In a ranking announced Monday by Campus Grotto, a national college news website, Princeton was listed as the 100th most expensive school in the country when total cost was defined as that of tuition, room and board put together. The cost of Princeton’s tuition, room and board stands at $48,580 for the 2010-11 academic year.

Princeton was the sixth cheapest school in the Ivy League, ahead of only Penn and Harvard, which were ranked 113th and 137th, respectively. Cornell was most expensive Ivy, placing 25th with a total cost of $52,100.

Sarah Lawrence College, a New York-based liberal arts school, was the most expensive institution for the second year in a row, costing $56,420 per year. Immediately following were New York University, Wesleyan University and Harvey Mudd College.

Dartmouth ranked 42nd, Columbia at 45th, Brown at 74th and Yale at 84th.  

Campus Grotto also compiled a list considering tuition alone, which leads to dramatically different rankings. Middlebury College’s $45,185 topped the list, and Columbia is the highest Ivy League, tied for 16th with Bard College at Simon’s Rock. Princeton, which has a tuition of $36,640 for the 2010-11 academic year, did not rank in the top 100 on this list.

All the colleges on both lists were private institutions, Campus Grotto noted in its announcement. Though public institutions are still on the whole cheaper than private ones, they become have more expensive at a faster rate: The cost of public institutions has climbed 46 percent since 2000, compared to a 31 percent increase for nonprofit private institutions.

Over the past year alone, the number of colleges charging tuition over $40,000 increased nearly fourfold to 43, from 11.

In January, the University Board of Trustees announced that tuition for the 2010-11 academic year would be 3.7 percent higher than that of the previous year. The increase came alongside a 3.3 percent rise in tuition and fees, one of the lowest percentage increases in the fee package in 40 years, and a 9.6 percent increase in the financial aid budget.  

Some other schools took an opposite approach: Over the past year, two of Fordham University’s three campuses each went up 24 places in the ranks for most expensive universities overall, settling in at 23rd and 29th, with each charging more than $52,000 per year. Skidmore College, on the other hand, fell 50 places down the ranks to 55th, after increasing its total fees this year by only $140 to bring them to $51,336.

Within the Ivies, no university made as extreme a change on either end. Princeton’s low tuition increase meant that it fell four places on the rankings for total cost. Columbia’s nine-place rise was the highest increase among Ivy League schools, and Dartmouth’s six-place drop was the largest decrease.

The rankings do not take into account a school’s financial aid package, ranking instead on the cost listed on each institution’s website.

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