The Top 100 U.S. Colleges, Ranked by Tuition - Visual Capitalist
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The Top 100 U.S. Colleges, Ranked by Tuition



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Top 100 U.S. colleges ranked by tuition

Top 100 U.S. Colleges, Ranked by Tuition

Attending a good school in the U.S. comes at a price.

Since 1985, college tuition has risen by roughly 500%, vastly outpacing almost all other increases in the cost of living. Today, there are more than 4,000 colleges in the country, ranging from high-flying Ivy League institutions to more modest, practical schools.

This infographic from TitleMax shows the top 100 colleges in America based on the U.S. News Best National Universities list, ranked by tuition from highest to lowest.

College Tuition: The Top 20 Most Expensive

From $5,000 to over $60,000, the price of college tuition for top U.S. schools is wide-ranging.

Columbia University, with a price tag of $61,850 takes top spot. Based in Manhattan, New York it has a rich history of graduates and instructors, including investing legends Benjamin Graham and Joel Greenblatt.

Although Columbia has the highest tuition cost, the school covers financial need with a mix of grants and work-study, which means low-income students don’t have to take on any student loan debt. This means a student coming from a home with $60,000 or less of income won’t be expected to pay anything toward tuition. That said, getting into the school is the tricky part. Columbia only admits 6% of applicants.

RankName Ivy League?Tuition
1Columbia University🌿$61,850
2University of Chicago$59,298
3Tufts University$58,578
4Brown University🌿$58,504
5Duke University$58,198
6University of Southern California$58,195
7Boston College$57,190
8University of Pennsylvania🌿$57,770
9Brandeis University$57,561
10Cornell University🌿$57,222
11Dartmouth College🌿$57,204
12Carnegie Mellon University$57,119
13George Washington University$56,935
14Tulane University$56,800
15Northwestern University$56,691
16Southern Methodist University$56,560
17Georgetown University$56,058
18University of Rochester$56,026
19Boston University$55,892
20Pepperdine University$55,892

Following Columbia is the University of Chicago. Its Booth School of Business was ranked the top MBA program in the world, with graduates averaging $135,000 in median income after graduation.

What may be surprising is that venerated institutions such as Harvard and Princeton don’t appear in the top 20, in terms of average tuition.

College Tuition: The Top 20 Least Expensive

How about the other end of the tuition spectrum for top schools in the country?

1$5,790Brigham Young University (Provo)
2$21,673Florida State University
3$27,791Binghamton University (SUNY)
4$27,850University of Buffalo (SUNY)
5$28,528Stony Brook University (SUNY)
6$28,658University of Florida
7$28,794Purdue University (West Laffayette)
8$29,220North Carolina State University (Raleigh)
9$31,120University of Georgia
10$31,568University of Iowa
11$32,061Ohio State University (Columbus)
12$32,189Rutgers University (New Brunswick)
13$32,750New Jersey Institute of Technology
14$32,835Virginia Tech
15$33,325University of Minnesota (Twin Cities)
16$33,352University of Illinois (Urbana Champagne)
17$33,746University of Pittsburgh
18$33,794Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech)
19$34,307Miami University (Oxford)
20$34,310University of Delaware

With a tuition of $5,790 Brigham Young University (Provo) has the lowest of the top 100, by far. Based in Provo, Utah it is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The college restricts drinking coffee, alcoholic beverages, and other activities—requiring students to follow a strict honor code.

Also found on the list is the University of Florida and Purdue. Unsurprisingly, many public schools offer the most affordable college tuitions.

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Mapped: Second Primary Languages Around the World

This fascinating map highlights the second most commonly spoken primary language in almost nearly every country.



Second Languages Around the World Shareable

Mapped: Second Primary Languages Around the World

After the primary language, what second languages are used as native tongues in your country?

The answer reveals a lot about history and location. Whether through immigration, colonization, or local culture, a primary language can either spread around the world or remain rooted in place.

This map from MoveHub shows the second most commonly spoken primary language in most countries, using data from the CIA World Factbook and Wikipedia as of February 2021.

The Difference Between Primary and Secondary Languages

First, it’s important to differentiate between primary languages and secondary languages.

