Massachusetts Institute of Technology has replaced Bennington College of Vermont as the nation's most expensive college, with total expenses nearly $23,000 a year, a survey shows.

Overall, college costs this fall rose an average of 5 percent to 8 percent, continuing a six-year moderating trend, according to the annual College Board survey released Wednesday.But with a possible recession and resurgent inflation, some college officials fear tuition may climb more sharply in the next few years.

The survey found that fixed charges at four-year private institutions, including tuition, fees, room and board, average $13,544 - an 8 percent increase from last year's $12,557. The increase a year ago was 9 percent.

The priciest such school, MIT, costs an estimated $22,945, counting tuition, fees, room and board, books and supplies, transportation and other expenses.

Bennington, a small, selective liberal arts college, had been the most expensive private college every year since the 1985-86 school year; MIT was tops the three previous years.

This year, Bennington is fifth at $22,550. Yale University is second at $22,900, New York University third at $22,775 and Brandeis University fourth at $22,690.

Rounding out the top 10, in order, are Harvard and Radcliffe colleges, Boston University, Sarah Lawrence College, Columbia University and Stanford University. All cost more than $22,000 a year.

Several of the highest-priced schools, however, posted some of their smallest tuition increases in years. Columbia's rates were up just 5.7 percent, Stanford's 5.25 percent.

At four-year public universities, fixed costs including room and board average $4,970, up 5 percent from $4,715.

At two-year private colleges, fixed costs including room and board average $8,484, up 7 percent from last year.

Tuition and fees at two-year public institutions average $884, up 5 percent from last year's $841. Few such institutions provide room and board.