Once again, Forbes has surveyed universities across the US and created a list of the most expensive universities in America. The expensive universities and colleges were ranked by the typical expensives of a freshman student, including room and board. Here are the top 5 universites on Forbes’ list.

Most Expensive Colleges in the US - Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University – $53,660

This private university in Nashville, Tennessee, was founded by the South Methodist Episcopal Church in 1873. Originally called Central University, it was rechristened after a sizable donation by Cornelius Vanderbilt. The Methodist church severed its ties to the university in 1914, after the Supreme Court ruled that Vanderbilt, not the church, was the university’s founder. Today, Vanderbilt is known for its Medical Center, the second largest employer in the state.

Most Expensive Colleges in the US - Wesleyan University

Wesleyan University – $53,976

Founded in 1831, Wesleyan University was founded as a Methodist college named after the religion’s founder, John Wesley. The university, located in Middletown, Connecticut, was among the first all-male universities to open their doors to female students in 1872, but the university ceased coeducation from 1912 to 1970. Today, Wesleyan is known as one of the top universities for African Americans and for its high percentage of doctorates earned by women.

Bard College – $54,275

Located in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, this liberal arts college was founded in 1870 in association with the Episcopal church. Originally called St. Stephen’s, it was renamed after its founder, John Bard, in 1934. Today, the school is known for its liberal leanings, being ranked the second most liberal university in the US by the Princeton Review in 2005.

Most Expensive Colleges in the US - Columbia University

Columbia University – $54,385

New York’s oldest university was founded as King’s College in 1754. It was renamed Columbia College in 1784, after the Revolutionary War. This Ivy League university’s alumni include five of the founding fathers and four presidents, including Barack Obama. It is the third most selective school in the nation, according to the U.S. News & World Report. It’s also affiliated with more Nobel prize laureates than any other university.

Most Expensive Colleges in the US - Sarah Lawrence College

Sarah Lawrence College – $57,556

The most expensive university in the United States was founded as a women’s college in 1926 and didn’t start accepting men until 1968. The college, located in Bronxville, NY, was founded by William Van Duzer Lawrence, a real-estate mogul. It carries the name of Lawrence’s wife, Sarah. The college was the first liberal arts institution in the US to take the progressive approach to education in the arts, and its students have been known since the 30s for their political activism. That tradition continues to this day with involvement in the sexual rights movement and organizations responding to the conflict in Iraq.

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