By Katherine Wiles
A top-tier education is going to cost you top dollar.
That’s according to U.S. News & World Report’s latest college rankings. The 37th annual list of best colleges evaluated more than 1,400 colleges and universities across the U.S. using 17 measures of academic quality.
Taking the No. 1 spot for best national university for 2022 is Princeton University, with Columbia University, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology tying for No. 2. Yale University rounds out the top five.
Besides being riddled with Ivy League schools, something else that the top 10 colleges have in common is their price tag: at least $55,000 a year just for tuition — room and board are in addition to that. The most expensive university on the list is Columbia, which runs at $63,530 for the 2021-2022 school year. The least expensive school in the top 10 is Harvard, at $55,587 for the year’s tuition.
As total student loan debt hovers around $1.7 trillion, U.S. News also considers the average federal loan debt of graduates in its evaluation, according to its methodology .
The top 10 best national universities for 2022, along with their tuition, include:
1.Princeton University — $56,010
2. Columbia University — $63,530
2. Harvard University —$55,587
2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology — $55,878
5. Yale University — $59,950
6. Stanford University — $56,169
6. University of Chicago — $60,963
8. University of Pennsylvania — $61,710
9. California Institute of Technology — $58,680
9. Duke University — $60,489
9. Johns Hopkins University — $58,720
9. Northwestern University — $60,984
For the first time, U.S. News also published a ranking of the best undergraduate nursing programs . The University of Pennsylvania topped that list. The new ranking comes as the U.S. is experiencing an ongoing shortage of nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For a quality education that might be a little more affordable, a public university that offers in-state tuition might be the way to go. The top three public schools on this year’s U.S. News list are the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.