Twelve-Month Academic Year 2016-17

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2016-17 low and moderate living expense budgets

This table shows living expense costs by region and metropolitan area over a 12-month period. Both a moderate and a low budget are provided. The budgets reflect increases in the Consumer Price Index (calculated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) of 1.008 percent for 2014, and an estimated adjustment of 1.015 percent for 2015.

The budgets are developed based on data from the most recent Consumer Expenditure Survey (CES) and the Indexes of Comparative Costs, both produced by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics. Budget regions correspond to the metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. The CES sample changes about every 10 years, which changes the MSAs for which indexes can be developed. There were 28 MSAs for the period from 1996 to 2004, but that number dropped to 24 for 2005. Therefore, the regional tables of the living expense budget now reflect only 24 MSAs. Also, since a factor could not be established for every region of the country, no region is adjusted by a value of less than 1.0.

  Moderate 12-Month Budget Low 12-Month Budget
United States $ 23,500 $ 15,740
Boston–Cambridge–Quincy, MA–NH 24,675 16,527
New York–Northern New Jersey–Long Island, NY–NJ–PA 25,850 17,314
Philadelphia–Camden–Wilmington, PA–NJ–DE–MD 24,440 16,370
Pittsburgh, PA 23,500 15,740
North Central:
Chicago–Naperville–Joliet, IL–IN–WI 24,205 16,212
Cleveland–Elyria–Mentor, OH 23,500 15,740
Detroit–Warren–Livonia, MI 23,500 15,740
Minneapolis–St. Paul–Bloomington, MN–WI 23,735 15,897
St. Louis, MO–IL 23,500 15,740
Atlanta–Sandy Springs–Marietta, GA 23,970 16,055
Baltimore–Towson, MD 24,910 16,684
Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington, TX 23,970 16,055
Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown, TX 23,970 16,055
Miami–Ft. Lauderdale–Miami Beach, FL 23,735 15,897
Washington–Arlington–Alexandria, DC–VA–MD–WV 27,495 18,416
Anchorage, AK 25,615 17,157
Denver–Aurora, CO 24,205 16,212
Los Angeles–Long Beach–Santa Ana, CA 25,380 16,999
Phoenix–Mesa–Scottsdale, AZ 24,205 16,212
Portland–Vancouver–Beaverton, OR–WA 24,675 16,527
San Diego–Carlsbad–San Marcos, CA 26,085 17,471
San Francisco–Oakland–Fremont, CA 27,495 18,416
Seattle–Tacoma, WA 25,145 16,842
Honolulu, HI 25,145 16,842

Note: These budgets are provided to assist financial aid officers in developing living expense budgets for their independent, off-campus students. The budgets should not be confused with the actual boarding expenses experienced by an on-campus student.