The Bay State’s 10 most expensive colleges (slideshow)

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Colleges with smaller student bodies, a focus on undergraduates, and stellar academic reputations are among the most expensive in Massachusetts, with Amherst College leading the pack, according to a NewBostonPost analysis of federal data.

The total cost of attendance at Amherst was $66,572 last year. In order to provide a complete picture of college costs, the NewBostonPost looked not just at tuition but other costs. The total cost of attendance includes room and board, fees, and even books and supplies. Tuition alone stood at $50,562.

With prices so high, many students do not end up paying full freight. At Amherst, when scholarships and other financial aid other than federal loans are taken into account, the net price can drop to $16,861.

Data were taken from the National Center for Education Statistics, a data collection agency within the U.S. Department of Education.

Other top 10 colleges included Williams, Bard, Babson, and Smith. But not all were small-size. Brandeis University, Boston University, Tufts, and Boston College also made the cut. All the schools in the top 10 had a cost of attendance between $64,000 and $66,000. Tuition ranged from $46,000 to $50,000.

The costliest colleges parted ways on how much in the way of scholarships and grants their students get from them or government sources. Of the top 10, Amherst actually comes out best by that measure. The average net price of an Amherst education was $16,861 for students who are being helped in some way other than a loan. That’s actually the lowest of the top 10. The others have net prices ranging from about $21,000 to roughly $37,000. (Those figures are only available for the 2014 to 2015 school year.)

Notably, some of the state’s most prestigious schools are not its most expensive, but they come close. According to the NewBostonPost analysis, Harvard was 11th costliest at a total of $64,400 a year and MIT was 15th at $63,250.

The release of the figures is set against a background of continually rising costs in higher education. Over the last five years the cost of attendance across the nation has increased by 10 percent, according to the CollegeBoard. That increase is mirrored in skyrocketing rates of student debt. Between 2004 and 2014, the average amount a graduating senior owed for his education climbed at more than double the rate of inflation, according to the Institute for College Access and Success, a nonprofit based in California.