A primary language—also known as a first or native language—is the language we use most frequently to communicate. These are languages we are usually born with, have a lot of exposure to, and use at home.

On the other hand, a secondary language is one we learn or pick up after our primary language. In many countries, English is the most commonly learned, with close to 1 billion speakers.

But a map of common second languages can simply show just how many countries prioritize learning English, the de-facto international language in many organizations. Instead, this map highlights the movement of people by showing the second-most common primary language.

The Second Most Common Primary Languages by Country

Even when filtering by primary language use, however, English and other Indo-European languages dominate the world.

With 55 countries speaking it as the second-most common primary language, English came out on top.

Top 10 Most Popular Second Primary LanguagesNumber of Countries

The use of English as a second primary language was primarily concentrated in Western Europe, Northern Africa, and Southeast Asia and Oceania.

Similarly to second-place French with 14 countries and third-place Russian with 13 countries, English was most common in proximity to English-speaking countries or where there was a history of immigration.

Other second-most common primary languages highlighted different cultures within countries, such as China’s second-most common language Cantonese. Alternatively, they showed the primary indigenous language before colonization, such as the Quechua languages in South America.

What other interesting or surprising language patterns can you spot in the map above?

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Mapped: Human Impact on the Earth’s Surface

This detailed map looks at where humans have (and haven’t) modified Earth’s terrestrial environment. See human impact in incredible detail.



human impact on earths surface

Mapped: Human Impact on the Earth’s Surface

With human population on Earth approaching 8 billion (we’ll likely hit that milestone in 2023), our impact on the planet is becoming harder to ignore with each passing year.

Our cities, infrastructure, agriculture, and pollution are all forms of stress we place on the natural world. This map, by David M. Theobald et al., shows just how much of the planet we’ve now modified. The researchers estimate that 14.6% or 18.5 million km² of land area has been modified – an area greater than Russia.

Defining Human Impact

Human impact on the Earth’s surface can take a number of different forms, and researchers took a nuanced approach to classifying the “modifications” we’ve made. In the end, 10 main stressors were used to create this map:

  1. Built-Up Areas: All of our cities and towns
  2. Agriculture: Areas devoted to crops and pastures
  3. Energy and extractive resources: Primarily locations where oil and gas are extracted
  4. Mines and quarries: Other ground-based natural resource extraction, excluding oil and gas
  5. Power plants: Areas where energy is produced – both renewable and non-renewable
  6. Transportation and service corridors: Primarily roads and railways
  7. Logging: This measures commodity-based forest loss (excludes factors like wildfire and urbanization)
  8. Human intrusion: Typically areas adjacent to population centers and roads that humans access
  9. Natural systems modification: Primarily modifications to water flow, including reservoir creation
  10. Pollution: Phenomenon such as acid rain and fog caused by air pollution

The classification descriptions above are simplified. See the methodology for full descriptions and calculations.

A Closer Look at Human Impact on the Earth’s Surface

To help better understand the level of impact humans can have on the planet, we’ll take a closer look three regions, and see how the situation on the ground relates to these maps.

Land Use Contrasts: Egypt

Almost all of Egypt’s population lives along the Nile and its delta, making it an interesting place to examine land use and human impact.

egypt land use impact zone

The towns and high intensity agricultural land following the river stand out clearly on the human modification map, while the nearby desert shows much less impact.

Intensive Modification: Netherlands

The Netherlands has some of the heavily modified landscapes on Earth, so the way it looks on this map will come as no surprise.

netherlands land use impact zone

The area shown above, Rotterdam’s distinctive port and surround area, renders almost entirely in colors at the top of the human modification scale.

Resource Extraction: West Virginia

It isn’t just cities and towns that show up clearly on this map, it’s also the areas we extract our raw materials from as well. This mountainous region of West Virginia, in the United States, offers a very clear visual example.

west virginia land use impact zone

The mountaintop removal method of mining—which involves blasting mountains in order to retrieve seams of bituminous coal—is common in this region, and mine sites show up clearly in the map.

You can explore the interactive version of this map yourself to view any area on the globe. What surprises you about these patterns of human impact?

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