The most expensive college in America is a tiny STEM ‘bootcamp’ outside Los Angeles whose graduates out-earn Harvard and Stanford alums

Harvey mudd campus crowd
Harvey Mudd has a hefty price tag. Harvey Mudd College

Harvey Mudd College, a tiny liberal-arts school in Claremont, California, is the most expensive college in America.

With an annual price tag of $US72,228 for tuition, room and board, and fees, attending Mudd for four years will run students, and their families, more than a quarter of a million dollars.

The school, which enrolls about 800 students, offers a Bachelor of Science in maths, science, and engineering majors, and is considered one of the best schools in the nation for students seeking a degree in the hard sciences.

Harvey Mudd College
Mudd has a unique approach to academics. Harvey Mudd College

As a member of the Claremont Colleges Consortium — which includes Claremont McKenna College, Pitzer College, Pomona College, Scripps College, Claremont Graduate University and Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences — students can take classes at any of the other member schools.

Mudd has a unique approach to academics. The school not only encourages, but demands, that Mudders graduate with a strong liberal-arts background, taking just as many courses in the humanities as they must in core introductory courses in the sciences.

Harvey Mudd describes its core curriculum as “an academic boot camp in the STEM disciplines — maths, physics, chemistry, biology, computer science, and engineering — as well as classes in writing and critical inquiry” that it says “gives students a broad scientific foundation and the skills to think and to solve problems across disciplines.”

Harvey Mudd is selective, with an admission rate of about 13%, according to the US News & World Report. The student body is split 46% female and 54% male, with a student-teacher ratio of 8:1.

Harvey Mudd College
Harvey Mudd students in an engineering classroom. Harvey Mudd College

Despite its male-heavy lean, Harvey Mudd has strong representation of women in traditionally male-dominated fields.

In 2016, HMC graduated its first majority-female computer-science class. Nationally, men make up more than 84% of undergraduates majoring in computer science, according to the Computing Research Association.

And although the cost to attend the school is steep, a degree from Harvey Mudd appears to be worth it. The school routinely shows up on lists that rank the best colleges for your money, and its graduates out-earn those from Harvard and Stanford about 10 years into their careers.