Top 10 Most Expensive States to go to College

Students throw their caps in the air ahead of their graduation ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall on July 15, 2014 in London, England. Students of the London College of Fashion, Management and Science and Media and Communication attended their graduation ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall today. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

After decades of relentless increases, tuition and fee prices at public institutions finally appear to be taking a much-needed breather. New research shows that the cost of obtaining a degree is still rising more rapidly than the rate of inflation, the rate of increase had slowed. However, plenty of schools across the nation still come with large price tags.

According to the College Board, in-state tuition and fees increased an average of 2.9% to $9,139 for the 2014-2015 school year, following a 2.8% increase in 2013-2014. These two school terms are the only years that recorded gains of less than 3% since 1974-1975. Furthermore, 43% percent of full-time students attended public four-year institutions that did not raise their published tuition prices by more than 3% in 2014-2015. Twelve percent of full-time students at four-year universities or colleges saw no tuition prices at all.

Despite the college inflation rate slowing, paying for a degree is still expensive. Along with rising costs, wages remain stagnated for many families as economic inequality continues to widen to record levels. For example, the share of all income going to the 20% of households with the lowest incomes declined from 4.9% in 1983 to 3.8% in 2013, but the share going to the top 5% of households rose from 15.3% to 21.2%.

Let’s take a look at the most expensive states for college, based on in-state tuition and fees for the 2014-2015 school year at public 4-year institutions.

Chris Chambers/Getty Images

Chris Chambers/Getty Images

10. Rhode Island

  • Average tuition and fees: $10,934
  • 5-year change: 29%

Rhode Island ranks No. 10 with an average tuition bill of $10,934 per year for a public 4-year institution. A private nonprofit institution will set students and parents back $36,308 per year. The University of Rhode Island, the state’s flagship school, has an average tuition cost of $12,506 per year for in-state students, and $28,072 for out-of-state students.

Photo by Kayana Szymczak/Getty Images

Kayana Szymczak/Getty Images

9. Massachusetts

  • Average tuition and fees: $10,951
  • 5-year change: 19%

Massachusetts ranks No. 9 with an average tuition bill of $10,951 per year for a public 4-year institution. A private nonprofit institution costs $40,748 per year, representing the highest average in the nation. The University of Massachusetts Amherst has an average tuition cost of $13,602 per year for in-state students, and $27,812 for out-of-state students.

Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Mike Stobe/Getty Images

8. Delaware

  • Average tuition and fees: $11,448
  • 5-year change: 27%

Delaware ranks No. 8 with an average tuition bill of $11,448 per year for a public 4-year institution. A private nonprofit institution costs $14,786 per year, only $17 higher than the prior year’s average. Attending the University of Delaware brings an average tuition bill of $12,342 per year for in-state students, and $30,692 for out-of-state students. That is the third largest dollar difference between in-state and out-of-state students on the list.

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

7. South Carolina

  • Average tuition and fees: $11,449
  • 5-year change: 20%

South Carolina ranks No. 7 with an average tuition bill of $11,449 per year for a public 4-year institution, edging out Delaware by only $1. A private nonprofit institution costs $23,417 per year. The University of South Carolina has a below-average tuition cost of $11,158 per year for in-state students, but out-of-state students pay an average of $29,440 per year.

Source:Thinkstock

Source:Thinkstock

6. Michigan

  • Average tuition and fees: $11,909
  • 5-year change: 22%

Michigan ranks No. 6 with an average tuition bill of $11,090 per year for a public 4-year institution. A private nonprofit institution costs $22,260 per year. The University of Michigan, home to nearly 43,000 undergrads, costs an average of $15,061 per year for in-state students, and a whopping $41,906 per year for out-of-state students. The $26,845 difference between in-state and out-of-state students is the largest gap on the list.

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Scott Olson/Getty Images

5. Illinois

  • Average tuition and fees: $12,770
  • 5-year change: 23%

Illinois ranks No. 5 with an average tuition bill of $12,770 per year for a public 4-year institution. A private nonprofit institution costs $32,547 per year, up significantly from $31,997 last school year.  The University of Illinois has an average tuition bill of $15,020 per year for in-state students, and $29,646 for out-of-state students.

Source: William Thomas Cain/Getty Images

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

4. New Jersey

  • Average tuition and fees: $13,002
  • 5-year change: 17%

New Jersey ranks No. 4 with an average tuition bill of $13,002 per year for a public 4-year institution. A private nonprofit institution costs $34,741 per year. The State University of New Jersey has an average tuition bill of $13,813 per year for in-state students, and $28,591 for out-of-state students.

Rob Carr/Getty Images

Rob Carr/Getty Images

3. Pennsylvania

  • Average tuition and fees: $13,246
  • 5-year change: 23%

Pennsylvania ranks No. 3 with an average tuition bill of $13,246 per year for a public 4-year institution. A private nonprofit institution costs $37,198 per year. Penn State University has an average tuition bill of $18,464 per year for in-state students, the highest flagship average in the nation. Out-of-state students incur an average cost of$30,452 at Penn State.

Elsa/Getty Images

Elsa/Getty Images

2. Vermont

  • Average tuition and fees: $14,419
  • 5-year change: 20%

Vermont comes in second place with an average tuition bill of $14,419 per year for a public 4-year institution. A private nonprofit institution costs $37,285 per year. The University of Vermont brings an average tuition bill of $16,196 per year for in-state students, and $37,844 for out-of-state students. That is the second largest gap on the list.

Source: University of New Hampshire

Source: University of New Hampshire

1. New Hampshire

  • Average tuition and fees: $14,712
  • 5-year change: 33%

New Hampshire is the nation’s most expensive state for college. The average tuition bill totals $14,712 for a public 4-year institution, while a private nonprofit institution costs $34,952 per year. The University of New Hampshire has an average tuition bill of $16,552 for in-state students, and $29,532 for out-of-state students. On the positive, the gap between in-state and out-of-state students is the second lowest on the list, outdone by only Penn State.

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