According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, the highest college tuition rates are now upwards of $55,000 per year. Students might be shocked by these sticker prices especially when tuition costs do not include room and board. These are the most expensive colleges in the U.S.

Vassar College, New York

Credit: fdastudillo/iStock

Located in Poughkeepsie, New York, Vassar College set the standard for women's education during the 1860s. Highly selective, the co-educational college provides 2,456 students a liberal arts education in a diverse environment. Ranked #17 by Forbes Top 25 Liberal Arts Colleges (2018), Vassar College inspires individuals to lead productive lives with thorough education.

Tuition & Fees: $56,960

Room & Board: $13,550

TFRB Cost: $70,510

Bard College at Simon's Rock, Massachusetts

Credit: nancykennedy/iStock

Bard College at Simon's Rock, "the Early College," is a place for exceptionally motivated students to blaze their own trail. Bard's liberal arts education was given a 92 out of 99 academic rating by Princeton Review. The college's 400 undergraduates study under prestigious professors with advanced research and a global consortium of civic, science, and arts organizations. For extra inspiration, the college is located in the stunning Berkshire Mountains.

Tuition & Fees: $55,732

Room & Board: $14,916

TFRB Cost: $70,648

Northwestern University, Illinois

Credit: BSPollard/iStock

Committed to exceptional teaching and innovative research, Northwestern brings 21,000 students into a diverse learning environment across three campuses. Along the shores of Lake Michigan located in Evanston, Northwestern's main campus is just the beginning of an intellectual and personal journey. Composed of nine undergraduate programs and ten highly-ranked graduate programs including management, engineering, social policy, and biological sciences, Northwestern is highly ranked in U.S. News and World Report's evaluation of national universities.

Tuition & Fees: $54,567

Room & Board: $16,626

TFRB Cost: $71,193

Southern Methodist University, Texas

Credit: freelancing/iStock

Originally founded by the United Methodist Church, Southern Methodist University offers a non-secular education. SMU's proximity to Dallas affords 12,000 students unique opportunities to bring their innovations to life in a dynamic, fast-paced environment. The university has earned a distinguished reputation for science research yet it upholds liberal arts traditions.

Tuition & Fees: $54,493

Room & Board: $16,845

TFRB Cost: $71,338

Trinity College, Connecticut

Credit: clu/iStock

Founding figures of religious and academic freedom began a timeless, educational institution in Hartford. Today, Trinity College provides 2,117 students with a real-world liberal arts experience. Defying standard definitions, Trinity College encourages students to pursue their love of art and science to create individualized, unique major areas of study. Ranked #38 in Best Value Schools by U.S. News and World Report (2019).

Tuition & Fees: $56,910

Room & Board: $14,750

TFRB Cost: $71,660

Scripps College, California

Credit: Laser1987/iStock

One of the esteemed Claremont Colleges, Scripps Women's College provides a liberal arts education with a rigorous interdisciplinary curriculum. Women scholars share a commitment to diversity and inclusion. Of the 2019 graduating class, 35% of graduates pursued a STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) major, making Scripps a college with one of the highest proportion of female STEM majors in the country. Students also enjoy a beautiful campus that has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Tuition & Fees: $55,024

Room & Board: $16,932

TFRB Cost: $71,956

Barnard, New York

Credit: FG Trade/iStock

When founded in 1889, Barnard was the only college in New York City where women could receive a higher level education. Today, 2,635 women attend this world-renowned college where they complete a rigorous and challenging curriculum. Barnard offers students an undergraduate liberal arts degree with more than 50 major areas of study available. Students extend their classroom with access to innovative academic centers. Collaboration with Columbia University and study abroad opportunities in 65 countries diversify students' experiences. Barnard is the only women's college that affords student athletes the ability to participate in NCAA Division I athletics.

Tuition & Fees: $55,032

Room & Board: $17,225

TFRB Cost: $72,257

Columbia University, New York

CreditL 4x6/iStock

The fifth oldest educational institution in the United States, Columbia University has an extensive history closely intertwined with New York City. Just over 6,000 undergraduate students attend Columbia and the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science. The college also provides graduate programs and global outposts, distinguished learning environments to promote global advancement of knowledge and technology. Columbia University is ranked #3 on the Best National Universities list (tied with Massachusetts Institute of Technology) by U.S. News and World Report (2019).

Tuition & Fees: $59,985

Room & Board: $14,016

TFRB Cost: $74,001

University of Chicago, Illinois

Credit: peterspiro/iStock

An extensive list of accolades have been heaped on the University of Chicago, an educational leader. More than 90 alumni are Nobel Prize winners. Rigorous academics and research challenge 15,775 undergraduate and graduate students to excel.

Tuition & Fees: $58,230

Room & Board: $16,350

TFRB Cost: $74,580

Harvey Mudd College, California

Credit: Laser1987/iStock

Ranked the #1 Best Undergraduate Engineering Program by U.S. News and World Report (tied with Rose-Hulman), Harvey Mudd has an exceptional reputation for producing highly qualified graduates with science degrees. Located in Claremont, the college's 886 students have access to an array of extracurricular activities, club sports, and NCAA Division I athletics programs in addition to a strenuous academic curriculum. Harvey Mudd has achieved high rankings and various accolades for college performance.

Tuition & Fees: $56,876

Room & Board: $18,127

TFRB Cost: $75,003