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Posted at 03:38 PM ET, 07/03/2011

The bottom line: which top universities have the highest net price?

Thousands of rising high school seniors around Washington will soon mobilize to begin the tedious-but-rewarding task of applying to some of the nation’s finest private universities.

Private national universities, as a rule of thumb, charge about $50,000 a year in tuition, fees and living expenses. But the amount the average student actually pays is a different story.
Catholic University of America, one of the more expensive national universities. Jeffrey Porter/For The Washington Post.

The release last week of a new federal Web site devoted to “net price” of American universities potentially signals the start of a new era in college admissions. Net price is the sticker price of college minus grant aid, a sort of “bottom line” figure for each institution.

Some $50,000 schools have surprisingly low net prices, resulting from unusually generous need-based aid or aggressive merit aid. Others have strikingly high net prices, meaning that the school is unable or unwilling to match its peers in providing need-based aid or merit discounts.

Here is a list of 10 prominent national universities and liberal arts schools cited on the federal Web site for high net price. Think of it as a new variation on the old theme of Most Expensive Colleges.

New York University: $34,011

Northeastern University: $32,703

Catholic University: $32,122

Fordham University: $31,916

Sarah Lawrence College: $30,963

Oberlin College: $30,433

University of Rochester: $30,317

Rensselaer Polytechnic: $30,215

Carnegie Mellon University: $29,746

Harvey Mudd College: $29,667

The major drawback of the new Web site is that it offers only short lists of highest and lowest prices, rather than searchable/sortable lists of every school. For that level of data, you still have to go to the comparatively dense IPEDS Data Center.

By  |  03:38 PM ET, 07/03/2011

Categories:  Aid, Access, Finance, Rankings, Privates | Tags:  Catholic University

 
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