Colleges with the Most Expensive Room and Board Fees

Featured Stories

Filter By Categories

Aside from tuition, room and board is the most significant expense at most colleges. At institutions with the highest room and board fees, the cost of annual room and board is equal to one semester’s tuition. According to Edmit data, the ten colleges with the most expensive room and board prices are located in three states—New York, Massachusetts, and California.


#6 The Claremont Colleges

The Claremont Colleges are a group of private liberal arts colleges located in Claremont, California, on the border of Los Angeles. Though each of the Claremont Colleges is a distinct institution with separate admissions processes, in many ways, the colleges function as a group. Students are able to enroll in classes and participate in activities at other colleges in the consortium. The room and board costs range from $16,150 at Pomona College to $16,294 at Scripps College. Harvey Mudd is an outlier with an estimated cost of $17 592 for room and board.


#5 St. John’s University New York

St. John’s University is a private, Catholic university in New York’s Queens neighborhood. Despite being located in one of New York City’s more affordable areas, the annual cost of room and board at St. John’s University is $16,640. Perhaps factoring in the high price is that students at the university can choose a single dorm.


#4 Smith College

Smith College is a private, liberal arts college in Massachusetts that is consistently ranked among the best colleges in the nation. Room and board costs at Smith College are estimated at $16,730. Although Smith College is the only college in New England on this list, the New England region has the highest room and board fees in the United States. That said, both Princeton Review and Business Insider have ranked Smith’s dorms and quality of life among the best in the nation.


#3 California State University - Channel Islands

California State University (CSU) Channel Islands is in Camarillo, California on the coast, just miles from Santa Barbara. Room and board costs at CSU Channel Islands are $16,954. Given the high cost of beach living and the institution’s location on the edge of the coast, it’s no surprise that the dorms are among the priciest in the nation. Single dorms are available for upperclassmen, and some dorms feature large community kitchens where students can cook their own meals.


#2 New York Institute of Technology

The New York Institute of Technology (NYT) is a private, independent school in New York’s exclusive Upper West Side neighborhood. The room and board fees  are approximately $17,086 annually. Given the amenities at NYT, the high prices seem well worth it. Residence options at NYT feature single, double, and triple rooms, which usually have private restrooms. In addition, some dorms have a kitchen on every floor.


#1 New York University

New York University’s main campus is in Greenwich Village, with buildings spread throughout the city. The room and board expenses for one year at NYU are $17,664. Housing at NYU is in a variety of neighborhoods around the city. There are 19 residence halls in Manhattan alone. Housing options vary from apartment-style residences with kitchens for upperclassmen to traditional residence halls for first-year students.


Colleges With The Most Expensive Room and Board Fees


School Name

Room and Board (per year)

New York University

$17,664

Harvey Mudd College

$17,592

New York Institute of Technology

$17,086

California State University - Channel Islands

$16,954

Smith College

$16,730

St John's University - New York

$16,640

Scripps College

$16,294

Pitzer College

$16,264

Claremont McKenna College

$16,220

Pomona College

$16,150


Are there more affordable room and board options at these institutions?

The good news is that most colleges do have affordable options that are cheaper than estimated room and board costs. Because room and board fees factor into the cost of attendance, many institutions choose their most expensive room options and meal plan to ensure that students who choose these plans can cover their expenses with financial aid. It’s important to note that most colleges with higher than usual accommodation fees have above-average amenities, such as single rooms, private restrooms, or kitchens. Sharing a dorm room, choosing accommodation in an older dorm, or buying a smaller meal plan can decrease costs.


Note: All room and board fees reflect the 2017-2018 academic year

Edmit's advice helps you to be better off after graduation.

Merit and financial aid estimates based on your student profile

Earnings estimates and financial scores for your college and major

Recommendations to save thousands on college

I'm ready

Sign up for updates

Popular Tags

Financial Aid and Scholarships* Cost of College* paying for college financial aid FAFSA Student Loans* grants and scholarships Saving for College* federal student loans college tuition 529 plan cost of attendance expected family contribution Salary and Career* college financial planning financial aid award private student loans taxes college savings plan room and board on-campus housing merit scholarships budgeting for college college expenses federal financial aid merit-based financial aid private universities public universities edmit hidden gems college costs edmit team parent PLUS loan college applications living expenses CSS profile education expenses financial need income application fees financial aid appeal off-campus housing career choosing a college choosing a major college majors loan forgiveness affordable college degree programs loan repayment repayment plans student loan assistance student loan debt work-study application fee waivers college search coronavirus edmit scholarship institutional aid net price SAT college visits in-state tuition prepaid tuition plans private scholarships ACT budget free tuition international students internships need-based financial aid need-blind colleges qualified higher education expenses retirement savings southern colleges standardized testing tuition discount tuition guarantee tuition payment plans 401k UGMA UTMA applying to college college financial health college ranking systems college spending college transfers credit score discretionary income distance learning education savings accounts fees financial literacy full ride scholarship gap year grants health insurance options investment ivy league schools liberal arts degree meal plans midwestern colleges need-aware colleges out-of-state tuition saving school-based scholarships state aid tuition increases western colleges 568 presidents group Inversant MEFA asset protection allowance best price campus life college advisor college credits college deposit college viability community college concurrent enrollment cost by region cost by state crowdfunding dorms early decision educational expenses esports fee waivers financial wellness for-profit universities fraternities and sororities full tuition graduate school home equity loan income share agreements line of credit lists medical expenses medical school military benefits net price calculators new england colleges non-profit universities online learning online tuition out-of-state students percent need met private college consultant remote learning small business state schools student bank accounts student organizations subsidized loans title IV schools travel expenses tuition decreases tuition insurance tuition reciprocity undocumented students unsubsidized loans