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Tuition and fees: $40,866 (2012-13)
Harvard University is a private institution in Cambridge, Mass., just outside of Boston. This Ivy League school is the oldest higher education institution in the country and has the largest endowment of any school in the world.
Tuition and fees: $38,650 (2012-13)
The ivy-covered campus of Princeton University, a private institution, is located in the quiet town of Princeton, N.J. Princeton was the first university to offer a “no loan” policy to financially needy students, giving grants instead of loans to accepted students who need help paying tuition.
Tuition and fees: $42,300 (2012-13)
New Haven, CT
Yale University, located in New Haven, Conn., offers a small college life with the resources of a major research institution. Yale students are divided into 12 residential colleges that foster a supportive environment for living, learning, and socializing
Tuition and fees: $47,246 (2012-13)
New York, NY
Columbia University has three undergraduate schools: Columbia College, The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), and the School of General Studies. This Ivy League, private school guarantees students housing for all four years on campus in Manhattan’s Morningside Heights neighborhood in New York City.
Tuition and fees: $44,574 (2012-13)
#4University of Chicago
The University of Chicago, situated in Chicago’s Hyde Park community, offers a rich campus life in a big-city setting. Since 1987, the private institution has hosted the University of Chicago Scavenger Hunt, a four-day event that is regarded as the largest scavenger hunt in the world.
Tuition and fees: $42,050 (2012-13)
#6Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Though the Massachusetts Institute of Technology may be best known for its math, science, and engineering education, this private research university also offers architecture, humanities, management, and social science programs. The school is located in Cambridge, Mass., just across the Charles River from downtown Boston.
Tuition and fees: $41,787 (2012-13)
The sunny campus of Stanford University is located in California’s Bay Area, about 30 miles from San Francisco. The private institution stresses a multidisciplinary combination of teaching, learning, and research, and students have many opportunities to get involved in research projects.
Tuition and fees: $43,623 (2012-13)
Located in Durham, N.C., Duke University is a private institution that has liberal arts and engineering programs for undergraduates. The Duke Blue Devils sports teams have a fierce rivalry with the University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill Tar Heels and are best known for their outstanding men's basketball program.
Tuition and fees: $43,738 (2012-13)
#8University of Pennsylvania
Founded by Benjamin Franklin, the University of Pennsylvania is a private institution in the University City neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pa., near Drexel University. Undergraduates can study in four academic departments: Arts and Sciences, Nursing, Engineering and Applied Sciences, and Wharton.
Tuition and fees: $39,588 (2012-13)
#10California Institute of Technology
The California Institute of Technology focuses on science and engineering education and has a low student-to-faculty ratio of 3:1. This private institution in Pasadena, Calif. is actively involved in research projects with grants from NASA, the National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.