumni like Michelle Obama, the school is known for its Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Princeton, however, is also known for having a big price tag. Tuition and fees cost $47,140 per year, while room and board will set you back another $15,610. This means that students will pay $62,750 a year, that comes out to a total of $251,000 for a four-year degree. But don’t let that scare you away from chasing your Ivy League dreams. Despite its high cost, Princeton also ranked as the school with the best value. Nearly 60% of its full-time students receive some kind of need-based financial assistance, and the average scholarship or grant award per student is $47,497.

Harvard University, a university that almost needs no introduction, ranked No. 2. Located in Cambridge, Mass., Harvard has top-ranked business and medical schools and counts eight U.S. presidents as alumni, including John F. Kennedy, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama. Of course, going to this highly selective university will cost you more than Princeton. Tuition and fees cost $48,949, add another $16,660 for room and board.

The good news is, like Princeton, Harvard offers a healthy dose of financial aid. About 55% of its students receive assistance, and after all is said and done, the average student is left with just $16,702 in debt after their first year.

To round out the podium, the University of Chicago ($54,825) and Yale University ($51,400) tied for third place.

Most expensive/least expensive schools

Just because Princeton and Harvard are considered the best, doesn’t make them the most expensive. The priciest school for the 2017-18 school year are both in New York state: Columbia University (ranked No. 5 on the overall U.S. News best schools list), which charges $57,208 in tuition and fees and Vassar College (No. 12) took the second spot costing $55,210 per year. Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, Calif. (also No. 12) took the bronze with an annual tuition of $54,886.

On the flipside, the report also looked at the most affordable schools in the U.S. With tuition costing just $5,460 a year, Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah was named the least expensive. Arkansas Baptist College took the second spot costing just $8,760, and Tougaloo College in Mississippi took the third spot, costing $10,600.

It should be noted that unranked schools, which did not meet certain criteria required by U.S. News to be numerically ranked, were not considered.

For a complete list of the most and least expensive universities, visit U.S. World and News Report.

Brittany is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. 

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