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The Most Expensive 2-year Colleges

Community colleges and other 2-year schools are often seen as a cheaper option for higher education than 4-year universities and colleges. But some of these 2-year schools can come with pretty hefty price tags, too.

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Not Necessarily a Bargain

Students shouldn't assume that if they decide to go to a 2-year college, they'll automatically be saving a lot of money. Education Insider used the website of the College Affordability and Transparency Center (CATC) to check the price tags of some of these schools. Take a look at a few of the most expensive institutions in several categories for the 2011-12 school year, as reported by the CATC.

Public 2-Year Schools

According to CATC reports, the national average tuition for public 2-year colleges is $2,905 annually. However, the most expensive school in this category, the University of Pittsburgh - Titusville (UPT), has a considerably higher tuition - $11,118 each year. The school is a regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh and gives students the chance to earn associate's degrees in areas like accounting, business information systems, business management, human services, liberal arts, natural science, nursing and physical therapy assistance.

Considerably cheaper than UPT, but still pricey, is the Marion Military Institute, which is located in Alabama and has a yearly tuition of $8,570. The school was founded in 1842. One of its 2-year programs is the Early Commissioning Program, which lets students complete the ROTC training course in two years and leave school as a Second Lieutenant. Students enrolled in Marion Military Institute can also complete the first two years of Air Force ROTC.

Number three on the list is New Hampshire's White Mountains Community College, with an annual tuition of $7,696. White Mountains Community College is one of seven schools in the Community College System of New Hampshire. This school offers a large choice of associate degree programs as well as certificate programs. Some associate degree offerings include nursing, accounting and environmental technology. Students can pursue certificates in areas including early childhood education, pipe welding and mobile equipment technology.

Private, Not-For-Profit 2-Year Schools

The average annual tuition for private, not-for-profit 2-year schools in the U.S. is $12,959. However, the most expensive school on the list charges about four times that amount. The tuition to attend Landmark College is $48,710 per year, but that could be explained by the specialized population it serves. The school focuses on students with autism, ADD, dyslexia and other learning disabilities. These students can pursue associate's degrees in business administration, business studies, general studies or liberal arts.

Second on this list is The American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Founded in 1884, its annual tuition at the Los Angeles or New York campus is $30,500. While studying acting, students can work toward earning an Associate of Occupational Studies degree. Many notable entertainers have attended this school, including Robert Redford, Grace Kelly, Dennis Haysbert, Adrien Brody and Anne Bancroft.

The Massachusetts-based Lawrence Memorial Hospital School of Nursing comes in third place with a yearly tuition of $29,300. Students can earn an Associate of Science with a major in nursing. Non-nursing courses are taken at Regis College.

Private, For-Profit 2-Year Schools

The national average tuition for schools in this category comes in at $13,969 a year. Most expensive among these schools is the Aviator College of Aeronautical Science and Technology located in Ft. Pierce, Florida. For the 2011-12 school year, tuition was reported as $59,850. Students at this school participate in flight training programs to become professional pilots. This school also offers individual and online classes.

Second on the list is the Virginia College - Richmond, which costs $35,140 per year to attend. The school offers many different degree and certificate options. Some of the many programs available include culinary and pastry arts, paralegal studies and cosmetology.

The third most expensive for-profit 2-year school is the West Coast Ultrasound Institute, which costs $33,350. This school has three campuses - two in California and one in Arizona. Students who attend this school can earn an Associate of Occupational Science in cardiovascular sonography, magnetic resonance imaging or diagnostic medical sonography.

Cost isn't the only thing to take into consideration when selecting a school. Check out five other ways to tell if a school is right for you.

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