these are the most expensive colleges in the u.s.a.

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photo by sam nixon

Oh, America: Land of opportunities, white picket fences, gold-paved streets—and mounds upon mounds of student loan debt.

Lately, it's becoming harder and harder to justify the rising cost of a college tuition (plus room and board). Especially since a college diploma—and even a Master's degree—gives hardly any edge in the job market. And it seems as if Americans are starting to take notice: according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics study, fewer high school graduates are choosing to attend college. Still, most students who do choose to go to university have, for the most part, accepted the high cost of education, dishing out $50,000+ a year and accumulating up to $200,000 in student loans.

The question is why. In the U.K., the government footed the entire cost of college education through the national budget. When that changed in 1997, a year after Conservative Prime Minister John Mayor passed the bill to students, they received a tremendous amount of backlash. Now, after a steady increase, students in the U.K. pay, on average, less than £9,000 per year—and they are outraged, with student protests happening daily.

So, where is our public display of disapproval America? Oh, right—there really is none. Instead, we publish lists of the most expensive colleges in the U.S.A. and pride ourselves when we see our university's name on them. Take a look at the list of the 10 most expensive colleges below, compiled by The Chronicle of Higher Education and distributed by CNN Money. Prospective students, start praying for scholarships and financial aid. If that's not your thing, you could just attend these colleges and not pay any of your student loans. Here's how.

1. Sarah Lawrence College
    Total annual cost (including room & board): $65,480

2. Harvey Mudd College
    Total annual cost (including room & board): $64,427

3. Columbia College
    Total annual cost (including room & board): $63,440

4. New York University
    Total annual cost (including room & board): $62,930

5. University of Chicago
    Total annual cost (including room & board): $64,458

6. Claremont McKenna College
    Total annual cost (including room & board): $62,215

7. Bard College
    Total annual cost (including room & board): $62,012

8. Scripps College
    Total annual cost (including room & board): $61,940

9. Dartmouth College
    Total annual cost (including room & board): $61,927

10. Olin College of Engineering
      Total annual cost (including room & board): $61,881