2020-21 low and moderate living expense budgets
This table shows living expense costs by region and metropolitan area over a twelve-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 2.1 percent for 2018.
The budgets are developed based on data from the most recent years’ Consumer Expenditure Survey (CES), produced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
For 2020-21, the CES microdata was queried to generate budgets for additional Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) with significant population sizes. Consequently, the regional tables of the living expense budget now reflect 35 MSAs, compared to 22 in published regional data tables.
Since budgets cannot be established for every area of the country, no MSA’s budget falls below the base budget.
|Moderate 12-Month Budget||Low 12-Month Budget|
|Hartford–East Hartford–Middletown CT||28,288||18,949|
|New York–Newark–Jersey City NY–NJ–PA||29,376||19,678|
|Atlanta–Sandy Springs–Alpharetta GA||27,744||18,584|
|Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington TX||28,016||18,767|
|Houston–The Woodlands–Sugar Land TX||27,744||18,584|
|Miami–Fort Lauderdale–Pompano Beach FL||28,288||18,949|
|New Orleans–Metairie LA||27,200||18,220|
|Oklahoma City OK||27,200||18,220|
Virginia Beach–Norfolk–Newport News VA–NC
|San Antonio–New Braunfels TX
Austin–Round Rock TX
|Tampa–St. Petersburg–Clearwater FL||27,200||18,220|
Louisville/Jefferson County KY–IN
|Minneapolis–St. Paul–Bloomington MN–WI||28,832||19,313|
|St. Louis MO–IL||27,200||18,220|
|Urban Honolulu HI||30,192||20,224|
|Las Vegas–Henderson–Paradise NV||27,200||18,220|
|Los Angeles–Long Beach–Anaheim CA||29,648||19,860|
|Riverside–San Bernardino–Ontario CA||28,832||19,313|
|San Diego–Chula Vista–Carlsbad CA||30,736||20,589|
|San Francisco–Oakland–Berkeley CA||32,096||21,500|
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.