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Several colleges in New England now cost $70,000 — or more

A group of graduates posed for a picture during the 2016 Trinity College commencement. The school has announced that undergraduate costs for the 2018-2019 academic year will top $71,000.Cloe Poisson/Hartford Courant via Associated Press

It’s well known that attending a private university in the Northeast is expensive. But the price tag has now risen above $70,000 at some schools.

Trinity College, a small liberal arts school in Hartford, Conn., recently decided to raise the cost for undergraduate tuition, fees, and room and board by 3.9 percent for the 2018-2019 academic year — hiking the total cost from $68,970 to $71,660, according to school officials.

“None of us takes this decision lightly, and we understand the contexts in which we and other institutions are asking families to pay such steep costs,” Trinity College president Joanne Berger-Sweeney wrote in a letter to the community last week. “But we must do more.”


Although Trinity is among the first colleges to announce rates for next year, it isn’t the only elite New England school where students can expect to pay more than $70,000 annually.

For the 2017-2018 academic year, Tufts University charges $68,372 for tuition, room, board, and fees; with additional estimated expenses like health insurance and books, that number increases to $70,600. Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., has a baseline price tag of $68,109 — a number that grows to $71,409 ($71,827 for freshmen) once books and miscellaneous expenses are taken into account. Meanwhile, Amherst College in Amherst, Mass., costs $68,500 for tuition, fees, room, and board, although the school estimates on its website that students can pay up to a whopping $75,700 with additional expenses. Harvard College also charges $65,609, a number that can rise up to $73,600 with other costs, and Boston University charges $67,352 to attend — but after adding in books, supplies, personal expenses, and transportation, that estimated cost rises to $70,302.

For perspective: The cost for tuition, fees, room, and board for an on-campus freshman at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst is $28,926 for Massachusetts residents, while the University of Connecticut costs $28,605 for in-state students.


But before you keel over, take solace in the fact that these figures don’t account for financial aid, which most often takes the form of either grants or loans. About two-thirds of full-time students use financial aid to pay for college, according to The College Board, so the majority of students don’t actually pay the sticker price for their education.

Correction: This story has been updated to more accurately compare the costs of several schools listed.

Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at